Bengaluru: Indian United Christian Forum welcomes PM Modi’s statement

February 22, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Modi's statement on freedom of faithPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the national seminar on Challenges to religious life in India at the Vigyan Bhavan-New Delhi at a function to celebrate the elevation to sainthood of two great saints of Kerala – Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Saint Euphresia has been warmly welcomed by the delightful community.

The Office bearers of ICUF who were privileged to be a part of the august occasion do also welcome the statement of the hon’ble Prime Minister, which mainly centered at four important aspects 1) Religious freedom 2) Religious Intolerance 3) Equal respect for all religions and 4) Intolerance of violence in the name of Religion such as:

1)   “My government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith and that everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence”.

2)   “My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly”.

3)   “Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions. India is the land of Buddha and Gandhi. Equal respect for all religions must be in the DNA of every Indian”.

4)   We cannot accept violence against any religion on any pretext and I strongly condemn such violence. My government will act strongly in this regard.

Mr.Modi’s assurance to the Christian community or remarks in support of freedom of religion may have come in the wake of a string of attacks on churches in the capital or after US President Obama had raised eyebrows when he said that independence icon Mahatma Gandhi would have been “shocked” by the religious attacks in India.

Yet, the Catholic Church in India and well meaning Christian’s outside have warmly welcomed, acknowledged and are relieved from the Prime Minister’s sincere and heartfelt assurance.   “We are relieved that he sent out such a strong message and also feel that the Prime Minister has spoken from his heart and he meant what he has said” said his Grace. Anil Couto, the Archbishop of Delhi.

The European Union on Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on religious freedom and said that his remarks were “entirely in line with the Indian constitution”, Ambassador Joao Cravinho, said that Modi’s remarks were “upholding the basic principles of freedom of religion, were very welcome and unremarkable”. He also said Modi’s remarks are “entirely in line with the Indian constitution, and it is not surprising he made the remarks”.

While Father Savarimuthu Sankar, the spokesman for Delhi’s Bishop, welcomed the prime minister’s comments, he also indicated they were long overdue, which is also true.

Without casting any aspersions about the statistics being released relating to large number of theft cases in Other Religious Places in Delhi, we also condemn those incidences and demand that the Law of the nation should ensure protection to every Religious Sentiment and Places of Worship.

There are some amongst the Christian community who see the Prime Minister’s statement as directed against the fringe elements of the Sangh Pariwar, after the BJP’s resounding defeat in Delhi and in the context of rising criticism that the Union Government has not been acting firmly against fringe elements of the amorphous Sanghparivar,  while there are some such as the VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain, who says the sermon of religious tolerance by the Prime Minister is actually aimed at “Christians who have been attacking Hindus”.

We feel the statement of the Prime Minister should be taken as a comforting assurance to the Christians and a clear warning to fringe elements not only in the Sangha Pariwar but to the fringe elements in the Christian community also (if any) who attempt to disturb the harmonious fabric of this country. We condemn the statement of the Opposition leader P.C.Chacko that the PM needs to offer similar assurances to parliament, is very unfortunate and uncalled for.

– indian united christian forum press release

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