Indian Navy preventing Goa Christians from praying at chapel

May 10, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Goa, May 10, 2012: A Member of Parliament on Wednesday accused the Indian Navy of repeatedly barring Christians from praying at a sacred chapel on the Anjadip Island, a few hundred meters off the coast in South Goa district.

Shantaram Naik told the Rajya Sabha that the ‘attitude’ of the Indian Navy officials was not right and in violation of a written contract between the state government and the naval authorities.

There is strong resentment over the fact that the Indian Navy did not allow members of the Christian community to say prayers in the chapel (a smaller place of worship for Christians) at Anjadip island despite the navy having signed a written contract with the government of Goa while accepting the land from the then union territory,’ Naik said. Naik and another Congress MP Francisco Sardinha have already submitted memorandums to Defence Minister A.K. Antony asking him to permit the Christian community members to visit the island on religious occasions. (Army Chief prays at Padmanabhaswamy temple- Indian Army Chief General VK Singh Tuesday prayed the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple and proceeded to visit Vaishnudevi temple).

‘People are taken to the island on the (occasion of) Navy Day under security, but the navy is not willing to follow the same procedure in case of the visit by members of the Christian community,’ the memorandum said.

Christians form 26 percent of Goa’s population.


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