19:24 GMT13 May 2021
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    Catholic missionaries run some of the most famous educational institutions in India that have impressive lists of alumni which include top politicians and public figures. The Catholic Bishops say the alumni should testify their alma mater did not indulge in conversions.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Much to the discredit of India's secular image, the country's minority Christian population is living under perpetual fear of the radical Hindus who have time and again threatened to uproot them from the country's social fabric. A fresh string of such threats has been delivered by radical outfits that have warned schools run by Catholic missionaries against celebrating Christmas the usual way.

    READ MORE: Christmas Carol Singers Arrested in India, Priests Under Attack From Hindu Mob

    The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) has called upon Lawmakers who are products of schools run by Christian missionaries, to speak up against the threats faced by their alma mater and to testify that conversions do not happen in such educational institutes.

    "Is it not the high time that they come out and speak up for the Catholic schools they were educated in? Should they not be standing testimony to the fact that no one tried to convert them in the missionary schools run by Christians?" Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, President of CBCI, said.

    Several incumbent Ministers including finance minister Arun Jaitley and health minister JP Nadda are alumni of Christian missionary schools, as per official records. 

    The appeal comes after the Hindu Jagran Manch last week wrote to the managements of Christian-run schools in the state of Uttar Pradesh asking them to "celebrate Christmas at their own risk."

    The radical group believes Christmas is "essentially a ploy to lure and convert Hindu children."

    The outfits' warning to schools was preceded by the arrest of 32 Catholic priests and carol singers in the nearby state of Madhya Pradesh after another Hindu outfit — Bajrang Dal- complained to the police that the local tribal community was being forcefully converted to Christianity.

    "The violence perpetrated by groups who claim to be "nationalists" and have taken upon themselves the mantle of protecting "nationalism' and "religion" is disgraceful," the CBCI had responded.

    According to local reports, a delegation of CBCI met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday to "express pain and shock" at the threats being faced by the religious minorities in India.

    Christianity is India's third most followed religion according to the census of 2011, with approximately 28 million followers, constituting 2.3 percent of India's population.


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