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    Missionaries of Charity Being Harassed for Social Activism: Indian Catholic Body

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    A former head of India’s Catholic Union said he smelled a conspiracy in the way St. Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity orphanages have been raided following a case of child trafficking in Jharkhand. He said that it is not right to pin the responsibility on all Christians.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian government is inspecting all child-care homes run by the Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic order of nuns founded by St. Teresa of Kolkata. The move by the Ministry of Women and Child Development comes amid reports of several children allegedly being sold by an employee of Nirmal Hriday, a home for unwed mothers run by the Missionaries of Charity in the eastern state of Jharkhand. The government has thus made it mandatory for all child-care and adoption centers to register with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) within a month.

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    The case pertains to the arrest of two persons in the first week of July — a nun at Nirmal Hriday, Jharkhand, and an employee. The arrests were made after a couple allegedly complained to the police that the nun and her accomplice had taken back a baby boy they had allegedly sold to the couple a few days prior. Another employee of the child-care home is also under investigation.

    The Missionaries of Charity has clarified that it was the employee's fault and that the nun had nothing to do with the sale of the child, but had instead intervened to ensure that the child was brought back to the shelter. 

    Sputnik contacted John Dayal, a former president and official spokesperson of the Indian Catholic Union, to discuss the matter.

    Sputnik: What is your take on the case?

    John Dayal: The entire Christian community of India cannot be blamed for a single incident. It would amount to the posthumous criminalization of the global icon St. Teresa, a Nobel laureate, but perhaps more importantly, an Indian citizen given its highest civilian honor of Bharat Ratna. There seems to be a sinister ploy behind the inquiry into every center run by the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity across the country caring for abandoned infants, unwed mothers, homeless women and the sick and dying. 

    Sputnik: Are you alleging a design into the whole case?

    John Dayal: Religious nationalists, the Hindutva groups as they are known, have accused St. Teresa's Missionaries of Charities and indeed the entire church in India of forcible conversions to Christianity, massive trafficking in children and other crimes. They have also resurrected a rejected chant of the Vatican's interference in Indian political affairs.

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    Sputnik: What do you think it is that antagonizes the nationalists?  

    John Dayal: St. Teresa, in particular, and the church, in general, have been a thorn in the side of land mafias because of their efforts to pressurize the governments to change the environment and land laws to help transfer forest tracks to corporate groups and business houses. The missionaries work with the marginalized in education, health and empowerment [and] have also made the tribals and Dalits stand up to usury and exploitation. We have called on state and union governments to stop this, and take action against groups and mobs that attack nuns, priests, and Christian organizations.

    The views and opinions expressed by John Dayal in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.

     

     

     

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    Tags:
    Hindus, religious groups, Arrest, Child Trafficking, missionaries, Christians, conspiracy, campaign, accusations, Catholic Church, India
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