Indian Christians Form 12-Mile Human Chain to Protest State-Sponsored Harassment | 7/17/2018 | Staff
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(Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)A protester holds a placard during a rally by hundreds of Christians against recent attacks on churches nationwide, in Mumbai, February 9, 2015. Five churches in the Indian capital New Delhi have reported incidents of arson, vandalism and burglary. The latest was reported last week when an individual stole ceremonial items.

Thousands of Christians formed a 12-mile long human chain in India's Jharkhand state following church services on Sunday to protest what they say is state-sponsored harassment against the Christian community, according to a report.

UCANews - Reports - Christians - Demonstrations - Ranchi

UCANews reports that about 10,000 tribal Christians gathered for demonstrations held in Ranchi, Gumla, Simdega, Bokaro, Jamshedpur and Kkunty to protest arrests of local Christian leaders that they say are designed to tarnish their reputations and policies that they believe could lead to them being stripped of their benefits, rights and land.

"Catholic nuns, priests, pastors are attacked and jailed. Their institutions are searched. They are accused of every wrong that takes place in the state," event organizer Prabhakar Tirkey, who serves as president of ecumenical Christian forum Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh, told the Asia-based Catholic news outlet.

Cases - Christians - Nun - Mother - Missionaries

One of the cases that the tribal Christians were upset about involves a nun from the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity women's shelter in Ranchi. The nun was arrested on child trafficking charges this month after it emerged that four children had been sold from the shelter. The government is now seeking to freeze the organization's bank accounts and inspect all Missionaries of Charity child care facilities.

Another case involves Jesuit Father Alphonse Aind, a principal of a school in a remote village. The priest was arrested on June 22 on charges of aiding and abetting the abduction and gang rape of five social activists. However, church officials have claimed that the charges against the priest are fabricated.


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