Church-Run Schools in India Reportedly Ordered to Remove All Christians Symbols

A Hindu group in Assam, India, has given Christian schools in the state a 15-day ultimatum, demanding the removal of all faith-related symbols and images of Jesus and the Mother Mary. Satya Ranjan Borah, president of the Hindu group Kutumba Surakshya Parishad, is reportedly concerned Christians are using the schools to evangelize, according to UCA News, a Catholic news outlet reporting on faith-related matters in Asian regions. “Christian missionaries are converting schools and educational institutes into religious institutes,” Borah said at a press conference last week. “We will not allow it.” According to local media reports, the Hindu group is demanding all imagery referencing the Christian faith be removed from the Catholic schools within 15 days. They are also ordering priests and nuns to stop wearing clerical clothes and habits, respectively, and calling for the closure of churches on school campuses. Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati told UCA News he is bewildered by the allegations levelled against them but made clear they are looking into legal options to address what he sees as threats to religious liberty.

“We are aware of the threat, and I do not understand why this is happening,” Moolachira said. “It is a very difficult situation when such open threats are issued. We will explore legal means to deal with such open threats.” According to the Deccan Chronicle, Catholic leaders — who have been involved in the educational system in Assam for many years — are suggesting priests, nuns, and clergy members wear traditional Indian clothing rather than religious garb as a precautionary measure. The World Watch List from Open Doors classifies India, a majority Hindu nation, as “extreme” when it comes to its degree of persecution of Christians. The country is No. 11 on the top 50 list. “Christians who convert from Hinduism are the most vulnerable to persecution across India, particularly communities who have faced historical oppression or discrimination such as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” Open Doors reported. “Additionally, church leaders and their families can be particular targets in places that are heavily influenced by Hindu extremists.” It’s believed around 5% of India is Christian.

Source: Faithwire

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