Down to the Wire: Just $6,487 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Calm returns to Punjab; Indian bishops to protest textbook that blasphemed Jesus

Catholic World News - February 24, 2010

As calm returns to the northwestern Indian state of Punjab following the destruction of two Protestant churches, a spokesman for the nation’s bishops said that they will lodge a protest about the blasphemous textbook that was the occasion of interreligious violence.

The conflict began when nuns in the northeastern state of Meghalaya noticed a blasphemous image of Christ in a children’s textbook. The image portrays Christ holding a bottle of beer and a cigarette and called Christ an “idol.” After the nuns urged parents to write the state government in protest, the government pulled the book from circulation.

The subsequent public display of the image in Punjab led to peaceful Christian protests. After some young Christians tried to remove the poster from a Hindu market, violence broke out throughout the city of Jalandhar.

In addition to lodging a protest with the federal education minister, the bishops called for harmony.

“The bishops have condemned this blasphemous act and renew their appeal for peace in Punjab and across India,” said spokesman Father Babu Joseph. “Violence is followed by more violence and other Hindu extremist groups seek only a pretext to unleash vengeance on Christians. The bishops are now asking the government of Punjab to release the 25 Christians who were arrested following clashes (including some Catholics) over the publication of posters portraying the blasphemous image.”

“Making posters with the image and distributing them throughout the city was an operation conducted by Hindu fundamentalist groups to create tension,” he continued. “The state government has ensured that it will prosecute those responsible.”

81% of the nation’s 1.13 billion people are Hindu, 13% are Muslim, and 2% are Christian, including the 1.6% who are Catholic.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($56,165 to go):
$150,000.00 $93,835.13
37% 63%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The gift of orthodoxy: A mercy and a challenge to mercy 12 hours ago
Getting Marriage Right November 25
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. November 25
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg November 25
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25