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Catholic World News

Fears mount for India's Christians as violence spreads

September 16, 2008

Hindu-Christian tension mounted in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka, where 14 churches were attacked on Sunday. UCA News’s T. S. Thomas reports, ‘Police drove around 500 protesting Catholics inside a church and locked them in from outside … In another incident, police entered a church and beat Catholics praying for atonement for church desecration.’ On Monday evening, a church was attacked in the southwestern state of Kerala, the area of India evangelized by St. Thomas the Apostle. India, which has fewer than 20 million Catholics – the US has nearly 70 million – has more seminarians than any other nation in the world and more seminarians than all of North America and Central America combined. Within India, Kerala produces the greatest number of seminarians. In Orissa, where recent anti-Christian violence began, 25,000 Catholics are still hiding in the forest. At the request of the Italian foreign minister, the persecution of Christians in Orissa will be discussed at the Sept. 29-30 summit meeting between EU member nations and India.


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