The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India is protesting the recent violent attacks on Christians living in the region. In an effort to promote peace, president of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, has invited Catholic communities to hold protest rallies and to observe a day of fasting for peace and harmony within India.
In a statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) additionally called Catholics to close down their schools on Friday, August 29, to mark their solidarity with the victims of the recent anti-Christian attacks.
Violence against Christians has rapidly escalated in India after Hindu leaders blamed them for the killing of Swami Laxanananda Saraspati. Since his murder last Saturday, Christians have been targeted for attacks throughout the country.
Cardinal Vithayathil is calling on the Catholic community in India to observe a day of prayer and fasting on Sunday, September 7, 2008 for the promotion of harmony and peace in the country as well as peaceful rallies to protest the increase in violence.
The Vatican has also spoken out against the recent attacks saying that the violence damages “the dignity and freedom of the people and compromise a peaceful civic coexistence.”