Archbishop Marampudi Joji of Hyderabad and other Christian leaders are demanding that authorities take immediate action against Hindu radicals who harassed four Missionaries of Charity, reported the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.
The four nuns - Sr. Maria Julia, Sr. Chriselda, Sr. Emma Felesia and Sr. Reena Francis - were detained and harassed by more than 40 Hindu radicals on June 25th, at a local hospital in Tirupati, where the sisters routinely visit the sick. The radicals falsely accused the sisters of proselytization.
The nuns were detained at the hospital for two hours, where they were insulted, abused and threatened. They were not allowed to leave the hospital or contact their superiors.
The police then took the sisters to a local station for questioning. The sisters were released after the personal intervention of Archbishop Joji.
The archbishop is also vice-president of Andhra Pradesh Christian Federation, an ecumenical body of all Christians in India. The federation has already contacted authorities and demanded immediate action against the offenders.
The area is generally known for communal harmony and religious tolerance. However, of late, some atrocities against Christians, including the killing of three Protestant pastors, harassments and communal disturbances, have taken place.
Hindu fundamentalist groups, who claim to represent Hinduism, are responsible for these acts. However, the bishop emphasized, most Hindus do not support them. Rather, they have great appreciation for the Christians, especially the clergy and religious who serve the downtrodden and the sick.