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(Zenit.org) – The destruction of Catholic schools has become a new trend to suppress religious freedom in Asia , warns a priest-journalist. Father Bernardo Cervellera, director of AsiaNews, described this problem when presenting the “2004 Report on Religious Freedom,” written by the pontifical association Aid to the Church in Need, of which he is a collaborator. “In Communist areas and those influenced by religious fundamentalism, they are no longer content with suppressing individuals; they destroy all objects and buildings linked to freedom of worship,” Father Cervellera said. “Of course, churches are destroyed, as happens in Indonesia , China and India , ” he said. “But they also destroy the homes of Christians and above all their schools. Destroying schools is an element of persecution that is now almost a trend in China , Hong Kong , Indonesia , Nepal , India and Pakistan ,” the priest said. “In this case it is not only a community’s faith they wish to silence, but also all possible social influence exercised by religions, and in particular the Christian one,” he said. “Destruction is used not only to kill the faith, but also to impoverish, to frustrate populations, to have fewer social prospects.” “The Hindus who fight against Catholic and Protestant schools wish to keep the pariahs in conditions of controllable slaves,” Father Cervellera said. The pariahs are members of one of the lowest social castes in India . In Indonesia , he continued, “the Muslims who burned down the university in Ambon do not want Christians to work and want the Moluccas to be prey to external policies.” Father Cervellera also said the Hong Kong government, pressured by Beijing , is causing difficulties for the autonomy of Christian schools.