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(AsiaNews) – The recently elected leaders of the All India Catholic Union (AICU) had their first meeting in Mumbai today to assess anti-Christian violence and consider the situation of minority rights. The organization represents India ’s 16 million Catholics. During a press conference newly-elected president John Dayal expressed his “deep concern” for the wave of anti-Christian violence reported in recent months. Even states like Kerala, traditionally free of communal violence, have seen Christians persecuted. Attacks include assaults against the Missionaries of Charity nuns, the desecration of churches and the murder of a priest. By and large, they have been the work of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). According to the AICU, developments have been even more ominous in states administered by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which in last May’s federal elections lost control of the Union government. Whether in Gujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh or Jharkhand, things have “gotten worse” for minorities in what is known as India’s East-West tribal belt, an area where the Church is heavily involved among local indigenous communities in providing social and educational services.