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ICC Note:

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has stated its strong exception to the attempt of 50 villages in India’s Chhattisgarh state to pass resolutions to ban Christianity. Fortunately, these resolutions were stopped by the District Administration of Chhattisgarh before they were able to become law. Despite this intervention, anti-Christian sentiment continues to grow in India, now led by the Hindu nationalist BJP. Please pray for Christianity’s future in India.

8/18/2014 India (UCAN) – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) in its Independence Day message to the nation took strong exception to an unprecedented move in Chhattisgarh where 50 villages passed a resolution in Gram Sabha, denying entry to Christian priests in the villages.

“The move was fortunately foiled by the timely intervention of the District Administration,” said the CBCI statement, ‘Appeal for Peace’, released on August 12.

It urged the Central Government and the State Governments to “keep constant vigil over such sinister moves designed to weaken the very character and nature of our secular and democratic Constitution.”

Local media had reported last month that Gram Sabhas of more than 50 villages in Bastar and Jagdalpur districts have passed resolutions outlawing non-Hindu religions from villages in these districts.

The district collector Ankit Anand called a meeting of various Christian leaders on July 23 on the issue of resolutions. He later said that only three gram panchayats passed the controversial resolutions.

Anand reportedly told Christians that while he cannot challenge the resolutions, he is initiating peace committees to resolve the issue. He had told the media, “Any resolution by village council banning people from any particular religion or community from the village is legally null and void.”

The CBCI statement also expressed deep concern and anxiety over “certain statements made by responsible and highly placed persons in the Judiciary favoring particular religion and its sacred books to be included in the school curriculum.”

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