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ICC Note:

A government panel in India’s Madhya Pradesh state has made a move against both Christian and other minority schools in the state. The panel has decided to review its decision to allow Christians schools to be run autonomously, which was allowed previously so that minorities could educate their communities in a way they saw fit. Many church leaders in Madhya Pradesh have claimed this move by the government has been taken to specifically target Christians. The current ruling political party is the BJP which is known for its Hindu nationalist platform. Many Christians have claimed that intolerance and persecution have risen dramatically against their communities since the BJP took power in 2014. 

4/18/2016 India (UCAN) – An official panel has recommended that the minority status given to educational institutions in India’s Madhya Pradesh state be reassessed, a move that church leaders said is part of an anti-Christian agenda pushed by the state’s ruling Hindu nationalist party.

The state minority commission, a government-appointed team to protect the interests of religious and linguistic minorities, last week recommended the government investigate the certificates of minority-run educational institutions in the state.

Church leaders said the commission’s recommendation is aimed at curtailing the freedom and autonomy of their schools, which were established following a constitutional guarantee given to religious and linguistic minorities to establish and run such institutions.

A certified minority institution also enjoys certain amount of autonomy in staff appointments and student admissions.

The move can be seen as part of anti-Christian agenda and it “halt the standard of the education in the state,” said Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal reacting to the news of the state minority commission’s recommendation.

“It is highly disappointing to note that the minority panel has given a report against the minorities to the state government,” said Father Maria Stephen, spokesman for the regional bishops’ council.

“The minority commission is meant for protecting and promoting the welfare of the minority institutions but by this move it has failed to do its duty,” Father Stephen said.

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