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ICC Note:

Recently, the Catholic Bishops Council of India released an open letter to the country’s Prime Minister asking for the removal of the Chief Minister of Jharkhand state. The letter specifically addressed several incidents in which the Chief Minister participated in the spread of religious intolerance in Jharkhand. In the letter, the church leaders fear that this spread of religious intolerance will soon spill over into physical violence. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India are being reported at record highs. In just the first six months of 2017, Christians across India have already endured 410 separate attacks.  

09/14/2017 India (Telegraph India)The apex body of Roman Catholic Christians in India today appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “curb the spread of hatred by CM Raghubar Das” a month after the Jharkhand government passed a bill restricting religious conversions on August 12.

In his strongly worded letter, Catholic Bishops Council of India (CBCI) secretary-general Theodore Mascarenhas said he was compelled to write to Modi as he was disturbed over the politics of hate unleashed in Jharkhand.

Mascarenhas said Modi had personally campaigned before elections in Jharkhand in 2014 on the inclusive plank of sab ka saath, sab ka vikas that “made Raghubar Das the chief minister of the state”, but Das had begun “vitriolic attacks against the Christian community”.

“If the chief minister is unable to control his ideological hatred, then it is time for him to go,” he said.

Calling last week’s effigy burning of Ranchi archbishop Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo by Hindu Jagran Manch his trigger for the letter today, Mascarenhas expressed apprehension that this hatred being spread against Christians could soon “turn into physical violence”.

He reminded the Prime Minister that the whole nation “applauded” him when on Independence Day this year he said violence couldn’t be allowed in the name of faith.

“Mr Raghubar Das and his advisors at least in the past few months have not shown affiliation to the ideology you are proclaiming. I appeal to you, honorable Prime Minister, with trust and hope to intervene and curb the spread of hate created by the chief minister of Jharkhand. Jharkhandis and Jharkhand deserves better,” the senior cleric said.

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