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ICC Note: Hindu radicals in India’s Madhya Pradesh state have continued their attempts to raid Christian educational institutions. Last month, a mob of 800 radicals attempted to perform Hindu rituals on St. Mary’s College’s campus by force. Police had to be called to intervene. Local Christian leadership claims these attempts to raid the college are meant to create social rifts along religious lines for political gain.

02/13/2018 India (UCAN) – Hindu hardliners have stepped up their intimidation of Christian educational institutions in India, not least of all Catholic colleges.

In one recent case, a large number of hardliners were used to break through a security cordon with the aim of performing a nationalistic ritual.

Braving the wintry early January winds, armed police guarded St. Mary’s College in Vidisha of Madhya Pradesh state in central India.

Some 800 young Hindu men entered the campus, some by scaling walls, but police managed to stop them from performing a purportedly patriotic ritual in front of students.

The Bharat Mata Aarti ritual can entail a personification of Mother India represented by the Hindu goddess Durga.

However, Archbishop Leo Cornelio, head of the Catholic Church in the troubled state, said the attempt had nothing to do with patriotism.

Attempts to discredit church institutions were aimed at gaining control over them, he warned.

The archbishop noted that Catholic schools and colleges run on secular lines are allowed under the nation’s constitution.

“No one can take that right from us,” Archbishop Cornelio said.

Hindu militants were trying to impose their own distorted version of nationalism on others in order to create social rifts for political gain, he told

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