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ICC Note: A twitter storm has erupted in India following a letter written by the Archbishop of Goa and Daman claiming the Indian constitution is under threat. Specifically, the Archbishop expressed concern over the rise of religious intolerance under the BJP-led government and claimed the secular nature of India was under threat. Hindu nationalists and BJP supporters quickly condemned the Archbishop’s letter and claimed the Church was attempting to meddle in politics.

06/07/2018 India (Gulf News) – Indian Twitter users took to the platform to debate whether secularism was under threat in India or were religions institution like churches, interfering in the country’s politics.

On June 5, #ChurchAttacksModi was used by some tweeps in India after the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Father Filipe Neri Ferrao on Monday wrote a letter to churches saying that the Constitution is in danger and most people are living in insecurity.

The Indian daily, Times of India, reported that: “Reacting sharply to these letters, VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad) Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain said it is now amply clear that the ‘churches in India are in collusion with the Vatican and are trying to create an atmosphere of distrust against the present government’.”

The VHP is an Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist organization based on the ideology of Hindutva.

Some took to Twitter to say that the allegation was ridiculous and that Christians had the right to voice their concerns. Twitter user @RodriguesLyndon posted: “Christians are just 2.3 per cent of the total population in India. How can the government get on the edge with them? Can they not voice their concerns?”

Tweep @JacquelineDsou4 wrote: “The Catholic Church in India should not hesitate to speak out what they feel… India is not a country only for Hindus but for every caste, creed, race, religion as enshrined in our constitution.”

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