01/04/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – Christian leaders in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are applauding efforts by the new state government to promote interfaith harmony. Many Indian Christians hope these efforts will confront Hindu radicals who operated with near impunity under the previous state government.
In November 2018, the Congress Party defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Madhya Pradesh state elections. The BJP had ruled Madhya Pradesh for the past 15 years and oversaw a regime that tolerated one of the most religiously hostile states in India. Hundreds of violent anti-Christian and anti-Muslim incidents were annually reported from Madhya Pradesh under BJP rule.
The new Congress Party-led government is seeking the change that situation. According to reports, the state’s new chief minister, Kamal Nath, has decided to form a ministry to strengthen inter-communal harmony and religious amity. This was announced in a Congress Party communique on December 29.
Christian leaders in Madhya Pradesh have applauded this move by the new chief minister. Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal told UCA News that the new ministry would be worthwhile as Madhya Pradesh has historically been fractured by hate.
“The ministry can help heal such misgivings against religious communities and ensure peace and respect to all,” Archbishop Cornelio told UCA News.
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