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10/12/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – Church leaders in India have condemned a statement by RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat in which the Hindu nationalist leader said the word “lynching” comes from the Bible. Church leaders pointed out that this misquotation by the RSS leader only further incites suspicion and hate for India’s persecuted Christian minority.

Speaking at a Vijayadashami celebration in Nagpur, Bhagwat claimed that lynching was a term and issue alien to India and Hinduism. The RSS leader went on to attribute the word lynching to the Bible, referencing a passage in which Jesus told people that they could hit a woman with stones only if they had never committed any sins in their past.

Issuing a formal statement against the RSS leaders misquotation, Asir Ebenezer, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), said, “The National Council of Churches in India condemns the misquoting of the Bible by Mohan Bhagwat to justify the term mob lynching. We are shocked that such statements which has the potential to divide communities on religious lines are made in public for a. We appeal to all people not to be carried away by such misrepresentations or misinterpretation which are often done with political intentions.

Ebenezer continued, “Jesus was no way justifying lynching or any such heinous acts. Rather the said incident from the Bible was as an expression of Jesus’s mercy and compassion towards victims of the elitist narratives of the society of his day. Quite contrary to what Bhagwat suggests, Jesus was in fact saving an accused woman from the wrath of the mob in the said passage.

The issue of mob lynching has become headline news in India in recent years. Members of India’s religious minority communities have become the victims of mob lynchings often instigated by radical Hindu nationalists.

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