ASIA/INDIA - White Paper on Religious Minorities: satisfaction for government attention to rights of Christians

Friday, 11 March 2005

New Delhi (Fides Service) - Christians in India have welcomed a recent “White Paper on Religious Minorities” approved the Indian government. The paper, which will be published soon, makes a global analysis of the situation of religious communities in India, offers an overall picture of the main social, political and religious problems affecting minorities and aims to identify forms of intervention and plausible solutions to stop inter-community violence which now and then explodes in various states of India.
In a recent joint statement the All India Catholic Union, comprising Catholics lay associations and movements and the ecumenical organisation All India Christian Council said the government should a allocate a larger economic budget for programmes of social, economic and cultural development of minority groups, often among the poorest sectors of the population. They also said that according to the last census in India in 2001, many Christian communities live in remote rural areas, have difficult access to education, or, as Tribals and Dalits they relegated to the margins of social and political life.
A call for respect for the rights of Dalit Christians was expressed by the United Dalit Forum, created to support Indians without caste. During a seminar organised with various commissions, Catholic, Protestant and Muslim, the United Dalit Forum said it fully supported the cause of Christian Dalits, Forum who suffered double discrimination on the basis of caste and religion.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/3/2005 righe 28 parole 245)