ASIA/INDIA - The Bishops of Gujarat: "In the elections the secular and democratic fabric of our Country is at stake"

Friday, 24 November 2017 hinduism   extremism   politics   violence   christianity   local churches   secularism   democracy   religious minorities   human rights   episcopal conferences  

Gandhinagar (Agenzia Fides) - The forthcoming legislative elections in the state of Gujarat (Western India) will affect the future of our country. We are aware that the secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake, where human rights are violated and constitutional rights trampled. There are episodes in which churches are attacked, ecclesiastical staff, faithful or institutions are affected. There is growing sense of insecurity among minorities. Nationalist forces are about to conquer the country. The election results of the State Assembly of Gujarat can make a difference": this is what Mgr. Thomas Ignatius Macwan, Archbishop of Gandhinagar, in the state of Gujarat says in a message sent to Agenzia Fides, who on behalf of the bishops of the state has invited all the faithful to pray for the elections to be held in the state in December.
"The results of these elections are significant and will have repercussions in our beloved nation", says Mgr. Macwan in the message sent to all communities.
"The Bishops of the State of Gujarat invite you to organize prayer liturgies in your parishes and convents, hoping that the people who are elected will remain faithful to our Indian constitution and respect every human being without any discrimination". The letter invites to pray the Rosary at an individual, community, family and parish level. "The Rosary prayer has proved more than once a true protective weapon", reads the text.
The Archbishop recalled many historical episodes that can testify the strength of the Rosary, claiming that "prayer will save our country" and recalling that "the Lord Jesus, while he was in the garden of Gethsemane, asked his disciples to watch over him and pray. We take his advice seriously", he notes.
Even Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Bishops' Conference of India, also invited "to rely on our Lord Jesus and to ask for his help, relying on Mary’s great support".
The Electoral Commission of Gujarata set December 9 and 14 as the date for elections in the State of origin of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has governed Gujarat since 1989. Polling will be held in 89 seats across 19 districts under the first phase and 93 seats in 14 districts in the next round. The vote count will be on December 18th. The BJP currently governs in 18 of the 29 states in India. (PN/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 24/11/2017)



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