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Kerala Catholic Churches remind ‘brutal assaults’ by ‘powers of darkness’

Kerala Catholic Churches remind ‘brutal assaults’ by ‘powers of darkness’

In a Good Friday message, prominent bishops in Kerala raised alarm over what they termed as "brutal assaults" on the Christian community in Manipur and other parts of North India, attributing the attacks to the "powers of darkness."

The messages, delivered by Archbishop Thomas J Netto of the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Catholic Archdiocese and Mar Thomas Tharayil, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Changanassery, emphasized the need for unity among Christians to combat what they perceive as threats to religious minorities, according to a report published in The Indian Express.

Archbishop Netto, speaking at the Cathedral Church in Kerala's capital, condemned the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, framing it as a divisive tool fostering a narrow religion-based agenda.

He called upon Christian churches to unite, stressing the importance of safeguarding the constitutional rights of religious minorities. Similarly, Bishop Tharayil highlighted the significance of ensuring a fear-free existence for minorities in the country, asserting that the failure to do so reflects poorly on the nation as a whole.

The timing of these messages coincides with the BJP’s concerted efforts to court Christian voters in Kerala ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. With initiatives like plans to visit Christian households across the state, the BJP's outreach aims to sway a significant electorate, particularly in constituencies like Thiruvananthapuram, where Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar is a candidate.

The Thiruvananthapuram Latin Catholic Archdiocese holds substantial influence in the constituency, primarily comprising fisherfolk from the Latin Catholic community. Archbishop Netto's recent circular, distributed across churches under his jurisdiction, further underscored concerns about the safety of minorities amidst reported attacks.

Meanwhile, a controversial move by the Manipur government to designate Easter Sunday as a working day stirred controversy in Kerala's political arena. The decision, perceived as insensitive given Manipur's sizable Christian population, drew sharp criticism from Kerala's Congress party, using it as an opportunity to condemn the BJP, which governs Manipur. F

Following backlash from both Kerala and Manipur, the order was amended to declare only Saturday, March 30th, a working day, while Easter Sunday will remain a holiday.

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