Thursday, April 06, 2006

Anti Conversion Law to be adopted in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Nuns evicted from leprosarium

Here is the link. (link)

Anti-Christian violence has been growing in this area of India over the past few years. A quote:

Although different in nature, the second episode is even more disquieting and violent. It concerns the confiscation by the state of Gujarat of a leprosarium in Ahmadabad and the sacking of six Catholic nuns in charge of the institution and their eviction from the Ave Maria Convent which was their home for the past 60 years.

The nuns’ link to the place dates back to 1949 shortly after independence when Bombay authorities invited a Jesuit clergyman, Father Villalonga, to help stop leprosy in the city of Ahmadabad. With the help of Franciscan sisters from Kumbakonam, led by Sister Naemi, he set out building the facility. The authorities and the local bishop signed a five-year, renewable agreement, setting up a government-funded leprosy hospital.

After 60 years, the nuns’ work has become legendary and in all of this time the agreement was always renewed without problems . . . until last month that is.

Dayal explains that whilst the sisters had no reason to suspect anything untoward when the local Health Commission requested a review of the permit, they knew something was really wrong when the government sent them a letter informing them that a lay doctor would take over the management of the facility giving them two days to vacate the convent. In a letter formally announcing that the permit was not being renewed, the Health Commission said that the decision had come from a higher authority.

Even though the “victims are not the nuns, but the hapless patients,” writes Dayal, “it is clear why they were sacked, dispossessed of their home and thrown out of the hospital. For their religion! [. . .] A leprosarium is hardly the place for evangelization.”

These women have done such great work, but now it seems that they will not be allowed to assist these poor individuals anymore. The letter from John Dayal sums it all up:

In concluding his appeal, Dayal writes: “Dear Prime Minister, the time has come for a serious look at this pattern of hate against Christians. This is not the average communal riot or victimization which sporadically bursts out, and then dies out. This is a sustained terror campaign against our community, even if each incident is separated from the next in space and time. May I request [. . .] that the Union Government [. . .] consider comprehensive political and administrative measures that send out the correct signals to the guilty, and extend assurances to the victims.”

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