Thousands of Catholics from several churches in Garo Hills joined together in prayer in a day of protest against the increasing atrocities on Christians and other minorities in North India in the hands of right wing groups.
During the sermon on Jan. 7, the day of protest, priests from the five districts of Garo Hills called on Catholics to continue praying for Christians in India and for the attacks against them to stop. They also discussed the recent attacks on believers in Madhya Pradesh, where right wing groups assaulted seminarians for holding Christmas Carol activities, The Shillong Times detailed.
"Such cases of attacks on Christians are worrying. We need to be cautious and concerned," said Fr. Theodore Sangma during his sermon at the Sacred Heart Church Shrine in Tura. "We must all stand together and pray for peace and harmony in our country."
In addition, Fr. Sangma called on the faithful to pray for Christian persecutors as well that they may experience true peace in God.
Washington-based persecution lobby group International Christian Concern has documented at least 23 religiously motivated attacks on believers in India during this recent Christmas period. The group said several Christians were injured, hospitalized, or jailed as a result of these attacks, Christian Today relayed.
On Dec. 20, Catholic Bishops' Conference of India president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said the trust of Christians in the Indian government has been marred because of the recent string of attacks on them. ICC regional manager William Stark said the holiday persecution of believers shows how radical Hindus in the country disregard its own constitution, which supposedly guarantees citizens' freedom of religion.
Moreover, Stark noted that Hindu nationalists have become bolder in their attempts to stop Christians from celebrating Christmas. He marked last year's Christmas season as one of the most violent in the recent history for believers in India.