Monday 24 June 2019

Christian schools to celebrate Christmas 'at own risk'

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PA
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PA

Rahul Bedi

A Right-wing Hindu revivalist organisation has warned Christian missionary schools in northern India that they celebrate Christmas at "their own risk" as it claimed Hindu children were being "lured" to Christianity.

In a letter to several Christian-run schools in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, 170km south-east of the capital New Delhi, the Hindu Jagran Manch stated that Christmas is "essentially a ploy to lure and convert Hindu children".

Sonu Savita, the local head of the organisation, which is loosely affiliated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government, said that the warning against celebrating Christmas was not directed against Christians, but at a Christian festival being foisted upon Hindu children in their schools.

"No school has a majority of Christian students. So why do these schools where Hindus are in a majority celebrate Christmas?" he asked.

Mr Savita also said that the schools were asking Hindu schoolchildren to take toys and presents to celebrate Christmas which he declared was the "easy way to lure them to Christianity".

The provincial government has ordered the police to ensure a peaceful Christmas for Aligarh's small Christian community, many of whom fear violence if they celebrate their biggest festival.

Christians constitute around 2.3pc of India's population.

Irish Independent

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