Will Europe hear the cry of Indian Christians?

Marek Jurek

The news about persecutions of Christians in India is still alarming. Christ’s believers are murdered and their places of worship are being profaned and destroyed.

The anti-Christian acts of violence in India continue and are even spread. The world remains silent: politicians hardly say anything and the media do not demand them to act. The European Union – India Summit held in September 2008 was not noticed at all. Its main subject was trade; the protection of human rights was only mentioned. Italy said that it would raise the issue of human rights in India on the forum of the European Council, the summit of the governments of the state members. So far there have been no actions and decisions. When the last meeting of the Council was approaching, which one remembers because of the ‘airplane affair’, i.e. the conflict between the President and the Prime Minister, I sent an open letter to President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk about supporting the activities for the cause of human rights of the Indian Christians on the forum of the European Union. I mean relatively simple and non-controversial political actions, which require only moral imagination and good will. Above all, the European Council should unanimously, according to the Treaty on European Union, recognise the actions for the cause of human rights in India as subject of its common foreign politics. Having this title Javier Solana, the high EU representative for foreign affairs, should fly to New Delhi on an information mission to ask on behalf of the European countries a couple of simple questions: What actions do the central government of India and the state governments undertake to protect security of the Indian Christians? Are the perpetrators of the persecutions prosecuted and punished? Does the central government influence the activities of the state authorities in this respect? Why are the groups spreading anti-Christian hatred tolerated? Have the parishes, monasteries and families that have lost their properties received compensations? India has a government chosen in elections and has been proud of its democratic tradition since the proclamation of independence. Therefore, as far as contacts with India are concerned one should refer to the principles that this country has accepted. Solana should also fly to New York to address on behalf of the European Union the UN Secretary General urging him to undertake parallel actions for the cause of human rights. The mission itself should incline the Indian government to react to the activities of the radical anti-Christian groups. Although the problem of the Indian Christians does not bring about any conflict with the government but the thing is to incline the Indian government to defend them, our authorities have not undertaken any actions. Poland, according to the doctrine of Tusk (the best thing is to behave like the others do) has adjusted to the common silence. President Kaczynski, supporting the Polish initiative concerning the external EU activities, has remained completely indifferent to this issue. This is not only a morally depressing attitude. It is also a mistake from the perspective of the Polish reason of state. Since the West protesting against violence in international and social life is in Poland’s interests. Because Poland’s independence is secure only in the secure world. And the foundation of common safety is to preserve elementary moral principles, justice and peace in social life. Unfortunately, there is a strong relationship between the Union’s tolerance towards the Russian invasion against Georgia and its tolerance to the anti-Christian persecutions in India. Solidarity towards the persecuted Christians is a practical, and not declarative, expression of Christian identity of Europe.

"Niedziela" 48/2008

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl