'Prez, Sonia were happy over PM Modi's statement against religious violence'
A top Church leader on Wednesday said President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were "happy" that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a statement against religious violence.
New Delhi: A top Church leader on Wednesday said President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were "happy" that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a statement against religious violence.
The supreme head of Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, told reporters that the President and the Congress chief, whom he met here today, insisted that the attack on churches in the last few weeks was "not the way India behaves".
"...President and Sonia Gandhi mentioned the statement of the Prime Minister and they all affirmed that what happened during the last few weeks and months to Christian churches is not the way Indian behaves, this is not an Indian way of treating the people in this beloved country.
The visiting church leader met President and Gandhi a day after he called on Prime Minister and discussed the issues confronting the community including all the attacks.
"I believe it was very positive from all of them, from the Prime Minister, from Sonia Gandhi and from the President. They (Mukherjee and Gandhi) were all happy that that statement was also made (by the Prime Minister)," he told reporters in response to a query on the issue.
He said he has urged political leaders to "please make sure and do all that they can to keep the spirit, the Indian spirit of tolerance, peaceful coexistence of all and do their best to keep away this ideologies of extremism and fanaticism."
The Prime Minister had said his government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith and that everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence.
Modi has been under attack from opposition and Christian groups of turning a blind eye to a string of recent attacks on five churches and a Christian school in Delhi,
"My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions," he had said at a function yesterday.