Vatican City: The Vatican on Thursday asked Hindus
to fight "hateful propaganda" and allow Christians to practise
their religion freely, in a message delivered to mark the
upcoming festival of light, Diwali.
The message, signed by the head and deputy head of the
Pontifical Council for Interreligious dialogue, Cardinal
Jean-Louis Tauran and Pier Luigi Celata.
The letter also came a week before a meeting of religious
leaders to be hosted by Pope Benedict XVI in Assisi in Italy.
Seven Hindus, including Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of
Mahatma Gandhi, are expected to attend.
Tauran and Celata said Diwali, which is celebrated every
year on October 26, "marks the victory of truth over lies, of
light over dark, of good over evil."
They called for Hindus and Catholics alike to work for
religious freedom in the face of "prejudices, hateful
propoganda, discrimination and persecution based on faith."
Religious freedom meant liberty "to profess, practise and
spread one`s religion, in public or in private, alone or in a
community," they said.