Centre harassing Christians: TN Bishop Council



Chennai: As the Centre launched crackdown on some NGOs for allegedly fuelling protests over Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Christian leaders today said government should stop harassing the Christian minority and withdraw "negative injunctions".

"We request the Prime Minister to stop harassing the Christian minority and withdraw negative injunctions issued in lieu of Tuticorin Diocese and grant appropriate relief," A M Chinnappa, Archbishop of Madras Mylapore and President of Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council said in a statement here.

Home Ministry officials had frozen the bank account of 'Tuticorin Diocesan Association' on February 9, after they raided its premises between January 11 and 13.

Denying Centre's allegations, he said they were pained with the action of the government which is "trying to mislead the country giving an impression that the Church is against the national and public interest, playing into the hands of foreign powers."

"It is sheer innuendo and slander," he said.

Defending the Church's association with protestors against Kudankulam Plant, he said it was "the moral involvement with the people and if the government is able to convince the people and allay the fears, the Church in no way will stand against any decision."

Talking to reporters, Bishop of Tuticorin Diocese Yvon Ambrose said, "... When my people suffer, as a Bishop I am with them. Because I am in sympathy with them, you cannot say I am inciting...."

"We are unable to understand why government is implicating me personally and the Diocese, as if we are the principal instigators. ..All religions are involved in it. Why only Christian community should be targetted we don't understand..," he said.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had said in Delhi recently cases had been filed against four NGOs after it was found prima facie that they were involved in diversion of foreign funds from the purpose for which they were received.

PTI