New Delhi: Amidst veiled criticism of the Modi government by two archbishops, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today accused churches in India of conspiring with the Vatican as "contract killers to destabilise elected governments" and prop up the "puppet" ones.
Weeks within his Delhi counterpart stirred up a debate, the Archbishop of Goa and Daman Father Filipe Neri Ferrao on Monday wrote a letter to churches saying that the Constitution is in danger and most people are living in insecurity.
Reacting sharply to these letters, VHP Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain said it is now amply clear that the "churches in India are in collusion with the Vatican and is trying to create an atmosphere of distrust against the present government."
"On the contrary, Constitution of India is in danger because of the attacking political stand of the church and its agenda of religious conversions," he alleged.
"This is not the church's view-point, but a conspiracy to install governments which can run on the directions of the Vatican. Like the award-wapsi gang, the church too is acting like a contract killer to destabilise the elected governments," Jain claimed -- referring to a group of artists and academicians returning government awards in protest of perceived intolerance.
He further said that the Vatican not only denigrates the Hindus all over the world but also India as a nation and the Indian churches are acting as puppets in their hands.
"The same church remains a mute spectator when emergency was imposed in the country, Kashmiri Hindus were brutally killed in the valley and Sikhs were butchered in the 1984 riots. For the Church, these events do not put the Constitution in danger," Jain wondered.
He also questioned why does the church behave in this fashion only when BJP-led government is in office.
"A malicious campaign about attacks on churches was made by these people when Modi ji took over as Prime Minister. When their falsehood was exposed, they did not show the courtesy by apologising for the same," Jain added.
In a controversial letter addressed to all the churches in the national capital, the Archbishop of Delhi had last month said that there was a "turbulent political atmosphere" in the country which "threatens" democracy and secularism.
Archbishop Anil Couto, in his letter dated May 8, has also urged all the priests in Delhi to "pray for the country" ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha election, in which the BJP hopes to retain power.
"We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our constitution and the secular fabric of our nation," Archbishop Couto had said in his letter.
The letter had triggered a sharp response from the ruling BJP.