Church in India Offers to Mediate Between Hindus and Muslims

NEW DELHI, India, MARCH 15, 2002 ( Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi said the Catholic Church in India is available to intervene between Hindus and Muslims to solve the Ayodhya dispute, the SAR news agency reported.

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Four hundred people died in clashes between Hindus and Muslims, when a train carrying Hindus to build a temple in Ayodhya was burned by Muslim extremists. In the past, Hindus had destroyed a mosque in Ayodhya.

The archbishop said that the Indian government is duty-bound to stop the World Hindu Council (VHP) from performing a symbolic religious ceremony in Ayodhya.

Archbishop Concessao said the Christians in Ayodhya have been praying for peace. The VHP had decided it would ignore a Supreme Court decision and go ahead with its plan for “puja” at the undisputed site in Ayodhya.

Archbishop Concessao, the newly elected first vice president of the Catholic Bishops´ Conference of India, said that VHP should follow the court´s verdict and avoid communal tension in the country.

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