Religious Tensions Still Flaring in India

School Attacked; Politician Incites Anti-Christian Sentiment

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BHOPAL, India, AUG. 19, 2010 ( The Catholic Church in India is struggling to promote religious freedom in the nation, while recent conflicts show tensions are still flaring.

This week, a Catholic school in the central Indian Madhya Pradesh state was attacked by a group suspected to be members of the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the political arm of pro-Hindu groups.

The school attack, however, is thought to have been incited by staff seeking higher pay.

Furniture, computers and windows were destroyed, but the vandalism happened before students were on the grounds.

Meanwhile to the south, Christians are protesting a call to «weed out Christians» from the nation, attributed to a Hindu politician.
 Two Catholic converts were expelled from a predominantly Baptist village, Phokhungri, because the local council dictates that only Baptists can live there.

The Catholic Association of Nagaland is appealing on their behalf to the state government.

Nagaland is 90% Christian, mostly Baptist. Catholics run several schools and other institutions around the state.

India has been a hotbed of religious tensions — primarily Hindu-Christian conflict — since 2008, when the murder of a Hindu politician was attributed to Christians. That event set off underlying tension that has existed in India for generations.

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