Gerald Castelino, a Catholic Advocate from Mysore reflects on the recent attacks on Christians in India and makes some bold suggestions for an appropriate “Christian Protest”. He satrts off by narrating a small incident which took place during the atrocities which took place in Mangalore.
I was sitting beside a middle aged Hindu Advocate who asked me why are the Christians not protesting in Mysore (there was a procession arranged but had to be cancelled because the Police did not give permission – it’s another matter again) ? I just asked him one question, is it right what is done to Christians in Orissa and Karnataka ? He condemned the brutalities and felt very sad about the whole episode. I just told him, this is what we want, let the right thinking people know what was done is right or wrong.
I further told him, Christ was persecuted for having committed no crime, now Christians are persecuted for having committed no crime. He was stunned! He appreciated the services of Christians to India… Our silence and deeds should be greater protests than the processions!
Further, all of us have seen the way the Crucifixes being broken, either leg or hand of Christ is broken, all these churches must preserve them preferably with a note explaining what, when, why and how it happened, in the local language as well as Hindi and English to remind the atrocities we may have to face.
Why are we celebrating Christmas this year? Let there be no external celebration When our brothers and sisters are killed and thousands persecuted for their faith. Is it justified that we celebrate Christmas in grand manner?
If we keep our celebrations to Mass and family affair two messages would be clear.
First, We show our solidarity and our pain to the nation, in turn the world.
Second, Stop all external celebrations – save money and send to the victims . This affects thousands who make business. Think of cakes, sweets, decorations and parties out of Christmas are not Christians – it will affect them.
Third, we save money to help the ones who are affected.
It would be nice to do so all over India if not at least in Orissa and Karnataka. Hope our regional Bishops’ Conferneces and Ecumenical bodies would take this as a joint initiative out of repect toward the riot victims. At the same time it would send a strong peaceful message to the world.