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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-05-06 16:32:10
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Card. Gracias urges India to safeguard Religious Freedom

06 May, 2013 - "To discriminate against religious beliefs, will eventually destabilize society and is detrimental to the progress of our beloved country." This opinion was expressed by Indian Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), regarding the latest report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The U.S. organization has added India to level 2 of its ranking among the countries where violations of religious freedom are growing and of serious concern. Expressing his concern and unhappiness over the Commission’s findings, Cardinal Gracias told AsiaNews that India must take steps to ensure that the Rights are not infringed upon in any way, and that the minorities are safeguarded to practice, profess and propagate their faith freely. “Right to religious freedom is enshrined in our Constitution,” he said, adding, “spirituality is an intrinsic part of Indian culture and life and it is urgent and essential that government bodies, the laws and practices uphold religious freedom.” He noted that India’s credibility among nations will be ensured if the country’s most vulnerable and minorities are guaranteed the fundamental-international human right of Religious Freedom. As the nation is gearing up for next year’s general elections, Cardinal Gracias, as president of India’s Catholic Bishops urged political parties not to exploit religion for political purposes, and to guarantee and ensure Religious Freedom to each and every citizen especially religious minorities throughout India. “To discriminate against religious beliefs, or to discredit religious practice, is exclusion contrary to respect for fundamental human dignity that will eventually destabilize society by creating a climate of tension, intolerance, opposition, and suspicion not conducive to social peace and be detrimental to the progress of our beloved country," Cardinal Gracias added. (Source: AsiaNews)


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