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Asian Bishops condemn attack on Buddhist Temple
New Delhi, 09 July 2013: "The Asian Bishops strongly condemn the violence against Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya. They also condemn the mentality of division, discrimination and communalism that breeds violence. They demand a serious commitment with regards to inter-religious harmony and justice, especially towards the poor and towards minorities", said Fr. Nithiya Sagayam, Executive Secretary of the Office for Human Development in the "Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences" to Fides News Agency, expressing the position of the Federation on the assassination attempt on Sunday morning, July 7, hit the sacred complex of "Bodh Gaya" in the Indian state of Bihar. This is the most important Buddhist shrine in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to preliminary investigations on the attack, the violence seems to be of Islamic matrix, which could be connected to the violence that Muslims are suffering in Myanmar by Buddhist extremists.
Fr. Sagayam, who is also director of "Udhayam," a Center for Peace started by the Capuchin friars in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, reiterated the importance of working at a local level: "Every bishop in his diocese is called to work for peace, reconciliation, harmony and social justice. It is important that this work is carried out in different areas, in different dioceses, in many Asian nations. Asia is a continent that needs peace as a prerequisite for authentic human development, respectful of the dignity of every person", he added.
Archbishop William D’Souza of Patna has condemned the serial bomb blasts that rocked the holiest Buddhist shrine in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, where Buddha attained enlightenment.
The series of bomb blasts in the vicinity of Buddhist temple in Gaya, the abode of peace, have completely shocked us and we are deeply pained,” the prelate said.
He said that the blasts seems to be a well-planned effort to disturb the communal peace in the state by some misguided and anti-social elements.
He appealed to the union and state governments to urgently intervene and restore justice, peace and harmony in the area.