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Goa: Christian priest incites people by claiming minorities will be burnt if BJP returns to power

The Church continues to interfere in politics.

In what seems to be another attempt to influence elections through religious politics, a Goan Padre has issued communal and hatred sermons to his followers by claiming that Christians in Goa will be burnt if BJP returns back to power.

In a sermon which was given by the priest in Konkani in a church in Goa, he was caught using his position to indulge in fear-mongering and incite people against the BJP. He could be heard saying that the BJP people have poured petrol on children and burnt them alive.

The Christian padre further claimed that in future children and grandchildren will pay the price for supporting the BJP. “Petrol was poured on Christian children and they were burnt. They were told to stop taking Jesus’ name. But the children continued to take the name of the Jesus, even when their skin melted with the fire. This is the BJP.”

He also intimidated the independent media by stating that most of the media have taken money from the BJP. Calling BJP President Amit Shah a “satan”, the priest said, “When he was a home minister, a priest had come, he told that Amit Shah used to arrest Muslim youngsters and shoot them, and he would say, they were shot because they were running away.”

“Modi has burnt alive thousands of Muslims in Gujarat, including a Member of Parliament. He set fire to the house. Everyone was burnt alive including five women. This is Modi and the BJP,” said the Padre.

The Padre also resorted to false propaganda by stating a fiction, when he said, “For 500 years under Portuguese rule, Hindus, Muslims and Christians lived in peace’, quite conveniently forgetting the Goan Inquisition which is believed to be one of the most merciless and cruel ever.

Moreover, he even went on to abuse former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who passed away recently following a long battle with cancer.

He said that Parrikar changed the law on holiday of Francis Xavier and hence died in pain.

The Christian religious bodies exert a huge influence on the politics of Goa through the so-called ‘secular’ political parties like Congress. In 2017, a Congress leader named Aleixo Sequeira was forced to resign from the party after the Church began to influence against his candidacy in the elections. The Supreme Court had banned canvassing for votes in the name of religion, caste or language. However, the Church seems to have found and exploited a loophole to interfere in the elections. Instead of asking people to ‘vote’ for a particular candidate or a party, the Church seems to have resorted to telling people whom not to vote.

This is not the first time that the religious bodies especially Christian bodies have begun to indulge in resorting to hate mongering to aid “secular” political parties. Last year, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Delhi, Anil Couto, has issued a letter to the Catholics in India. The letter, which was read in all the parishes under the Delhi Archdiocese calls for the Catholics of India to start a campaign of fasting and prayers for the upcoming general elections in 2019.

For organisations that claim that maintenance of the secular fabric of the nation is their only concern, the hatred against BJP and particularly PM Narendra Modi is far too apparent. Not just the general elections, the church has been far too concerned about many state elections too. In the run-up to the Gujrat elections, the Gandhinagar Archbishop sent a similar communique which urged the Christians to save the country from ‘nationalistic forces’.

Before the Nagaland Assembly elections, the Nagaland Baptist Church Council had also urged the believers to choose between ‘Trishul and the Cross.’ The Trishul was not their only concern either. In one earlier instance, they had called Yoga a deeply Hindu practice and had asked their believers to stay away from it. Ahead of the Goa elections, a Catholic magazine asked the voters in the state not to vote for the BJP and claimed that the country is facing a ‘constitutional holocaust’.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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