Indian Christians Protest Against Modi After Nun's Rape, Attacks

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Image: INDIA-RELIGION-RAPE-WOMEN-CRIME
Nuns stand next to the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat, north of Kolkata,India, on March 15, as police stand guard during investigations into the gang-rape of a 71-year-old nun at the convent.AFP - Getty Images

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KOLKATA, India — Christians in India said on Monday that the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not done enough to protect their religion, after a spate of attacks including the rape of a 75-year-old nun at the weekend.

Christians prayed and held vigils across the country to protest against the rape during an armed assault on a convent school, the worst in a series of incidents that followers of the faith say are making them feel unwelcome in their own country. Father Savari Muthu, spokesman for the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese and a national Church organizer, said the government had not taken "concrete action to protect Christians.”

"We have to raise our voice against the atrocities. Christians will not tolerate this humiliation," he said, joining critics who say Modi has not done enough to ensure religious harmony in a country with a history of inter-faith bloodshed.

Opposition lawmakers in the upper house of parliament on Monday said the attack could damage the secular fabric of the country, where about a fifth of 1.27 billion people identify themselves as belonging to faiths other than Hinduism. The large majority of those are Muslims. Since December, half a dozen churches have been vandalized, at the same time as conservative groups have campaigned to convert to Hinduism members of "foreign religions" such as Islam and Christianity.

IN-DEPTH

—Reuters

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