Calling Catholics to Join Silent Human Chain against Anti-Conversion Bill on 2 March

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Calling All Catholics to Join the Silent Human Chain in Protest against Anti-Conversion Bill and other issues like- attacks on Christians/Catholics, Demolition of a prayer centre in Kuloor/Panjemogaru ; Demolition of Jesus Christ statue in Bengaluru etc, on Wednesday 2 March 2022 from 6 pm-7m. Candles, papal flags & placards will be provided. Please attire  in Black Dress/clothing for the protest

Mangaluru: A fact-finding report by several civil society organisations revealed that among few other states in India, Karnataka tops the list among south Indian states seeing a rise in attacks against Christians after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) proposed an anti-conversion law in the state. While 27 such attacks took place during the first 272 days of this 2021, five incidents took place between October and mid-November 2021 alone, it highlighted. The report by United Christian Forum (UCF), Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), and United Against Hate also claimed that Karnataka ranks third among states with the most number of attacks on the community and their places of worship in India.

According to the report that took into account calls made to UCF, as of September 2021, the helpline recorded 305 cases across the country. The calls comprised complaints mentioning mob attacks (288 cases), and damage to places of worship (28 cases). As many as 1,331 women, 588 tribals, and 513 Dalits were injured in these attacks, as per the report. Further, it noted that the police did not allow congregations in at least 85 instances this year (2021).

The frequency of such cases have increased in the state since the government’s proposal for an anti-conversion law began. There have been incidents of vandalism, false accusations, and forced arrests from the state in separate incidents from Udupi, DK, Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Chitradurga, and Bengaluru districts. President of the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council, Reverend Peter Machado, after releasing the report, noted that Karnataka seems to have “lost its humanity despite being known for progressive politics and (Bengaluru) being the IT hub of the country”.

And here in Mangaluru, a SILENT HUMAN CHAIN PROTEST has been organized on Ash Wednesday, 2nd, March, 2022 from 6 pm to 7 pm in Mangalore Diocese. Catholic Sabha along with all its local branches in the district is also the part of this candle light human chain on the roads and highways outside all churches throughout Dakshina Kannada district as a mark of peaceful protest against the Anti Conversion Bill proposed by the Government of Karnataka, and also against other issues like atrocities committed on Christians, destruction of 40 year old Christian prayer hall at Kuloor, Mangaluru, destruction of the statue of Jesus Christ in Bengaluru. The silent protest will urge the Government to drop the bill as it is in clear violation of our Constitutional Rights and also it can be misused and the Christian community will have to face a lot of hardships.  President of Catholic Sabha Stanley Lobo and PRO of Mangalore Diocese, Roy Castelino have urged all community members to participate in the protest.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, parish priest of St Francis Xavier Church, Bejai, Mangaluru Fr J B Saldanha said, “Bejai Parish will also join the human chain protest from the Blueberry Hills junction near Bondel to PVS junction and Bunts Hostel Circle to PVS junction. The sentiments of Christian Community have been hurt because of the discriminatory implications of anti-conversion bill placed in the assembly and demolition of Christian places of worship. We request all our Parishioners kindly to join in this Human Chain formation within the boundaries of our parish. Gurkar’s will be coordinating the Human Chain Formation with the help of the Parish Pastoral Council, the ICYM & YCS Youth, Spiritual Committee members and the Parish Commission for Justice”.

Fr Saldanha further said, “We shall have 8 spots in our route, each spot will have 4 youths, they will be in the spot at 5:30 pm and will help in distributing the candles with cups, Papal Flags, Placards and water bottles. We shall stand on the right side of the road going down from the Church to PVS. We shall all keep a distance of one meter or  two arm distance between each other. We shall hold a candle or a papal flag or a placard, which will be provided. After the protest, at 7pm, we shall hand over the candles, Papal Flags and Placards to the youths and the water bottles in the garbage bags. While being in the Chain, we shall recite Rosary and sing hymns. We shall not disturb any traffic movement. We shall maintain Black as our dress code” .

8 spots in Bejai Church route: 

Blueberry Hills Junction to KPT Junction : 

Yeyyadi-KPT-Barebail Vyasanagar- Nodu

KPT Junction to Bejai Church :

Nod Kadri-Museum A- Battagfudda-Bejai Church A

Bejai Church to KSRTC :

Church B-Bejai New Road-Anegundi

KSRTC to Lalbagh :

Museum B-Pais Garden

Lalbagh to Ballabagh :

Sankaigudda- C M Lower

Ballabagh to Canara College :

C M Upper-Lalbagh- Kapikad Lower

Canara College to PVS Junction :

Kapikad Upper- Kodialbail

Bunts Hostel Circle to PVS Junction :

Shedigudde- Kadri- Karangalpady- Kodialguthu

Calling all leaders and members and also the faithful who work to promote Peace and Solidarity within our Christian community and Society at large. The Catholic community is pained that our Christian places  of worship have been desecrated and demolished by people who cause divisions and disharmony in the society. Under the pretext of an anti-conversion bill, Christians are targeted and suspicion  raised against our service-minded community. With this our fundamental rights are violated Therefore, join the silent protest organised by Catholic Sabha and Concerned leaders of Catholic Community by forming a Human Chain on Wednesday, 2nd March, from 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm opposing all sorts of atrocities against Christians/Catholics.

It will be a silent protest standing on the footpath by the side of main roads with social distance, by way of forming human chains and having lighted candles and placards. The Catholic Community request our political leaders and beurocrats  to be sensitive to the discrimination faced by our Christian community. Their (Catholic community) concern is about the threats to their  fundamental rights and rights given to us in the Constitution. Kindly requesting to give a united witness of faith and solidarity for the Human Chain Protest, this evening ( Wednesday 2 March 2022, 6 pm till 7 pm)

Note : Photos for Illustration Only 

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