- Dec 14, 2019
Christians and Hindus must resist pessimism and instead draw from and add to the “a hidden sea of goodness” that convinces many men and women around the world that peace and brotherhood are possible, said a Vatican message for the Hindu feast of Diwali.
Christians and Hindus are bound by their belief in human dignity and share a responsibility to help those in need, said the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
In a time when the world is mired in conflicts, religious leaders have a duty to show that it is possible to set aside differences and work together for the common good, Pope Francis said.
Compared to 2016, attacks against Christians in India by Hindu extremists more than doubled in 2017 amid efforts to label the religious minority a danger to the state.
Bishops in India have been told the Church must “move away from being content with doling out some schemes and programs” for Dalits – those at the bottom of Hinduism’s caste system formerly known as “untouchables” – and work to develop “a deeper understanding of the causes and manifestations of deprivation, discrimination and exclusion of Dalit Christians within the Church, by the larger society and by the State.”
The Catholic bishops in India joined with the country’s National Council of Churches to institute Dalit Liberation Sunday every second Sunday of November. The former “untouchables” have suffered discrimination for centuries, but those who are Christians suffer additional marginalization, as well as losing eligibility for government assistance programs available to other Dalits.