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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Archbishop of Trivandrum: Without Hindus, India would have no Christians

Giulia Mazza, with thank to our friends in the SSJC Chapter of Youngstown-Warren, Ohio

His Beatitude Mar Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankara Church, will be made a cardinal on November 24 along with five other prelates. His appointment is "an honor and a recognition of" India and the Syro-Malankara Church.

He says:
We Christians are in India for 2 thousand years, and are very happy to say that our apostolic Church founded by St. Thomas the Apostle, is a large Christian community made up of Catholics and non-Catholics, and it has grown. For this reason, I am very grateful to our Hindu brothers and sisters. They have supported us, protected us, more than the police and the army, because we Christians are only 2.5% of the population, and the majority of the population, 89% belongs to the Hindu community. If they had not been on our side, we would not have survived here in India. They were with us and are with us. Religious radicalism is a phenomenon that belongs to every religion and every person. We can not simply say "this community is a victim of radicalism, this other community is free from it." No. Religious radicalism is a sign of selfishness. When you alone are selfish, we can talk about selfishness. When a group of people are selfish, we are talking about "communalism" [a term used in India to refer to violence by ultranationalist Hindu against other ethnic and religious communities, ed.] So, sometimes, when certain incidents occur in some parts of the world, people believe it is persecution based on religion. I believe we should always be very careful, because sometimes a small, local matter, which is based on other problems, can degenerate hidden behind religious reasons. This fundamentalism, this religious radicalism is much more selfish in all walks of life.

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