Appeal to reinstall the Cross and statue of Jesus at Mahima Betta, Devanahalli, Karnataka

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With immense pain and hurt the Catholics of the world today seek your kind intervention for the restoration of the statue of Lord Jesus Christ and necessary follow up action to prevent the recurrence of such incidents again.

A cross was destroyed and the statue of our Lord Jesus Christ was removed by the local authorities following a complaint by some “self-styled fringe organisations” at Mahima Betta near Devanahalli on the outskirts of north Bengaluru on Tuesday March 3, 2020.  The authorities have hurt the sentiments of Catholics by showing disrespect to the Catholic sentiments by using heavy machinery to demolish the Cross and removing the statue of Christ in a careless manner. Catholics are peace loving and have immense faith in the law of the land and believe that justice will be rendered. As stated by His Grace Peter Machado the Archbishop of Bangalore “It is unfortunate and regrettable that the police, bowing to the pressure of a few outsiders, have forcibly removed the statue of Jesus. It is a blow to the communal harmony of the people in our villages and also a violation of religious freedom guaranteed to us by the Indian Constitution.”

In the spirit of the constitution of India as envisioned by the architects of the constitution of India, we are elated to share that the objectives to secure justice, liberty, and equality to all citizens and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity as enshrined in the Constitution of India is exactly what Christians are practicing for more than 2000 years all over the world.

Catholics exemplify a faith life, prayer life, sacramental life, and moral life.  Catholics do not forcefully convert anyone to their faith nor go around proselytizing .  We practice our faith and the tenets of our faith behove us to “Love our neighbors as our own self”.  We respect people of all other faiths.  We keep open the doors of our hospitals, schools, colleges, and other institutions and welcome people from all faith, color, and creed without any discrimination.  We strongly believe that people of other faith are equal in all aspects and  live a life in the spirit of the will of God Almighty, live a moral life and not only know what is right and wrong but choose right over wrong.

But unfortunately, there are some misguided fringe elements in society who take the law into their own hands and become the judge, jury, and the executioner all rolled into one and go around disturbing the peace and serenity in our state of Karnataka. Such baseless allegations of religious conversion sow seeds of hatred and disturb the communal harmony. The ridiculous claims that Catholics are out to convert people of other faith is baseless.  Catholics today account for only 1.55% of the total population of India. Catholics have over 15000 schools and colleges, over a thousand training institutes, and over 2000 hospitals and dispensaries in this country.  If the intention is to convert people there will be no drop in the number of Catholics but it would have exponentially grown from this miniscule 1.55% to anything in the range of 15 to 20%.  Conversion is never there in the minds of the Catholics, but we believe in the true meaning of conversion where we believe in converting a human being to be a better human being by recognizing them as fellow beings, respecting them, and taking them along in the path from darkness to light by empowering them without any discrimination on the basis of religion, color, creed, caste, or status:

asato mā sadgamaya,

tamaso mā jyotirgamaya,

mṛtyor mā'mṛtaṃ gamaya,

This translates to:

From falsehood lead me to truth,

From darkness lead me to the light,

From death lead me to immortality.

We request the following:

1.       Issue necessary orders to reinstall the status of Jesus

2.       Order a judicial enquiry into the events leading to the demolition of the cross and removal of the statue.

3.       Investigate the actions of the concerned officials and take necessary actions if they have taken decisions in haste and exceeded their responsibilities.

4.       Investigate the role of fringe elements that are disturbing the communal harmony by creating ill-will and hatred among the local residents. Take necessary action against the perpetrators of social hatred.

Advocate PM Mathew, Co-convenor

Christian Community Coalition

ccommunitycoalition@gmail.com