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Saturday, Oct 23, 2021
Outlook.com

Counting Sheep

New Delhi is taken aback at the Pope's open indictment of India on conversions

Counting Sheep
Counting Sheep
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
India never takes kindly to sermons from foreign powers, no matter how important or influential the preacher. It likes them even less if they are given publicly. So when Pope Benedict XVI delivered a stern message to India, saying the country was showing troubling signs of intolerance because some states had banned religious conversions, New Delhi's back went up. The Pope implied that the very future of Indian democracy rested on respect for religious freedom. That he chose to do so on the ceremonial occasion of India's new ambassador Amitava Tripathi presenting his credentials stung Indian diplomats even more. The choice of words didn't help—the Pope called anti-conversion laws "reprehensible" and "unconstitutional".

Vatican watchers agreed that the language was unusually sharp though it came with praise for India for trying to settle the Kashmir issue and for taking other steps to secure minority rights. The Pope said: "The disturbing signs of religious intolerance which have troubled some regions of the nation, including the...
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