ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Tuesday said the disruption of Christmas celebrations and burning of effigies of Santa Claus manifested the “real face” of the “fascist Hindutva” India.
The president was commenting on a news report on the freezing of the bank accounts of Missionaries of Charity — a charity founded in 1950 by the late Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted most of her life to helping the poor — in West Bengal by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The news came two weeks after police in Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi’s home state, began investigating the charity for alleged “forceful conversion” of Hindus to Christianity — a regular accusation by hardline members of India’s majority religion.
In a separate incident in Agra city of northern Uttar Pradesh state, members of right-wing Hindu groups burned effigies of Santa Claus outside missionary-led schools and accused Christian missionaries of using Christmas celebrations to lure people in.
“The real face of fascist Hindutva India is emerging where Hindu vigilante groups disrupted Christmas mass in many parts of India [and] burnt a Santa Claus effigy chanting slogans against [Christmas] celebrations [and] religious conversions,” Alvi tweeted.
The real face of fascist Hindutva India is emerging where Hindu vigilante groups disrupted Christmas mass in many parts of India & burnt a Santa Claus effigy chanting slogans against Xmas celebrations & religious conversions. World beware b4 it is too latehttps://t.co/6ODOuMSAQm
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) December 28, 2021
“World beware before it is too late.”
In recent years, Christians have increasingly faced harassment around Christmas but this year saw a notable surge in attacks.
Festive celebrations were disrupted, Jesus statues were smashed and effigies of Santa Claus were burned in a spate of attacks on the Christian community across India over Christmas.
Amid growing intolerance and violence against the Christian minority, who make up about 2 percent of India’s population, several Christmas events were targeted by Hindu right-wing groups, who alleged Christians were using festivities to force Hindus to convert.