Hindus Boycott Catholic Neighbors

 

The 800-member Catholic community in a village in India is facing a “social boycott” for refusing to follow traditions to appease Hindus gods. Following the spread of cholera in the village, Hindu leaders special fasts and the banning of regular work on all “inauspicious days” to appease their gods and ward off evil. “We are Christians and we are not bound to follow Hindu religious practices,” said Father Philip Rock, pastor at St. Sebastian Parish in Mangalawada village. Angry Hindu village leaders called a meeting and declared a “social boycott” against the Christians in late August. Since then, Hindus have stopped buying from small Christian shops, selling to Christians or using vehicles owned by Christians. Hindu farmers have quit hiring Christian workers, and the church-run kindergarten that had 51 students now has only five because all the Hindu children have been withdrawn. “Christians and Hindus have been living together here for decades, peacefully, without any such problem,” said the priest who heads the remote parish. “But this year, it is a total boycott against our people. We want the government to intervene and end this boycott.”

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