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A Perspective on the Prospects of Inter-Religious Faith Dialogue


in the Contemporary Socio-Political Contexts of India
By Rev. Dr. A. K. Lama, D.Min., Ph.D.

I am thankful to the Chairman of the BWA Commission on Interfaith Relations, Rev. Dr. A. Roy
Medley, for giving me the opportunity to present my perspective on the Inter-Religious Faith
Dialogue in the Contemporary Socio-Political context of India. To highlight the limitedness of my
perspective, it is important to introduce you a brief about my background and context. I was born
to Buddhist missionary parents who followed Tibetan Buddhism and lived amidst Hindus in the
North-India with a mission to revive Buddhism in India. I was born to them as the third child and
was raised among Hindu community, often practicing both Buddhism and Hinduism
simultaneously. I never felt the need of questioning about their differences until I became Christian
at the age of 24. Till then, no religious practices of Hindus or Buddhist were mutually exclusive to
me. I knew that I was a Buddhists by identity and yet I had a freedom as a child to remain constantly
involved in Hindu religious practices. This helped me to remain connected to the neighbors and
the majority Hindu community. I had learnt to respect both religion from childhood because
respecting a religion was respecting God for me. Inter-religious relationship was part of my daily
social life.

In the backdrop of such personal experience, I want to present my perspective on the Inter-religious
Faith Dialogue in the Contemporary Socio-Political Contexts of India. To focus primarily on the
practical aspects of the subject, let me limit my paper as a response to the following three sets of
pertinent pragmatic questions:

1. What is the prospect for Inter-Religious Faith Dialogue in India? Or, What is the sphere
and depths of its impact at the grass root level of religious faith communities?
2. Has interfaith-religious dialogue been able to counter the depth of misunderstanding
systematically conspired by a well-organized individuals or group either for political or
religious gain? Do our Inter-religious faith dialogue influences the radicals?
3. Has the inter-religious dialogue in India addressed the core issue? Can we agree to be
exclusive in our religious belief and give freedom to others to persuade us with their
belief without being offensive? What is essential to such a dialogue?

I. What is the prospect of Inter-Religious Faith Dialogue in India? What is the


sphere and depths of its impact at the grass root level of religious faith
communities?

India is a unique country of pluralism where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity
and Islam co-existed for more than 2000 years. In the past, since the religions of the rulers decided
the dominance of one religion over the other, there was no wide spread religious conflicts at the
grass roots level. In ancient India, smaller provinces were ruled by Hindu Kings, then came the
Moghuls and thus Islam dominated the regions for four hundred years. After Moghuls, British
ruled for more than two hundred years. During this period, Hindus and Muslims coexisted with
Christian minority. However, Christians had the upper hand because of the impunity and favor
they enjoyed from the Christian British officials during that era. Religious divide and violence
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erupted in 1947, on the eve of the Independence of India, when religion became the basis of
political divide. The Dawn reports, There are no exact numbers of people killed and displaced,
but estimates range from a few hundred thousand to two million killed and more than 10 million
displaced.i The two countries India and Pakistan was born with bloodshed on many innocent
lives. Both Muslims and Hindu suffered indescribable loss and causalities. Hatred between Hindus
and Muslims took the worst bitter shape and deeper root to fuel the violence for many years to
come. This is the historical context of India, in which the present mindsets of some Hindus and
Muslims are often governed.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a lawyer and a pro-Indian freedom activist, while he was in prison in
1921, he wrote a pamphlet articulating his idea of a Hindu Nation. He was the person who coined
the term Hindutva (Hindu nationalism).ii His definition of Hindu nationalism excluded
Christianity, Islam, and Zorastrianism as foreign religion.iii K. B. Hegeswar, another Indian
freedom activist who was greatly influenced by Savarkar launched the Rastriya Swayam Sevak
Sangh (RSS).iv The seed for Hindu nationalism that excludes other religion was sown early in the
nineteenth century and it has been nurtured since then by various religious and political institutions
to cause an impact which we have begun to see in the last two decades.

In the past twenty years, the rise of wide spread religious conflicts in a democratic and secular
India, has necessitated the need of inter-religious dialogue for peace and harmony more than ever
before. The Pew Research Center Analysis of 198 countries in April this year ranked India as
fourth worst in the world for religious intolerance.v Although, the conflict between Hindu and
Muslim dates back to Mughal empire (1526-1857) and also to the tragic events that followed the
separation of India and Pakistan in 1947; however, the event of Babri Masjid demolition in
Ayodhya in 1992 led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with
a religious mob of 150,000 Kar Sevaks (fundamentalist political and religious group) provoked
an immense religious hatred between Hindus and Muslims destroying more than 2000 human lives
all across India.vi

India has seen the prolonged religious conflicts between Hindus and Muslims but it has also seen
other religious conflicts as well. Earlier in 1984, the anti-Sikh violence after the assassination of a
Hindu Prime Minister, Mrs India Gandhi on Oct 31, saw the devastating atrocities of political and
religious hatred against Sikhs causing loss of more than 64 human lives and more than 300 houses
burnt down to ashes.

The rise of Hindu fundamentalist groups against Christians in the last two decades have also been
phenomenal. Graham Staines, an Australian Christian missionary along with his sons Timothy
(aged 10) and Philip (aged 6) were burnt alive in January 1999 by the Bajrang Dal. And in 2008
in Kandhamal Orissa, a mob of Hindu fundamentalists attacked more than 600 Christian villages
resulting in 5,600 Christian houses burnt and 54,000 homeless. More than 100 Christians were
murdered, while 18,000 were injured.vii Government official reported that the violence was greater
because of provocative hate speeches made by the Hindu leaders. Hindus religious and political
leaders publicly promoted the idea of revenge for the death of a Hindu leader.

Following the victory of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in March 1998, the
Hindu fundamentalist groups have carried out a systematic arson or demolition of Churches,
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disturbance of Sunday Worship and Mass, Reconversion (Ghar Wapasi) of Christians to Hinduism,
physical violence against the Christian workers, rapes, and murders.viii Persecution in the last two
decades has increased to such an extent that even United Nations Human Rights has taken note of
it. Recently, they reported:

Limits on free speech and attacks on religious minorities, often led by vigilante groups that
claim to be supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are an increasing concern
in India. In 2016, students were accused of sedition for expressing their views; people who
raised concerns over challenges to civil liberties were deemed anti-Indian; Dalits and
Muslims were attacked on suspicion they had killed, stolen, or sold cows for beef; and
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) came under pressure due to Indias restrictive
foreign funding regulations.ix

Compassion International which operated in India for more than 30 years employing several
thousand India Christian workers to provide child care and educations to the millions of poor
children came to complete closure this year. The charges of the government against them was that
they were involved in proselytization of Children.x

The Guardian of January 2017 reports, India experienced an escalation of attacks on its Christian
minority in 2016, usually led by Hindu nationalists acting largely with impunity.xi According to
the Open Door Ministries USA, The number of persecution incidents in India keeps soaring
higher each month. In the month of April alone there were 68 incidents. Through April, a total of
316 incidents had been reported this year by Open Doors partners in local churches who have been,
in most cases, in direct contact with the victims. Reports come in almost daily. Out of the 68
incidents that took place in April, more than a third involved physical beatings of believers. In
several cases, the victims, including two small children, were beaten brutally and almost killed. A
pastor was critically wounded when he was struck on his head with a sword. People have also been
socially ostracized or expelled from their homes or villages.xii

Religious hatred against Hindus, or Muslim, or Sikhs, or Buddhists have other socio-political
reason, but hatred against Christians is primarily religious. Religious leaders of Hinduism, Islam,
Buddhists, and Sikhs accuse Christians for proselytization, allurement of benefits to the members
of their community, and finally destruction of their community and culture. Christians are
persecuted by Muslims in the Muslim dominated area such as Kashmir. They are persecuted by
Buddhists in Bhutan and western parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

In order to curb inter-religious violence and communal harmony, government agencies, on-
governmental organizations (NGOs), and religious institutions have put their best efforts in hosting
many inter-religious dialogue in last two decades. Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI),
National Christian Council of India (NCCI), Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), Council of
Baptist Churches (CBCNEI), and other national NGOs have given a very good leadership. The
CBCI has special commission with office for Dialogue and Desk Ecumenism. Their mission
statement is The Commission attempts a tuning of perspectives among Christian communities
and with other communities of religious faiths and secular faiths, in view of promoting cordial
relations and peaceful co-existence among them. It avails itself of most opportunities for building
bridges of understanding across all human-made borders of faith. It remains alert to responding
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to the current concerns of the Christian community and the society, especially those that arises
in the name of faith.xiii

Likewise, Universal Peace Federation International, a global network of peace builder hosted a
National Conference on Inter-Religious Harmony in Goa in Nov 2012. The organizers claimed it
as a great success because of three reasons. First, it was attended by the highest level of religious
leaders. Second, it had the support from the Indian government at its highest level with messages
received from the President and Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense, and a leading opposition
figure; and third, the statements from the representatives of Islam and Christianity, which have a
history of focusing on conversion in India. At the end of the conference, all the delegates issued
following affirmation:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, AFFIRM:


1. That in a country like India, which celebrates diversity, faith traditions need to: a)
dialogue with each other, b) work with the government, and c) inspire civil society to
create constructive dialogical pluralism;
2. That peace and harmony must be based on a set of common spiritual values that can
strengthen our own faith tradition and at the same time can be celebrated wholeheartedly
in others;
3. That followers of different religions should go beyond mere tolerance and see
themselves as brothers and sisters of one global family;
4. That based upon these values leadership must commit itself to social justice and
environmental protection;
5. That while each faith should have freedom of practice, it should also not infringe on
the faiths of others, and;
6. That there should be a series of such fruitful consultations and grassroots intervention
in different regions of the country at times of strife. xiv

As I began to write this paper, I was the delighted to notice the most timely news on Huffington
post on June 16, 2017, Never in the human history, 22 religious top religious leaders had to make
a joint appeal, Make friends with people from other faith.xv

Likewise, there are similar joint statements have been issued by the leaders of the religious groups
under conflicts only to make the news headlines and subside the conflict for a temporary period.
However, the religious conflicts are like sleeping volcanoes, continues to be a constant threat in
India.

Is there any other strategy beyond and after issuing a joint statement that the moderates of the
religious groups can unitedly follow-up? To counteract a systematic and longterm strategies for
spreading hatred against other religion requires more than occasional Inter-Religious Dialogues
and join statement of good will. India is yet to see such a serious group or such a systematic long
term strategies to antidot the poison of hatred have been let loose to impact the masses.

II. Do such a top level interfaith-religious dialogue has power and ability to stand the
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depth of misunderstanding systematically conspired by a well-organized group


either for a political gain or religious gain? Do our Inter-religious faith dialogue
influences the radicals at all?

Behind the inter-religious dialogue there is an underlying idea that there are misunderstandings
among religious adherents about others religious faith hence there is need of necessitating a proper
understanding of religion. However, this is not the only cause of such a deep rooted hatred against
other faiths among some individuals or radical groups. A. Suresh has rightly stated, Often religion
alone is not the root cause of communal conflicts. But religion is used as a powerful instrument by
a group of people who wants to play with religious sentiments of the people to uphold their social,
economic and political interests. This is the new phenomena in India today.xvi

I would add to Suresh by saying that there is not a group but more than a group of people who
have extreme ideological bent and their goal is to serve the ideology itself even at the expense of
human lives. These ideologies are fueled with personal bitter experiences with other religious
group, often served with a desire for revenge, or for socio-political dominance over the others.
They are least concerned about the implications but they want to vent their thinking and anger
against their opponent.

Voice of India is an Indian publishing house founded by Sita Ram Goelxvii and Ram Swarup
who are aggressively engaged in publishing books and literatures to promote Indian nationalism
by way of writing offensive criticism Christianity and Islam. Goel considers radical Islam,
evangelical as well as fundamentalists and communism equally harmful ideological and political
forces inherently unfriendly to and destructive towards Hinduism.xviii With the help received from
the Sangh Pariwar and many likeminded Hindu thinkers, he published several literatures and books
that are widely in distribution and now they have become powerful force in spreading the hatred
against Christianity and Islam.

The Hindustan Times of Dec 15, 2014 published a very important and revealing report on the
systematic and organized plan of Hindutva in the primarily animistic and Christian regions of
northeast India.

Now, the battle for the hearts and minds of the northeast seems set to intensify with the
growing presence of the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates in the
region, who are working to further the Hindutva agenda there. Indeed, the saffron bodies
seem to have learnt a good deal from the Christian missionaries they so deride and their
message is being successfully propagated through education.xix

They have learnt it well from the western missionaries that the best tool to transform the ideology
of the next generation is education. Further, the report elaborates how the RSS and its associates
are big on running thousands of schools in the northeast region. And they are doing with aggressive
agenda of redefining culture, nationalism and the idea of Christianity. The report goes on to state:

Ekal Vidyalaya is just one of the many initiatives run by RSS affiliates in the region.
Others like Sewa Bharati, Vidya Bharati, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Friends of Tribal
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Society (FTS) or Van Bandhu Parishad (VBP), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bharat
Kalyan Prathisthan (a unit of the VHP), Bharatiya Jan Seva Sansthan (BJSS) and the
Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh have also been running both formal and informal
education units including balwadis (pre-schools), Bal Sanskar Kendras, hostels, residential
schools, night schools, coaching centres and primary, secondary and senior secondary
schools across the northeastern states. Much has been written about the growth and spread
of the saffron influence in the tribal pockets of western and central India. However, the
campaign to saffronise the tribal belts of the northeast has gone almost unnoticed.xx

Most of these schools are sponsored by the government and foreign funding agencies. They have
complete impunity in the cover of nationalistic agendas from the Hindu government officials,
politicians, and businessmen. Through these schools, a massive army is being raised with Anti-
Christian mindset.

It is not merely a lack of understanding about other religions at the grassroot level that has filled
the religious atmosphere of India with bitterness and hatred rather it is self-righteous, arrogant,
contemptuous, short-sighted ideology of some of the well-organized anti-western and anti
Christian groups such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which has very powerful funding and supporting agencies both in
India and abroad. In the pasts, they have been accused for violence against Christians in India.
They are actively involved in promoting anti-Christian propaganda.xxi Their workers have latitude
by the present government which has absolute majority at the center as well as many states.

In last two decades, India has heard some of the most offensive statements against Christianity.
The head of Dharma Jagaran Samity (DJS), an organization which is spearheading the
reconversion of Christians and Muslims back to Hinduism (Ghar Wapasi), Mr. Rajeswar Singh,
while speaking in a function in Agra in December 2014, said, Our target is to make India a Hindu
Rashtra [nation] by 2021. The Muslims and Christians dont have any right to stay here. So they
would either be converted to Hinduism or forced to run away from here,xxii

In the present India, nationalism and Hinduism is defined as synonymous by some political leaders
and government officials. Most government plans and policies are influenced by Hindu
philosophies and religious beliefs. June 21 was celebrated all over India as International Yoga day
spending huge tax money and the top national leaders such as Prime Minister and the Chief
Minister publicly shared the platform with the Hindu Yoga Guru. Secularism is being redefined
from Hindu prism of views. Can the Inter-Religious Dialogue counteract the impact of such a
massive Hindu propaganda?

Often Inter-Religious Dialogue reaches out people who are moderate and peaceful. But those who
have ideological bent and those who are radical, though a minority but very powerful in mobilizing
the masses for violence, do not even care to come around a table for dialogue. At the same time,
there are others which belongs to the grassroot level, mostly poor and illiterate and often
vulnerable, who are neither part of the dialogue nor directly part of the radical ideologies but they
are the one who are vulnerable either to become victims or instruments in the hands of radicals.
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The ongoing inter-religious dialogue often reaches out the moderate and peaceful population who
are not relevant when it comes to causing the threat. Its the radicals and ideologically bent
minority that we are unable to reach them. In a response to a question posed by a representative of
peaceful Muslims in America, Brigitte Gabriel said that the millions of peaceful Muslims in
America is irrelevant when it comes to facing violent ideology of Islam, it is few radicals that
matters. She said, It was 19 radicals who brought down American to its knees even where there
millions of peaceful Arab Muslims were there in America.xxiii The interreligious relations are not
under threat by the peaceful masses but it is the few radicals who are unwilling to have any
dialogue. Such is the context of India.

Some believe that the radical Islam or Hindutva is an ideology that believes in proselytization by
an extremely violent and cruel "military" tactics. They are bent to destroying human lives,
beheading and immolating their opponents. Hence, the only valid response is not dialogue but
lethal force. Political correctness and religious dialogue with such a party would only be seen as
weakness and defeat and not realistic solution. Christians like humans are vulnerable likely to be
swayed away to respond violence with violence.

So, the Christians in India has radicals with Hindutva agenda on one side and radical Muslims with
Jihad agenda on the other side. The challenge is how can Christians would reach out to them with
the gospel of love amidst all persecutions?

III. Has Inter-Religious Dialogue addressed the core issues yet? Can we agree to be
exclusive in our religious belief and give freedom to others to persuade us with their
belief without being offensive? How can we be more effective in our inter-religious
dialogue?

We might have achieved a temporary truce and harmony for the time being but main issues have
been kept unaddressed. They are sensitive, provocative, and potentially capable to cause
misunderstanding.

How do we dialogue about exclusivism of our faith in Jesus? How do we talk about monotheism
against polytheism? How do we accept others belief when they are contrary to our core belief?
How do we dialogue with Muslim who consider the Bible to be fabricated book by Christians?
How do we defend the truth against the lies? How do you dialogue with the so called eminent
Hindu thinker and writer who has been such a great force in the thought of Hindutva and who
vehemently denies the very historicity of Jesus Christ.xxiv The conflict is inbuilt in our belief and
in our dogma for people from other religions.

Does the Inter-Religious Dialogue necessitate a compromise of truth for the sake of peace and
harmony? Some years ago, I attended an All Faith Leaders Meet in Hyderabad and I felt that we
were not honest throughout the meeting. A Bishop in his address mentioned that all religions are
same and we believe in the same God. But I was questioning within my heart, Is that really true?
I sat through out the meeting to show my respect and love as Jesus loved them but I did feel that
we were not honest.
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The recent joint statement of 22 world religious leaders emphasizing on the need of religious
harmony and peace was timely and necessary; however, it does have other interpretations.
According to Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, the Director of Elijah Interfaith Institute, the joint
appeal of all top religious leaders introduces a new theological perspective which emphasizes the
need for friendship between faiths. Recognizing the differences, he said, We cannot deny that in
the books of many religions you can find texts that are not very open, even hostile, to people of
other faiths, However, pointing to the joint appeal he noted that when the worlds most important
leaders call for friendship, they are in fact affirming a particular way of practicing religion and
rejecting another.xxv Should Christians reject some belief that is likely to enhance religious
conflicts?

While there are others who suggests that we must not think in terms of orthodoxy of one ideology
but a hybrid as we live in an inter-religious context. Under the auspices of World Council of
Churches, some scholars have addressed the possibility of Inter-Religious Dialogue in the context
of religious hybridity, a phenomenon often known as multiple religious belonging or dual
belonging. In it a person participates or identifies oneself with the practices and beliefs of more
than one religious tradition.xxvi As I shared my experience growing as Buddhists amidst Hindus
and I had no problem practicing any one of them until I read the Bible and became a follower of
Jesus Christ. Contextualization of a Christian gospel in a culture itself is a challenge, the Church
is yet to learn how to think in terms of hybrid of faith without diluting its very essence. How can I
be both Buddhist as well as Christians?

There is another line of thought that suggests Inter-Religious Dialogue with the mindset of
Hinduized Christianity. Prof. Dr. Anand Nayak writes, The biggest of changes that has come
about in recent years is precisely among those who initiated this interreligious dialogue. Their
perception of Christianity and its relationship towards Hinduism has taken a drastic change. Many
of the Christian theologians no longer go in lines with the traditional Christian theological thinking
made in Europe and in a context foreign to the Indian spirit. This has, of course, brought over them
a closer relationship with Hindus and in the Hindu way of thinking. I think, this change will bring
in paradigmatic changes in the religious ways and attitudes of people, not only in India but all over
the world.xxvii There is no written code for such Indianized theology, it could be from
safronization of the cassock to the use of Vedas and Sanskrit (the Hindu Sacred language) along
with the Bible. It may be a change in architecture of church to the change in the worship styles. It
is about Hinduization of Christianity but it would still have the risk of being syncretized to such
an extent that it may lose its authenticity for the Hindus who would like to dialogue with a
Christian.

Muthuraj Swami, a PhD scholar from India at University of Edinburg, has done a very systematic
study of the Inter-religious dialogue in India for past 60 years from South Indian perspectives. In
his PhD thesis, titled Religion, Religious Conflicts and Interreligious Dialogue in India: An
Interrogation, he made important observations. According to him, the elite nature and methods
in dialogue ignores grass root realities. He proposes re-visioning of dialogue which can lead to
fostering inter-community relations based on multiple identities and everyday living experiences
of ordinary people that invites one to enlarge the horizons to comprehend the plurality of relations
and identities, not just plurality of religions, understand and address real-life conflicts and question
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naming conflicts as religious, and incorporate grassroot experiences of everyday living in


continuing to work for a more peaceful society.xxviii

Question may arise is how to do we do that? How do we reach the grassroot level in the
intercommunity relations in everyday living experience? India is yet to see a united, effective and
pragmatic response to the crisis.

Conclusions:

While we can appreciate the ongoing Inter-Religious Dialogue in India, we must explore other
options also, not only for peace and harmony, but to remove the factors that cause conflicts. It is
not simply the lack of Inter-Religious Dialogue that has reduced respect for human life, but the
ongoing systematic political and religious propaganda and hateful provocation by some radical
groups. There are lessons to be learnt from the strategies of these radicals who are shaping our
future by reaching out next generation at the formative level through education. They are actively
ingraining the wrong ideology in young minds, creating the scarcity of right ideology to their
political and social advantage. This manmade crisis needs to be counteracted apropos.

To frustrate such a massive and systematic plan of spreading religious hatred requires similar
massive and systematic offensive strategies. The NGOs and religious groups must make the use
of social media and mass communications to reach out the masses with the right kind of education
on the essence of religion and promote love and value of human life. Presently, we cannot expect
much from Government but the non-governmental organizations, civic society, Churches, and the
moderate religious groups must act lest India will see the volcano of hatred erupt causing loss of
more human lives in the days to come.

The Government and Christian educational institutions, where children from inter-religious
community are drawn and where their minds are shaped, must provide a systematic education to
curb the mindset of hatred. They must plan to raise an army of peace makers for the next
generation. They should actualize the long-term benefit of influencing the young mind with the
right education. I believe that these strategies would have a better result and a lasting impact.

The better outcome of the Inter-Religious Dialogue is still far away on the horizon.
i
AP, Murder, rape and shattered families: 1947 Partition Archive effort underway. Dawn.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1169309 (accessed June 20, 2017).
ii
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinayak_Damodar_Savarkar (accessed
June 20, 2017)
iii
Hindutva. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindutva (accessed June 20, 2017)
iv
Ibid.
v
Bhattacharya, Ananya. India is the fourth-worst country in the world for religious violence. Quartz India.
https://qz.com/959802/india-is-the-fourth-worst-country-in-the-world-for-religious-violence/ (accessed June 17,
2017).
vi
ANI. From 1992 to today: A timeline of the Babri Masjid demolition case. Deccan Chronicle.
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/190417/from-1992-to-today-a-timeline-of-the-babri-masjid-
demolition-case.html (accessed June 17, 2017).
vii
Anti-Christian Violence in India. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Christian_violence_in_India
(accessed June 17, 2017).
viii
Ibid.
LAMA 10/10

ix
India Events of 2016. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/india
(accessed June 17, 2017)
x
Haidar, Suhasini and Vijaita Singh. Compassion International to shut down India operations.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Compassion-International-to-shut-down-India-
operations/article17152998.ece (accessed June 22, 2017))
xi
Sherwood, Harriet, Christians in India increasingly under attack, study shows. The Guardian.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/11/christians-in-india-increasingly-under-attack-study-shows
(accessed June 17, 2017).
xii
PERSECUTION IN INDIA SOARS EVER HIGHER. Open Doors: Prayer Updates.
https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/persecution-india-soars-ever-higher/ (
accessed June 17, 2017).
xiii
CBCI Office for Desk and Ecumenism. Catholic Bishops Conference of India. http://cbci.in/all-
Commissions/Dialogue-Ecumenism.aspx (accessed June 19, 2017).
xiv
UPF India, National Conference on Interreligious Harmony Held in India. UPF International.
http://www.upf.org/interfaith-programs/4766-national-conference-on-interreligious-harmony-to-take-place-in-india
(accessed June 19, 2017).
xv
Kuruvilla, Carol, Worlds Top Religious Leaders Issue Rare Joint Appeal HUFFPOST.
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/worlds-top-religious-leaders-issue-rare-joint-
appeal_us_5942c11ee4b06bb7d2719e8e (accessed June 17, 2017).
xvi
Suresh, A. Interfaith Dialogue in India, Journal of Dharma:Dharmaram Journal of Religions and Philosophies,
(Jan-March 2000), 7-17.
xvii
Frawley, David. Sitaram Goel: Modern Indias Greatest Intellectual Khastriya. Indiafacts: truth to be told.
http://indiafacts.org/sitaram-goel-modern-indias-greatest-intellectual-kshatriya/ (accessed Dated June 19, 2017).
xviii
Voice of India. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_India (accessed June 17, 2017).
xix
Siddiqui, Furquan Ameen. Target northeast: How RSS plans to make region saffron. Hindustan Times.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/target-northeast-how-rss-plans-to-make-region-saffron/story-
YZGPkOBXb6tS301BvpunpJ.html (accessed June 19, 2017).
xx
Ibid.
xxi
Anti-Christian Violence in India. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Christian_violence_in_India
(accessed June 17, 2017).
xxii
Srivastava, Piyush. We will free India of Muslims and Christians by 2021': DJS leader vows to continue 'ghar
wapsi' plans and restore 'Hindu glory. Mail Online India. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-
2879597/We-free-India-Muslims-Christians-2021-DJS-leader-vows-continue-ghar-wapsi-plans-restore-Hindu-
glory.html (accessed June 17, 2017).
xxiii
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