Date: Friday, January 22, 1999 5:14 AM PRESS RELEASE


The initiative taken by the Government to conduct a "Shramdhan" on places of worship and on educational institutions that have been attacked recently in the Dangs Dt., is seen by us as a positive step. However, a number of counter-productive activities continue which still thwart the initiatives for peace; among them are :

tribal Christians and Christian personnel are still harassed and terrorized false FIRs on Christians have been filed inflammatory speeches/ false statements/ derogative handbills are made against the Christians

Unless the above activities stop immediately and the Christians of the Dangs and other parts of Gujarat, are guaranteed protection and security, which is not the case today, we sincerely feel that any symbolic action like "Shramdhan" will be superficial; besides, a symbolic "Shramdhan", to cover the illegal and anti-social actions of certain sections of society would merely be adding salt to the wounds knowingly inflicted on Christians and on Christian institutions.

Further, due to the vitiated atmosphere and the fact that our places of worship and our educational institutions are sacred and dear to us, we would do the actual work of repair and re-construction by OURSELVES. However, financial assistance for this is welcome from all.
Date : 20th January, '99
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj