The Church in Madhya Pradesh has initiated a move to foster communal harmony in the central Indian state by expanding its base and reaching out to people of all religions.
The Harmony Foundation, a church initiative, aims to bring secular forces under one umbrella and first such step in this direction was taken on June 15 when five secular groups came under one roof.
They decided to expand its reach across the state by forming alliance with groups and associations of like-minded people.
“It is the need of the hour for the Church to change its position for reaching out to everyone,” spokesperson of the Catholic Church in the state Father Anand Muttungal told ucanews.com June 17.
He said that though the Church has been engaged in building peace and harmony, its reach is very limited.
“Whenever the Church is under attack from Hindu radical groups, it is often forced to suffer in isolation due to its failure to promote understating with other people,” Father Muttungal said.
The Church in the state has suffered a series of violent attacks on its people and institutions, mostly on the allegation that Christians were engaged in conversions. The state has been ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party) for the past seven years.
Noted social worker Ram Puniyani, who participated in the meeting, said this would be a great step forward in bringing secular forces under one umbrella.
“The communal forces were already united and the need of the hour was to unite the secular forces,” Puniyani said.Secular groups including Christians’ group, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Catholic Bishop Conference took part in the meeting.