New Delhi,Oct 14: Describing India as a “university of tolerance”, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asserted that religious persecution will never be allowed in the country.
“Tolerance is essential for peaceful existence. People from all religions live peacefully in India and practice their religion without any fear of discrimination. That is why India is a university of tolerance,” Singh said at a meeting of Christian leaders organised by India Christian Council here.
Singh said on his comment that Christianity came started in India almost 2,000 years ago and Kerala is home to St Thomas church which is one of the world’s oldest churches. He also said that India cannot forget the contribution of Christians — from Saint Thomas to Mother Teresa — who tried to eradicate evils from our society.
“There were incidents of attacks on churches in Delhi which came up in the run up to elections (to Delhi Assembly).
But I would like to say that religious persecution will never be allowed in India whether it is before or after election,” he said.
Recalling the era of 1947, Singh said India, though divided on the basis of religion, it chose to be a secular state.
“The nation (Pakistan) separated from it declared itself a theocratic state. That country uses terrorism as a state policy.”
“Not only India, but many countries in the world have been affected by terrorism. A terrorist is a terrorist who does not belong to any caste, creed or religion. Although, some people link terrorism with religion but it is wrong,” he said.
The Home Minister said in India, people from all religions get respect and it is the only country where all sects of Islam are found, he said. The meeting was attended by BJP MP and National Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations Udit Raj and Joseph D’Souza, Moderator Bishop, Good Shepherd Church, India and President of All Indian Christian Council.
D’Souza asked the Christian community to stand with the government and support it in the fight against terrorism.
The Council requested Singh to send a circular to state governments and police to ensure protection of Christians and places of their worships.