Letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien Regarding Discrimination of Christians in India

Wednesday, January 13 1999


The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

At the beginning of the new year, I appeal to you on behalf of my brother Canadian bishops and in solidarity with our brothers in the Episcopal Conference of India, to make an urgent intervention with the Government of India following the multiple attacks on Christian communities in India during 1998.

The attacks that occurred on Christmas Day in Dangs district, State of Gujarat, are distrubing evidence of a renewed violent outbreak against minority Christian communities.

Recognizing the tradition and concern of the citizens and Government of Canada on minority rights, we urge you to protest to the Prime Minister of India in order to shed light on these sad occurrences and to bring those responsible to justice.

I also urge you to encourage the Indian authorities to adopt in the near future efficient measures to guarantee respect for the human rights of minorities. Finally, I would very much ask that you encourage the Government of India not only to guarantee human rights but to set up programs that favour respect and mutual understanding among all religious believers.

Respectfully in Our Lord,

+ Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte
Archbishop of Montreal
President, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops