Letter to the Indian High Commissioner Regarding Violations of Human Rights of Christians in India

Wednesday, January 13 1999

His Excellency Rajanikanta Verma
High Commissioner of India
10 Springfield Road
Ottawa, ON K1M 1C9

Your Excellency:

Because of the history of good relations between India and Canada, it is with sadness that I write. We are seriously concerned by the increased number of violations of basic human rights committed against Christians especially since the beginning of 1998, and as a result must condemn such abuses in your country.

Violent and destructive attacks against Christian communities in Dangs district, State of Gujarat, occurred on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, those recent events were the latest of a series of abuses against Christian Churches including their schools, hospitals and places of worship. We would ask you to transmit our protest to your government.

We also urge the Government of India to launch a public enquiry, identifying those responsible and bringing them to trial. We urge your government to guarantee the physical and psychological safety of the members of the Christian communities and to develop and implement, in the very near future, measures that would promote a better understanding and mutual respect among all religious minorities and the majority of the population.


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