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Bishop’s statement against ‘love jihad’ stirs hornet’s nest in Kerala

Idukki Bishop Mar Mathew Anikkuzhikkattil has accused some Muslim groups and a Hindu outfit of trapping Christian girls in ‘love jihad’.



By Tk Devasla

Published: Mon 15 Jun 2015, 11:58 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:58 PM

Trivandrum — A Catholic Bishop in Kerala has stirred a hornet’s nest by blaming non-Christian community bodies for promoting inter-caste or interfaith marriages that the Church oppose.

Idukki Bishop Mar Mathew Anikkuzhikkattil has accused some Muslim groups and a Hindu outfit of trapping Christian girls in ‘love jihad’. He asked Christian parents to take a serious view of the issue as the incidents of Christian girls falling victims to ‘love jihad’ was on the rise.

Inaugurating the pastoral council meeting of Kanjirappally diocese at Kottayam on Saturday, the Bishop said that Ezhava boys were luring Christian girls into marriage as per a secret agenda devised by the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a socio-cultural organisation of the lower caste Hindus.

He said six out of every 100 marriages in a parish were inter-caste marriages, which are against Christian faith. He said majority of the inter-caste marriages were ending in divorce. As many as 50, 000 couples annulled their marriages through courts in the state last year. The bishop’s allegation has evoked strong reactions from various quarters. Denying any role in the growing inter-caste marriages, former SNDP president C K Vidyasagar said that the allegation will fan communal tension in the state.

Noted writer and social activist M N Karaserry has termed the allegation dangerous. He said that it was against the secular traditions being upheld by the people in Kerala. He hoped that the Bishop will understand that the danger involved in his statement and withdraw it.

Pala diocese spokesman Fr Mathew said that the bishop had made the statement to make the members of the community aware about the dangers of the inter-caste marriages. It is intended to create any communal divide.

The Church has been voicing concern about the growing interfaith marriages for some time now. The Trichur diocese of the Catholic Church has initiated an action plan to discourage such marriages.

The move followed a survey which found that on an average 200 people were marrying spouses from other faiths. After such marriages they stop involving in church activities.


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