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Haryana CM defends Church vandalisation, says Church was built on an illegal colony

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Press Conference Of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

By Anurag Paul

Clearing the fog over the incident of church demolition in Hisar, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar  explained  to the Assembly that the building was reportedly built on an illegal colony and the dispute was the result of an altercation between the priest and those who attacked the place of worship.

In Hisar allegations of involvement of fringe Hindu groups have been made. CM Khattar explained to the House that the priest, Subhash Chand, had started preaching from the Bible to the 10 to 12 workers involved in constructing the structure on February 8. “Some people from Kaimri and Hisar had opposed it then, but the village sarpanch had settled the matter,” he said, adding that an FIR was registered against 14 people on the priest’s complaint.

While backing the Haryana CM, VHP joint general secretary Surendra  said “This is a spontaneous reaction of the local people. There are no Christians living in the village or around it where the church has been attacked. Then why was a church being made in that location? Will the Christians allow us to make a Hanuman temple in the Vatican? Let them allow that, and we will ask them to choose any place in India for a church. We will fund it.”

On the gang-rape of a nun in West Bengal, Jain said it should be considered as a criminal offense and not through the prism of faith. “It is a Christian culture to exploit nuns. We don’t have such things. The Vatican received 5,000 complaints of sexual exploitation in five years, prompting the pope to appeal for legalization of gay sex,” Jain said.

He also claimed that the allegations of communal overtones in the gang rape of a nun in Nadia in West Bengal were a conspiracy of the church and that sexual exploitation of nuns was a Christian culture, and not of Hindus. He said the Pope is so worried about rape of nuns that he is promoting gay sex to stop it.

In both Hisar and Nadia incidents, allegations of involvement of fringe Hindu groups have been made. But VHP on Monday categorically denied its involvement. “The church was for the purpose of conversion. Local people had warned against it. But when it went unheeded, they took whatever action they deemed fit.”, he further added. Indicating that such attacks would keep on happening, Jain said, “This is a country where the 1857 war was fought for the cause of religion. People will react to aggressive conversion, just as they reacted to the killing of Swami Laxmananda in Odisha in 2008.”

The VHP member also supported the statement of Subramanian Swamy that “God does not live in mosques but in temples”. “This is a truth that even Muslims agree to. Ask any Muslim if Allah lives in the mosque and he will reply in the negative. Saudi Arabia has demolished so many mosques for developmental work, nobody has objected,” he said.

The CM also gave details of a complaint made by a village youth who alleged that Chand had made objectionable comments about Hindu gods. “The youth was shunted out and beaten up when he opposed the priest’s statement,” Khattar said, quoting from the youth’s complaint.

Soon after Khattar’s statement, Congress MLAs, including Karan Singh Dalal, stood up to blame an organization connected with the BJP for the attack on the church. Dalal suggested the constitution of an all-party committee to look into the issue.

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Goodbye Holy Smoke, Vatican City bans Sale of Cigarettes

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking.

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sale of cigarettes
The faithful gather in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. VOA

Vatican City, November 10, 2017 : Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, “However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives.”

The spokesman said the sale of large cigars would continue at least for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled.

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, where smoking is deemed bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. (VOA)