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Israeli extremist leader tells students “Churches should be burned”

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Jerusalem: Benzi Gopstein, the leader of extremist anti-assimilation group Lehava, said in a meeting with rabbinical students that Christian houses of worship should be destroyed.

church-burning-2014“Churches should be burned”, Gopstein said on Wednesday before an audience of hundreds at a Jewish religious school, according to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Rabbi Moshe Klein, who attended the lecture, questioned Gopstein’s stance and argued that the current world requires a rejection of such an approach, while journalist Beny Ravinovich was also surprised with what Benzi Gopstein had to say.

After a tug of war, Gopstein said he was willing to do 50 years in prison for what he believed, and claimed not to be inciting violence, but simply explaining the thoughts that belonged to a Spanish Jew, Rabbi Rambam Maimonides.

The Lehava organisation subscribes to ideas that denounce assimilation between Jewish and non-Jewish people, and also condemn homosexuality.

For its part, the Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC), the legal wing of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, expressed concern about Gopstein’s remarks, and the centre previously demanded that he be questioned by the authorities for his controversial views.

IRAC leader Rabbi Gilad Kariv said that if Gopstein was not promptly charged for his statements, Israeli society would be justified to say publicly that the legal system allows for incitement, racism and violence, according to Haaretz daily newspaper on Thursday.

(IANS)

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Indian Catholic Nuns Call Out For Justice In Kerala

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala's financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

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Nuns hold placards during a protest demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop in Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala, India. VOA

A group of Indian Catholic nuns are staging a rare street protest in the southern state of Kerala demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop.

Police have called the bishop named in the complaint for a second round of questioning next week. The bishop has denied wrongdoing.

The case comes at a time when the Christian community, which accounts for 19 percent of the state’s population, is reeling under an erosion of trust as sexual abuse cases involving the clergy pile up.

Five priests were arrested last month in two different sexual assault cases, while last year, a Catholic priest who was trying to flee the country was arrested after a minor he is accused of having sex with gave birth.

Church
Catholic bishops in Chile resign over the issue of sex scandal. Pixabay

The nun in a letter said she wanted the Vatican to intervene. She said she was forced to make matters public after several attempts to seek justice from within the church failed.

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala’s financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

A man, who is on an indefinite hunger strike, lay in front of the stage where the protesting nuns sat. A nun coordinating the protest dismissed allegations that they were trying to disgrace the church.

“Our fight is for the truth. We will not back out unless the truth is established and the nun is given justice,” she told Reuters.

Church
Pope Francis. Pixabay

The Catholic Church in Germany acknowledged a “depressing and shameful” legacy of sexual abuse on Wednesday after a leaked study said clerics had abused thousands of children over 70 years.

Also Read: Drying Ganga Can Hinder India From Achieving SDG’s

The leaked study was published on the day that Pope Francis, who has made several attempts to tackle a spreading sexual abuse crisis that has badly tarnished the Church’s image worldwide, summoned senior bishops from around the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of minors. (VOA)

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