Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Christians and Muslims meet UN on rights
Indian activists tell Special Rapporteur about Gujarat harassmentMuslims at a meeting in western India‚Äôs Gujarat state where sectarian violence in 2002 killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims
- ucanews.com reporter, Ahmedabad
- January 18, 2011
UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Margaret Sekaggya visited Ahmedabad, the state‚Äôs commercial capital, Jan. 17 to hear human rights defenders from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan states.
She met the activists after meeting with state officials.
Christian groups in Gujarat told the visitor that the government treats them as ‚Äúsecond class citizens‚ÄĚ when they try to protect the rights of tribal and dalit people.
The pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian people‚Äôs party) led by Narendra Modi has ruled Gujarat since 1995.
Jesuit activist Father Cedric Prakash told the UN official that in 2004 the Gujarat government labeled him anti-national, registered a case against him and sought to seize his passport.
The priest was among the few to protest when Hindu radicals attacked Muslims in 2002. Three-month long Hindu-Muslim riots killed more than 2,000 persons, mostly Muslims.
‚ÄúBecause of my stand on human rights violations, several Church personnel and institutions are denied of what is lawfully theirs,‚ÄĚ Father Prakash said in a written submission to the UN official.
Father Prakash now directs a human rights center in Ahmedabad and represents the Gujarat United Christian Forum for Human Rights.
Suhel Tirmizi, a Muslim, said the government tried unsuccessfully to cancel the license of five lawyers who defended the 2002 riot victims.
R. B. Sreekumar, the state‚Äôs former director general of police, said that the government punishes its officials who try to defend religious minorities. The Hindu official was denied promotion by the government for not toeing its line.
Mallika Sarabhai, another Hindu human rights activist, said the government forced her staff to file false case against her when she moved the Supreme Court to hold Modi responsible for the 2002 anti-Muslim violence.
Nun tells UN of fear that dogs Orissa Christians