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
Police show muscle amid religious tension
Fears of Hindu-Muslim clash on FridayThe temple in Bhojshala is claimed by both Hindus and Muslims
- ucanews.com reporter, Bhopal
- February 13, 2013
Police and special armed forces gave a show of force in central India’s Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh, on Tuesday as tensions between Hindus and Muslims escalate ahead of Friday, when both communities plan to worship at a nearby temple.
The state government deployed 4,000 police and paramilitary personnel in a flag march at the disputed site on Tuesday.
"We are on high alert," said district collector C B Singh, the head administrator in Dhar.
Hindus have for years visited the site in Bhojshala town only on Tuesdays, leaving Muslims to conduct their weekly Friday prayers.
However, the Hindu festival Vasant Panchami falls on Friday this year.
Hindu seer Murari Bapu led a huge gathering last week calling on Hindus to pray at the site on Friday. He also vowed to visit Hindu communities to raise awareness before the festival.
On Tuesday, 17,000 Hindus visited the site in what is reported to be the highest turnout there on any single day.
A leading Muslim cleric in the area, Waqar Sadik, said that prayers could be conducted safely by both communities on Friday.
But local Hindus have called on the state government, run by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to bar Muslims from the site.
Authorities in the area are holding discussions with both sides to work out a peaceful solution, said local administrator Singh.
Opposition parties in the area have accused the BJP of using the incident to garner support ahead of assembly elections later this year. But State Home Secretary Uma Shankar Gupta dismissed these claims, stating that the standoff would be dealt with according to the law.
Deputy Inspector General Praveen Mathur said that beefed-up security measures would continue until Friday, including a Rapid Action Force and teargas trained personnel deployed and ready to deal with trouble.