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Priest bans Hindus, TN village won't rest in peace
November 26, 2007 16:42 IST
In a show of communal amity, people from both Hindu and Christian faiths have jointly protested the "ban" imposed by a church priest on the entry of Hindus into the church in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu.
Local officials made frantic efforts to shift the priest, John Chinnappar of St Anthony's Church at Kommaiyyanpatti village, after people from both the communities picketed the church on Sunday demanding his transfer.
The people also boycotted Sunday mass and demonstrated in front of the church, raising slogans against the priest. A memorandum opposing the continuation of the priest was also submitted by locals.
Kommaiyyanpatti, where a majority of the people belonged to the backward class Vanniyar community, is known for its communal amity as Hindus and Christians live as a close-knit community.
There had also been inter-religious marriages. Every Sunday people belonging to both the communities would offer prayers at the church. They would also contribute for church festivals organised by the community as a whole.
However, after Chinnappar from Bangalore Diocese was posted recently, he reportedly imposed restrictions on Hindus entering the church. He had also taken the lead in organising the festivals, which the local people opposed.
Officials said they were taking steps to get the priest transferred to resolve the issue. Responding to a plea by the people, the diocese had informed them that it would not be able to transfer the priest for six months. But it said that instead of Chinnappar, his assistant Peter would conduct the prayer meeting. But despite this, Chinnappar tried to organise the prayer meeting yesterday, leading to tension.