Ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar has written a letter urging members of the Christian community to save the country from "nationalist forces" as he said the "democratic fabric" of the country was at stake, amidst growing "sense of insecurity" among minorities.
Indirectly targeting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, Archbishop Thomas Macwan appealed to the minority community to help elect those candidates, who respect every human being without discrimination, to the state assembly.
He said the nationalist forces were "on the verge of taking over the country", which is why the Gujarat elections could make a difference.
In an official communique dated November 21, Macwan appealed to the Christians to organise prayer services in parishes and convents "so that we may have such people elected to the Gujarat assembly, who would remain faithful to the Indian Constitution and respect every human being without any sort of discrimination".
"The democratic fabric of the country is at stake amidst growing sense of insecurity among the minorities, Other Backward Class, Backward Class, poor, etc," he said.
"The results of this election are significant and will have its repercussion and reverberation throughout our beloved nation. It will influence the future course of our country.
"We are aware that the secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake. Human rights are being violated. The constitutional rights are being trampled. Not a single day goes without an attack on our churches, church personnel, faithfuls or institutions," he said.
"The recitation of the Holy Rosary at individual, community, family and parish levels will be of great help. Encourage your faithful to pray the Rosary," he said.
In the letter, the Archbishop has also cited examples of how such prayers saved Europe during the victory at Lepanto (referring to the battle of 1571 in which Holy League of Venetian and Spanish empires defeated Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras), and how "protecting hand of our beloved Mother Mary defeated communist governments and dictators in a number of countries".
Image: Archbishop Thomas Macwan. Photograph: Courtesy archgandhinagar.org