Catholics detained for singing Christmas carols in India



Indian police is holding dozens of Catholics singing Christmas carols for allegedly trying to convert people, officials have said, as fears grow over religious freedom in the South Asian nation.

Police says 32 people are being detained for trying to convert people to Christianity in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, with a leading Catholic association condemning the accusations as laughable.

The Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, Theodore Mascarenhas says that when a group of priests went to the police station yesterday to enquire about the detentions, their parked car was torched, allegedly by a mob belonging to a right-wing Hindu group.

The news comes as India’s Christian minority sounds the alarm over a recent rise in attacks on churches and members of the faith, blaming the violence on Hindu hardliners, who they say have become emboldened since Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s right-wing government swept to power in 2014.

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