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Church Leads Interfaith Conference to Mark Gandhi Jayanti

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 12:08 (IST)

Church leaders in Madhya Pradesh on Oct. 2 led an interfaith prayer conference to mark the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal said Gandhi, the "father of India", preached non-violence and constantly spoke about unity, peace and harmony in society.

In an attempt to tackle the rise in attacks against Christians, interfaith meetings and rallies are necessary to promote non violence and harmony.

"In the present polarizing tendency by fringe elements in society, we decided that good thinking people cannot sit silent. We need to respond in a proactive way," said Cornelio, according to Crux.

"Additionally, these elements are trying to create a rift in society, based on lines of religion, language, culture, etc.; and this is dangerous for the society and nation, this causes communal disharmony - an evil which Gandhi spoke out against. Gandhi encouraged the people of India to bring peace and harmony to the nation," he added.

Many of Gandhi's teachings had universal application, and could be endorsed by all religions, Cornelio said.

"The message of Gandhi is very much in keeping with the Gospel values of love, peace, joy, and fraternity," he added.

Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869. He was a leader in India's independence movement. He later assassinated in 1948 by a Hindu nationalist who hated Gandhi's alleged "complacence" towards Muslims, which many Hindu nationalists said helped cause the unrest surrounding the partition of British India into India and Pakistan 6 months prior.