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Hindu Extremists Attempt to Tarnish Christian School's Image

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 12:02 (IST)

Following the suicide of an 11-year-old boy who was a student in a Christian school in Uttar Pradesh, an angry mob on Sept. 15 attacked the school in an attempt to tarnish Christian image and its missions in the country, church leaders alleged.

Police reportedly found a note left by the student of St Anthony's Convent School in Gorakhpur town, which said he was harassed by his teacher. The teacher was arrested by the police and the school property was damaged by the mob.

"This is not a one-off incident," said Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur, who is based in Madhya Pradesh state.

"Christian schools often become the target of mob violence in northern Indian states, where Christians are a minority," he added, according to UCA News.com.

Christian missionaries and schools in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states have recently come under attack.

According to the Almeida, the attacks are attempts by extreme Hindu groups to damage the image of Christians in the country.

"We always offer quality and cheap education to children in remote rural areas and in towns where the focus is on the poor and socially weaker sections," said Almeida.

"But many in the Hindu groups are opposed to educating lower caste people and making them equal to the higher caste in education," he added.

It is a part of a campaign to build a Hindu nation.

"They are out to tarnish the image of Christian missions and attack our institutions to scare people away from Christians and to intimidate missionaries," he said.