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Christian, Hindu leaders meet
Published on 29 Sep. 2008 1:34 AM IST
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Top bishops from both Catholic and non-Catholic churches in Kerala will sit across the table here Monday with Hindu leaders to discuss the present unrest in Kerala and Karnataka, where churches have come under attack. “The invitation for a discussion came from the Kerala Catholic Bishop Conference representatives here and we accepted it,” Kummanam Rajasekharan, chairman of the Hindu Aikya Vedi told IANS. “Taking part from our side would be representatives of the Chinmaya Mission, Sivagiri Mutt, Mata Amritanandamayi, two other Sanyasi groups, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,” said Rajasekharan, a firebrand Hindu leader. The discussion would begin at 3 p.m. at a hotel here. “We do not know why the Pentecostal church representatives have not been included. We were asked if we will be in a position to sit across the table to discuss and we accepted their invitation,” said Rajasekharan. Christians in Kerala account for around 23 percent of the 32 million population, of which Catholics alone account for more than 50 percent of the Christian population. Churches and Christians came under attack in Kandhamal district of Orissa after a Vishwa Hindu Parisad leader and four others were shot dead by suspected Maoists on August 23. The state has since then witnessed communal violence in which at least 20 people, mostly in Kandhamal district, have died and churches and Christian properties have been attacked. Attacks on churches in coastal Karnataka began on September 14

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