Extend visas of missionaries, MPs urge Modi, Rajnath
Two MPs, Vincent H. Pala and Conrad K. Sangma, have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to help extend the visas of Christian missionaries in India.
Pala, a former union Minority Affairs Minister, on Tuesday urged Modi to personally intervene on what he said was the "persecution" of Christians in India.
The Congress MP also appealed to the Prime Minister to allow foreign Christian missionaries to stay in India and to continue to do their social and educational service for the poor.
"I need to hardly underscore the increasing incidents of hate and violence against Christians in the country despite the community being peace loving, harmonious and contributing to the nation building," Pala said in his letter.
"As part of this ongoing discrimination against Christians, long living members of the community in India from other nations, who contribute immensely to education and social work especially while working amidst underprivileged sections of the society, are being hounded and asked to leave the country," he said.
Sangma, the lone National People's Party member in the Lok Sabha, wrote to Rajnath Singh seeking his intervention into the visa problems faced by the missionaries.
"There are many instances where many missionaries have faced problems in getting their visas extended, which was not in the past, which has led to lot of confusion and difficulties for these missionaries who have been working tirelessly for the poor and needy of our country," Sangma said in his letter.
In their letters, Pala and Sangma mentioned the names of four prominent missionaries working in different states - Ignacio Galdos Zuazua (Gujarat), Laurel Judith Seaton (Bihar) and Aurele Andre A. Brys and Chen Chin Mou (both Jharkhand).
Just over 2 per cent of India's population is Christian.