Hindu nationalists trample papal image, call for Christian-free India
In this 2015 file photo, demonstrators shout slogans as they hold placards during a protest outside Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi. (Credit: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters via CNS.)
NEW DELHI, India — Hindu nationalists trampled a photo of Pope Francis near Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi in a video calling for a Christian-free India which was recently posted online.
The video shows a group of about 20 people chanting “Pope Francis murdabad,” meaning “down with Pope Francis,” after a speech by a man believed to be the controversial Hindu leader Om Swami Maharaj.
Muharaj accused Christians of promoting terrorism and threatened forcefully to expel them from India, reported ucanews.com.
The video began circulating on social media a few weeks after Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi wrote a letter calling for a one year prayer campaign leading up to India’s 2019 general elections.
The archbishop’s letter quickly sparked a controversy among the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Several BJP leaders condemned the archbishop’s letter, calling it a “divisive move.” One BJP parliamentarian, Subramanian Swamy, called for India to end all diplomatic relations with the Vatican in a Twitter message May 23.