Right-wing Hindu nationalist organization, The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has accused the Indian churches of conspiring with the Vatican to destabilize Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
The Hindutva organization's accusation came after the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Father Filipe Neri Ferrao, wrote a letter to churches saying the Constitution is in danger.
"Churches in India are in collusion with the Vatican, and are trying to create an atmosphere of distrust against the present government," said Surendra Jain, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad joint general secretary, in New Delhi on Wednesday (June 6). "The Constitution of India is in danger because of the attacking political stand of the church and its agenda of religious conversions."
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), abbreviated VHP, is an Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist organization based on the ideology of Hindutva.
"This is a conspiracy to install governments which can run on the directions of the Vatican. Like the award-wapsi gang, the church too is acting like a contract killer to destabilize the elected governments," Jain said, referring to a group of academicians who returned their awards to the government a few years ago, in protest against the rising intolerance in the country.
"The same church remained a mute spectator when Emergency was imposed in the country, Kashmiri Hindus were brutally killed in the Valley and Sikhs were butchered in the 1984 riots," the VHP leader said. "For the church, these events do not put the Constitution in danger."
Jain also claimed that the churches protest only when a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is in power.
Indian Catholic Bishops' Conference denies accusations
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India -- the apex decision making body of the Indian Catholic Church -- has said that letters written by the Delhi and Goa Archbishops were not directed at a certain party and only called for prayers for the country.
"They are not directed at voting for a certain party or against a certain party and are just calls for the country and its democratic set-up. While political leaders have contacted me, including those from the ruling party, I have explained to all of them that there is nothing political about these letters and that we do not wish to indulge in politics. We are only thinking and praying for the good of the country," Father Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of CBCI, said.
CBCI authorities said that controversies were being needlessly created. "What concerns the citizens also concerns the Church and especially when it regards the issues of social justice, "," Mascarenhas said.
Indian Constitution in danger, writes Goa's Archbishop