Hindu nationalists tell India's Christians to split from missionaries

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2000

NEW DELHI, India (AP) -- A Hindu nationalist group that is the ideological fountainhead of the ruling party urged Christians to form a national Indian church and break with foreign missionaries it accused of wrecking national unity, Indian newspapers report.

The group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or National Volunteers Corps, is often accused of targeting Christians and Muslims.

RSS leader Kuppahali Seetaramaiyah Sudarshan said, ''Why are these foreign churches allowed to carry on their activities on our soil?'' he was quoted as saying. He urged the setting up of an Indian denomination along lines of the Orthodox Syrian Church.

India, a country of 1 billion people, is overwhelmingly Hindu. Muslims form 12 percent of the population and Christians just over 2 percent.



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