Vatican Blasts Attacks on Christians

Official: India killings underscore spread of 'Christianophobia'
By Michael Foreman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 29, 2008 5:09 PM CDT
Missionaries of Charity hold a candle-lit vigil to protest the attack on Christians in Orissa, India, Aug. 27, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Vatican warned against the spread of "Christianophobia" today following attacks in India that left 13 Christians dead, Reuters reports. Thousands fled their homes this week as mobs rioted in retaliation for the murder of a Hindu leader. The Pope condemned the violence, and Italy's foreign ministry will demand India take "incisive action" to stop the killing.

Intolerance toward Christians "should be combated as decisively as 'Islamophobia' and anti-Semitism," the Vatican's foreign minister said. The plea echoes the Pope's call last month to protect Christians in Iraq after the kidnapping and murder of an archbishop in Mosul. The Vatican claims the number of Iraqi Christians has dropped by half since the US-led invasion. (Read more India stories.)