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-India: Nun Serving Leprosy Patients to Be Kicked Out?

by Dr. D ~ July 25th, 2011


                                  (Map of India via Wikipedia)

A 63-year-old British nun who has been caring for leprosy patients for over 30 years in Bangalore is apparently being forced out of the country today since the Indian state government refused to extend her resident permit and gave no reasons for their denial.

Sr. Jacqueline Jean McEwan, whom Leprosy patients call their ‘Mother Teresa’, told The Times of India Sunday:

“I’m leaving with a heavy heart. I feel it’s not my loss alone but a loss to thousands of patients inflicted by leprosy.”

“I don’t know the reason. I’ve been living with the poor and needy all these years with the resident permit issued by the Foreigner Regional Registration Office in Bangalore. But this time, the central government denied the extension of the permit without assigning any reason.”

Sr. Jean has been working with Sumanahalli Society in Bangalore, an award winning Catholic charity founded 1978 which treats and rehabilitates leprosy patients.

Bangalore is in the Indian state of Karnataka which is now dominated politically by the Hindu nationalist/fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party which opposes all religions except Hinduism. Under their rule, persecution of Christians and Christian leaders has heated up in the state. Most believe that party officials are responsible for Sr. McEwan being kicked out of the country.

Response: This is another occasion where Bharatiya Janata Party officials are directly responsible for persecuting a Christian ministry that was actually doing good in their country serving folks that no one else including the government would. Hindu theology dictates that leprosy patients are getting what they deserve and should not be helped. Hindu fundamentalists oppose Christian ministries to folks like those suffering from leprosy and help for the Dalit (‘untouchables) community.

The federal government of India should be pressured into reassessing this action by the state government. 

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