news Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 05:30
    Kerala's Idukki diocese bishop has stirred up a controversy, criticizing interfaith marriages in Christianity.   Bishop Mathew Anikuzhikatil on Saturday alleged that Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Samgam (SNDP) and the Muslim community have been trying to trap Christian women through love jihad and interfaith marriages.   Claiming that these marriages will weaken the church’s faith and unity, the bishop asked parents to be careful about their daughters to ensure that they don't fall in love with Hindus or Muslims.   The bishop said that six out of 100 marriages in the diocese were inter-caste and attributed this as a reason for the rising divorce rate in the country. He also added that inter-caste marriages would "spoil the purity and characteristics" of Christianity.    “Our girls are not hesitant to renounce Christian beliefs and leave their parents who brought them up while going with a Muslim or an SNDP member. This is because of the lack of a strong belief in Christianity. We should address this issue with utmost seriousness."   This statement has invited criticism against him. Velapally Nadesan, SNDP leader said, "Bishop is a poisonous communalist. Police should take case against him under IPC 153 A for spreading religious enemity."   "A religion which encourages the conversion since historical times, doesn't have any right to say this. This bishop talked without any logic," M N Karassery writer and activist told Manorama news.   This is not the first time the Bishop is in controversy as he had earlier allegedly ill-treated the Congress candidate of Idukki, Dean Kuriakose, who had visited the Bishop at his residence. He had lashed out against him and claimed that Congress leaders only approach the Church when they need votes.