Two signs in India that inter-religious tolerance thrives despite tensions

From Crux

Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, and Christians celebrate together in Varanasi, India, on Dec. 21.

(MUMBAI, India) – Although India’s increasingly hard-line Hindu nationalist movements can often make life difficult for religious minorities, including the country’s 30 million Christians, two recent episodes illustrate the deep undercurrent of tolerance that still pervades traditional Indian values.

In southeastern India in Telangana, a state governor known for deep Hindu piety and attachment to mystical Hindu principles of architecture and design nonetheless took part in a Christian banquet celebrating Christmas, pledging to step up protection and public funding for Christian churches that find themselves under threat.

In the north in Varanasi, meanwhile, a city considered the spiritual capital of the country, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Christians all came together for an interfaith celebration on Dec. 21, taking advantage of the coincidence that major feasts for all those traditions fell this year around the same date.

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