Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday places of worship should act as spiritual guides of the society and not dabble in politics.

Speaking at a civic reception in Kochi, Kerala, the Vice-President said “Churches, Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras and other religious shrines are places of devotion” which bind the society together.

“They serve to bring people together. However, if they stray from this path and dabble in politics and issue unwarranted divisive statements, they become dysfunctional,” said Naidu.

“I hope these two strands of religion and politics are not mixed up and the religious leaders give spiritual guidance to every human being and the political leaders take inspiration from our noble heritage to provide a clean polity,” he said while calling for strengthening of the plurality, diversity and inclusiveness which are celebrated in the country.

 

It may be mentioned that the Nagaland Baptist Churches Council (NBCC) had in an open letter in February 2018 expressed concerns about rising “Hindutva movement” in the country.

“God must be weeping when Naga politicians are running after those who seek to destroy Christianity in India and in our land,” the letter read.

At the event organised by Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, the Vice-President inaugurated the diamond jubilee celebrations of Holy Ordination of the Dr Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, the 21st head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

The event was held in honour of Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom, who was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2018.

The Vice-President expressed happiness that people had benefited from the “visionary leadership” of Joseph Mar Thoma.

“Ours is a country that has celebrated plurality, diversity and inclusivity. We must collectively strengthen this unique perspective,” he told the gathering.

Before attending the event, the vice-President travelled in the Kochi Metro and interacted with the commuters.

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