Jesuit Mission Australia and the Australian Jesuits have joined international Church groups supporting an 83-year-old Jesuit arrested in India for his work with indigenous tribal people.
In a campaign titled “Stand with Stan”, the Jesuit groups and organisations want to cast light on the injustice being done to Fr Stan Swamy and those he serves.
“Fr Stan Swamy has been peacefully supporting the protection of rights of the Adivasi people in India for the past 15 years, in keeping with his religious vows, our Jesuit tradition and the constitution of India,” said Fr Brian McCoy, provincial of Australian Jesuit Province.
The Jesuits said Fr Stan had been harassed by police for more than 12 months for the support he lends to the Adivasis (Aboriginal people) in Ranchi, a city in India’s northeast, not far from the region where some 50 Australians have served Hindus, Muslims along with Christian and non-Christian tribal people over the past 70 years.
Fr Stan was arrested on October 8 and has been charged with fostering division by collaborating with Maoist rebels and was moved to detention in Mumbai, a city on India’s east coast. This work in support of the rights of the indigenous, non-Hindu people in and around Ranchi is work that the Australians and others have been doing for decades.
Jesuit Mission chief executive Helen Forde said: “We at Jesuit Mission are outraged by the arrest and detainment of Fr Stan Swamy, an incredible man who has devoted his life to serving Jharkhand’s most vulnerable people.”
A petition has been launched to stand in solidarity with Fr Stan. Details: https://standwithstan.jcsaweb.org/
Jesuit Mission Australia calls you to Stand with Stan (Jesuit Mission Australia)