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“Not casting your vote is a sin,” says Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore

Advice from Bangalore Archbishop Peter Machado for Elections in 2024. (Photo: YouTube: EVERYTHING FOR YOU)

Archbishop Peter Machado of the Bangalore Archdiocese has urged Christians to vote for the secular government in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections at the Logos Retreat Centre in Bangalore on April 7, 2024.

The archbishop, who doesn't mince words on fundamental and minority rights, in a recent homily called on Christians to cast votes in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

“Not casting your votes is a sin,” he said.

Archbishop Machado, the president of the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishop’s Council, added that “voting is a moral duty of each citizen that holds towards shaping the destiny of their nation."

He draws attention to the graveness of indifference towards democracy by describing abstention from voting as a 'sin' and a 'betrayal.'

He said, “In a democracy, where the power lies in the hands of the people, failing to exercise this fundamental right is akin to relinquishing one’s responsibility for the collective welfare of society.”

He stresses the importance of voting over other engagements on election day by exhorting voters to prioritize voting over other activities, and he equates abstention from voting to casting a stone at the church to emphasize how civic duty and moral obligation are intertwined.

Archbishop Machado, a strong advocate of human rights and social justice, urges the faithful to scrutinize the qualifications of candidates and elect those who reflect fairness and equality, and thus embody a vision for a better, more equitable future for India.

Archbishop Machado's message serves as a rallying cry for a more inclusive and just India at a time when moral values are at risk.

He emphasized the universal significance of civic engagement and responsibility across all religions.

As the 2024 parliamentary elections loom large, let us heed Archbishop Machado’s call not merely as a religious directive but as a moral obligation toward building a brighter, more inclusive future for India.

He said, “Not voting is a sin, and complaining about Christians' persecution later is futile in a country."

Karnataka state will vote on April 26 and May 7 in the national election, which is divided into seven phases during April, May, and June.

Catholic bishops in India have urged their people to pray and fast on March 22.

According to Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, the intent was to intercede for the nation's election this year.

With 1.4 billion people, Muslims make up 14%, Christians make up 2.3%, and Hindus make up 79.8% of the population of India.


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