Saturday, 29 December 2007

India Christian leaders condemn government probe into deadly violence

Orissa's tiny Christian minority is struggling to overcome violence, church leaders say. BHUBANESWAR, INDIA (BosNewsLife)-- Christian leaders in India’s tense eastern state of Orissa said Saturday, December 29, they are skeptical about a local government-ordered judicial inquiry into Hindu-led violence that rocked Kandhamal district this week, killing some nine Christians and damaging over 50 churches and other buildings.

"Christians are not safe in Kandhamal. Anti-social elements are attacking Christians, burning churches, setting fire to the houses of Christians and raising slogans against them," said Raphael Cheenath, the Catholic archbishop of the areas of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, Orissa’s capital.

(read more)

He said the violence in Orissa seems even worse than attacks in the Indian state of Gujarat where between December 25, 1998, and January 3, 1999, in Dangs and neighboring districts over twenty churches were reportedly burned or destroyed, and scores of individuals were physically assaulted.

The attacks were followed by the burning alive of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his small sons Timothy, 9, and Philip, 7, in his station wagon at Manoharpur village in Orissa’s Keonjhar district in January 1999. Orissa’s Christians comprise about 900,000 people of the 36-million strong population of the predominantly Hindu state, according to official estimates. (BosNewsLife's Chief International Correspondent Stefan J. Bos contributed to the story. Stay with BosNewsLife for continues coverage on the crisis in Orissa)

Christians face Christmas beatings, church burnings (WorldNetDaily, 04 Jan 2007)

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