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» 08/29/2008
INDIA
Some 25,000 Catholic schools shut down in India to protest against Orissa massacres
by Nirmala Carvalho
The Bishops’ Conference of India suspends all activities in the country’s Catholic institutions. Cardinal Gracias highlights the attempt to reawaken the conscience of people in India and around the world over the fate of Indian Christians. Non-Christian schools join peaceful protest.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Catholic schools were shut down across India today as teachers and students took to the streets in protest against anti-Christian violence in the state of Orissa.

Urged by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) almost 25,000 Catholic schools, colleges and universities set up by the Church in its centuries-old presence in India interrupted normal activities as Catholics organised peaceful demonstrations. In a sign of solidarity various non-Christian schools and organisations joined them.

In the meantime whilst violence continues in Orissa, the deployment of more than 3,000 police agents improved the situation somewhat.

Yesterday the CBIC released an updated list of devastations in the eastern Indian state. According to its data 12 people are dead in the district of Kandhamal with two more seriously injured. At least 41 churches (Catholic and Protestant) were destroyed; hundreds of homes were damaged; four convents, five hostels and youth residences, six Catholic volunteer institutes were devastated; plus hundreds of cars and other personal objects were set on fire during raids carried out by Hindu fundamentalists.

“The protest is meant to highlight the slaughter of Christians in Orissa which has been made worst by the incapacity of the central government to stop violence at a time when anti-Christian sentiment is growing and the faithful are tortured and killed,’ said CBCI Chairman Osvaldo Cardinal Gracias.

The prelate said that he wanted to send “a clear signal” not only to India but to the entire world about the importance of the presence of the Christian community, which has always been in the forefront of “social issues, education and assistance to the needy.”

Its contribution is the more significant in India because “it does not take into consideration caste differences” and embraces the “entire population.”

Shutting down almost 25,000 schools is a strong “symbolic” act that is designed to “reawaken the conscience of people in India and around the world.”


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See also
01/10/2008 INDIA
Anti-Christian violence like “man-made tsunami,” says Cardinal Toppo
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/10/2008 INDIA
In Orissa Christians treated worse than animals, says Father Bernard
by Nirmala Carvalho
11/11/2008 INDIA
Orissa bishops call on government to rebuild churches by Christmas
by Nirmala Carvalho
12/12/2008 INDIA
Risk of anti-Christian violence in Orissa but also in Karnataka during Christmas
11/26/2008 INDIA
Orissa, tally following 3 months of violence against Christians
INDIA
Police gag order silences Sisters of Mother Teresa
INDIA
In Orissa Christians treated worse than animals, says Father Bernard
INDIA
Orissa: no peace for Christians even in refugee camps
INDIA
Day of prayer and fasting for Christians in Orissa, together with Hindus and Muslims
INDIA
Sisters of Mother Teresa still under investigation for "child kidnapping". Church burned
INDIA
India, sisters of Mother Teresa assaulted by Hindu radicals and arrested by police
INDIA - VATICAN
Bishop Dabre: stop fundamentalism with dialogue, following example of Mother Teresa
INDIA
Orissa: after his calvary Father Thomas willing to go back to serve those who hurt him
INDIA
Orissa: six more churches set on fire, hundreds of homes destroyed
INDIA
Sr Nirmala Joshi: Let us put down the weapons of violence; religion is a work of peace
INDIA
Pressures on Indian president to stop anti-Christian violence in Orissa
INDIA
Orissa: thousands of refugees and new victims, massacre of Christians continues
INDIA
Solidarity of Indian Hindus and Muslims with Christians in Orissa
INDIA
Orissa: killing Christians to stop Tribals and Dalits from developing and achieving dignity
INDIA
Faithful killed, homes and churches burned, thousands flee: pogrom of Indian Christians (OVERVIEW)
VATICAN
Pope: In India, religious and civil authorities must work to stop the violence
INDIA
Orissa: burning and looting continues, Christians beaten and cut to pieces
VATICAN – INDIA
Orissa: Vatican expresses solidarity to victims; Indian bishop calls events shameful for the state
INDIA
Orissa: Hindus torch Christian homes and churches, three die asphyxiated By Nirmala Carvalho
INDIA
Orissa: Hindu extremists burn one nun alive, rape another
INDIA
Orissa: violence and destruction against Christians accused of killing radical Hindu leader

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pp. 176
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