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  • » 09/03/2008, 00.00

    INDIA

    Orissa: six more churches set on fire, hundreds of homes destroyed



    More and more Christian villages are being plundered and set on fire as police remains idle. Death threats are made against Christians if they practice their faith. but according to the government of Orissa the situation is “under control”.

    Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) – The anti-Christian pogrom in the state of Orissa shows no signs of a let-up. In the past three days six churches have been attacked, set on fire and destroyed; hundreds of Christian-owned houses have been devastated and then torched. The number of refugees and missing people is rising.

    According to reports that have reached AsiaNews from the diocese of Bhubaneshwar, the Catholic church in Padunbadi was attacked last night, plundered and torn down. Even the church wall was razed to the ground. The Catholic church in the village of Kakadabadi was also attacked yesterday and torched.

    On Monday the Baptist church in Durgaprasad, the Catholic church in Chadiapally, and both the Catholic and Baptist churches in Balligada were set on fire and destroyed.

    Also on Monday at 4 pm the Catholic church in Mondasore, a heritage building dating back to more than a century ago, was attacked, plundered and then set on fire. The residence and car of the parish priest, Jugal Kishore Digal, saw the same fate.

    Rabindra Parichha, from the village of Bhaliapada, which is part of Mondasore Parish, blames police, blames police inaction.

    “I had called the district control room and asked for the security force and also faxed a letter explaining the danger for the Mondasore Parish,” he said. “In spite of this my Parish church was attacked and destroyed.”

    In an attempt to wipe out Christians and stop conversions radical Hindus have attacked and torched Christian homes. Just in the last three days two houses were set on fire and destroyed in Raikia; 50 in Balligada; three in Kakadabadi; 35 in Tikabali (Beheragano); five in Chakapad and one in G. Udayagir.

    Most Christians have fled into the forest or found refuge in makeshift shelters set up by the government; others are facing retaliations and threats.

    Christians in the village of Padani have bee forced to carry out Hindu ceremonies and have received threats if they dare practice Christianity.

    Meanwhile in New Delhi the Supreme Court, after being petitioned by Mgr Raphael Cheenath, archbishop of Bhubaneshwar, asked the government of Orissa to report on the anti-Christian violence.

    The state government is suspected of letting radical Hindus meet disregarding security concerns.

    A government adviser said the government had no knowledge of the meetings and the current situation was “under control”.

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    See also

    16/10/2008 INDIA
    Sangh Parivar wants to remove every Christian trace in Orissa
    Christians are not allowed to pray even in government-run refugee camps. The ground on which homes and churches once stood are taken over and “cleansed” of every trace of violence. Hindus tell raped nun to marry her rapist. The hue and cry is still on for Christians.

    09/07/2010 INDIA
    Orissa: Hindu politician convicted for involvement in anti-Christian pogrom, released on bail
    Accused in a number of murders and acts of vandalism, Manoj Pradhan is now a free man after the Orissa High Court accepted his application for bail. On 29 June, a lower court had sentenced him to seven years in prison for murder. “This decision will undermine the peace process on Kandhamal District,” says a spokesman and lawyer for the Diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar.

    26/11/2008 INDIA
    Orissa, tally following 3 months of violence against Christians
    118 deaths have been certified, but it is feared that there have been at least 500, with many bodies being hidden or cremated. More than 54,000 have been displaced. The violence continues, although with less frequency, in part because of the impunity enjoyed by the attackers.

    04/02/2008 INDIA
    The Church will rise stronger from the ashes of Orissa
    The president of the Indian bishops' conference tells AsiaNews about his recent visit to the zone of Bubhaneshwar, at the centre of the violence at Christmas against the local Christian community. Here the extremist fury has claimed six lives and destroyed dozens of homes and churches. Thousands of refugees are afraid to return home. "In spite of the suffering, hope shines in the eyes of Christians".

    25/02/2009 INDIA
    Government blocks rebuilding of church in Orissa
    The church was about to be turned into a Hindu temple. The authorities have stopped construction, but they are not permitting the Catholics to rebuild the edifice, for "legal" reasons.



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