22 January 2018
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Orissa: the Hindu pogrom against Christians


12/09/2008
Police gag order silences Sisters of Mother Teresa
Nuns are accused of abducting and converting children, but they regain custody after accusations are shown to be false. Sangh Parivar, which accuses them of “child trafficking,” plans a demonstration against the nuns for tomorrow. Insecurity spreads to the state of Karnataka where three Pentecostal churches are shut down despite having all the right papers.

10/09/2008
In Orissa Christians treated worse than animals, says Father Bernard
As the situation gets back to normal amid fears and tensions, what happened is slowly emerging. Victims talk about the violence inflicted upon them, a true “attack against the sacredness and dignity of human life”. Beaten repeatedly and left unconscious for hours in the forest, Fr Bernard Digal tells his story.

09/09/2008
Orissa: no peace for Christians even in refugee camps
Even in the camps, the faithful find fundamentalists who coerce them to convert to Hinduism. Priests also threatened and abused.

08/09/2008
Sisters of Mother Teresa still under investigation for "child kidnapping". Church burned
The four children being taken by the sisters to their institute are in the custody of the railway police. The campaign of the Hindu fundamentalists is spreading into Madya Pradesh, where young Christians have been beaten, and a church has been burned.

08/09/2008
Day of prayer and fasting for Christians in Orissa, together with Hindus and Muslims
In many cities, Hindu religious representatives have condemned the violence against Christians in Orissa. Cardinal Vithayathil calls the day a sign of a "new era": the Christians have responded to the violence with nonviolence, following the teaching of Jesus.

06/09/2008
India, sisters of Mother Teresa assaulted by Hindu radicals and arrested by police
The fundamentalists attacked the religious, accusing them of the "kidnapping and forced conversion" of four children between one and two years old. Although their identification documents were in order, the children were taken away from the sisters and put in a government hospital. Tough condemnation by the Indian Church.

05/09/2008
Bishop Dabre: stop fundamentalism with dialogue, following example of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the model for bringing encounter and collaboration among the religions and cultures of our time: a clear Catholic identity, and an openness without barriers of race or religion. Only dialogue will stop the violence and lies of religious fanaticism. A reflection by Thomas Dabre, bishop of Vasai and a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

03/09/2008
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”.

03/09/2008
Orissa: after his calvary Father Thomas willing to go back to serve those who hurt him
He was among the first Christians targeted by the fury of radical Hindus. For the first time since he was attacked he speaks out. After being seized, beaten, wounded and stripped he was almost burnt alive. It took police two days to free him. AsiaNews correspondent in Mumbai Nirmala Carvalho was able to talk to him.

02/09/2008
Sr Nirmala Joshi: Let us put down the weapons of violence; religion is a work of peace
For the occasion of the feast of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, on September 5, the superior of the Missionaries of Charity launches an appeal to all Indians to break the chain of violence taking place in Orissa. The Italian bishops' conference also launches a day of prayer and fasting for September 5, as a sign of solidarity with the persecuted Christians.

01/09/2008
Pressures on Indian president to stop anti-Christian violence in Orissa
Violence continues, unabated. Yesterday four churches were destroyed as violence spreads to Madya Pradesh and Karnataka.

30/08/2008
Orissa: thousands of refugees and new victims, massacre of Christians continues
At least 10,000 people are asking for help at the shelters, while just as many are seeking refuge in the forests to escape the violence of the Hindu fundamentalists. According to "reliable sources" presented by a Christian activist, there are "at least 100 dead".

29/08/2008
Solidarity of Indian Hindus and Muslims with Christians in Orissa
The Christian community is receiving support from part of the Hindu world, which "condemns in no uncertain terms" the violence and massacres, and calls for "religious freedom" for all. Indian Muslims are also sympathizing with their affliction, and emphasizing the similarities with the 2002 massacre in Gujarat.

29/08/2008
Some 25,000 Catholic schools shut down in India to protest against Orissa massacres
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.

28/08/2008
Orissa: killing Christians to stop Tribals and Dalits from developing and achieving dignity
An expert sociologist talks about the motives behind the ongoing waves of violence against Christians—conversion to Christianity, education and emancipation allow Tribals and Dalits to escape slave-like conditions. Hindu fundamentalism is against the search for greater justice and wants to stop ongoing social transformations.

27/08/2008
Orissa: burning and looting continues, Christians beaten and cut to pieces
Vikram Nayak was killed, and then cut to pieces. Two Christians die two days after suffering serious injuries. Unrest by radical Hindus continues as police is ordered to shoot on sight those who break the curfew. Two nuns who were attacked tell their stories; Catholic schools to close for a day; the faithful are called to observe a day of prayer and fasting.

27/08/2008
Pope: In India, religious and civil authorities must work to stop the violence
Firm condemnation from Benedict XVI for what is taking place in Orissa, for "every attack on human life". Solidarity with the Christian victims of attacks by Hindus. For the faithful present at the general audience, he drew a portrait of Saint Paul, "tireless apostle of the Gospel".

27/08/2008
Faithful killed, homes and churches burned, thousands flee: pogrom of Indian Christians (OVERVIEW)
A tally from AsiaNews of the wave of violence that is rocking Orissa: the Christian community in the crosshairs of Hindu fundamentalists is counting the deaths, fires, destruction of property, and people taking refuge in the forest.

26/08/2008
Orissa: Hindus torch Christian homes and churches, three die asphyxiated By Nirmala Carvalho
Radical Hindus pursue their pogrom against Christians and their institutions. Catholic and Protestant institutions come under attack. People who fled into the forest are without food and shelter. Police imposes a curfew.

26/08/2008
Orissa: Vatican expresses solidarity to victims; Indian bishop calls events shameful for the state
The Holy See has called on everyone to rebuild an atmosphere of dialogue and reconciliation. Cardinal Gracias, who chairs the conference of Indian bishops, accuses the government of being too slow in acting and the police of being ineffective. He expresses sorrow for the death of Hindu fundamentalist leader Swami Laxamananda. Violence against nuns and missionaries, who give their life for the social development of the population, is “diabolic”. Mother Teresa’s successor Sister Nirmala Joshi says that one cannot be disciple of Christ without paying the price, on the Cross.

25/08/2008
Orissa: violence and destruction against Christians accused of killing radical Hindu leader
Churches, chapels, a social centre and a pastoral centre as well as vans belonging to nuns have been destroyed. A new wave of violence has followed the assassination of Swami Laxanananda, the man behind the war against Christians that left three people dead and saw 13 churches burnt last December in Orissa.



Editor's choices

EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

Fady Noun

A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


CHINA
Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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