» 06/12/2014, 00.00
Bhubaneswar, the government demolishes 30 Christian homes and a church
Homes destroyed to expand and extend adjacent street. The place of worship and houses stood in a shanty town, in very poor area of the city. For the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) it is "a serious violation of human rights and a way to intimidate the Christian community."
(AsiaNews) - The authorities in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of
Orissa, yesterday demolished a church and 30 houses of the Christian community
that lives in the slums Behera, in the district of Nayapalli. AsiaNews
was alerted of the episode by the Global Council of Indian Christians
municipality and the Development Authority justified the destruction of places
of worship, housing and all of the worldly possessions of the owners with the
need to expand and extend the adjacent street.
Sajan K. George, president of the GCIC, the demolition "is a gross
violation of human rights. The administration decided to destroy their homes just
as Orissa is suffering a heat wave". Overall,
the Christian community in the area has 250 members.
gesture the activist told AsiaNews, "is a way to intimidate and persecute
these poor Christians. Now they have nowhere to live, and what is worse is that
they have no food, no drinking water. Their future is daunting:
most survive on daily work or are laborers. How will they survive now that all
their belongings were destroyed? What will become of the women and children, who
were already living in insecurity?".
The GCIC, he
adds, "is not contrary to progress and development, but this should not be
done without putting people at the center."
is not the first time that the local church has been targeted by the authorities. On
2 July 2008, seven Protestant pastors were beaten and imprisoned on false
charges of forced conversions. Back
then - as now - the government in the Orissa was run by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), a regional right
wing party and ally of the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu ultra-nationalist formation that since May 16
last is at the helm of the central government of 'India.
Economic interests of upper caste Hindus behind the massacres in Orissa
Two years after the anti-Christian pogroms that began August 24, 2008 in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa), survivors of violence are still in danger and seeking justice. The Archbishop of Cuttack Bhubaneswar, attacks business men of high caste Hindus. They exploited the massacres to maintain economic power in the region, preventing the Church emancipation of Dalits and tribals who converted to Christianity.
EU delegation visits persecuted Christians of Orissa
Delegates are met by ultranationalist Hindus. Tomorrow they will travel to conflict-torn Kandhamal. Mgr Cheenath says things will be back to normal only when Christians can live in their homes and pray without fear.
Domestic Churches once again under attack in West Java
In Bandungna over 150 Islamic protesters threaten the local Christian community: “Or you close private homes being used for church activities, or we will”. The Indonesian Churches Communication Forum reports there have been over 70 disputes of this kind since January 2004and asks for the authorities to facilitate the purchase of land to allow the construction of Churches.
Orissa bishop slams forced conversion of Catholics to Hinduism
Cases have been reported in more than ten villages in Kandhamal District. In talks with the state’s chief minister, Mgr Raphael Cheenath, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, calls for a greater effort to fight discrimination. “The state describes itself as secular; hence, it should not condone such violence,” he said.
Indian commission investigating anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa
A seven-member team begins inquiry in areas where Hindus massacred Christians. They will meet victims, police officials and local administrators. It is still not known whether Sister Meena will take part in the line-up to identify her assailants.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.