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  • » 03/20/2008, 00.00


    Fasting and march against the “daily” persecution of Christians in Orissa

    Christians and lawmakers protest in the street against inaction by the Orissa State government over last Christmas’ violence. Since the incidents took place state authorities have done nothing to apprehend the culprits or protect and compensate the victims. Protesters demand the intervention of the central government.

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) – This afternoon Archbishop Vincent Concessao and many MPs and leaders of religious groups will march in New Delhi from the Jantar Mantar monument to Parliament Building to demand justice for the victims of the Christmas violence in Kandhamal District in Orissa State. The rally, which will also be attended by some 150 victims, is part of wider demonstrations and hunger strike that began on Tuesday by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) to protest against Orissa authorities for protecting those responsible for the violence and to demand the central government intervene.

    In launching the protest two days ago Monsignor Concessao (from the diocese of New Delhi) called on the governments of Orissa and India to protect minority rights and guarantee victims’ security.

    At Christmas hundreds of Hindu fundamentalists attacked Christians destroying hundreds of homes and businesses as well as churches and churches property, causing several deaths and injuring many people, forcing thousands of Christians to seek refuge in the area’s forests since police failed to do anything. In the end hundreds of families have lost home and livelihood and have not received any compensation from the state.

    GCIC Chairman Sajan George said that he was “very worried about the inaction of the Orissa State government in providing essential aid to the displaced” and made an appeal “to civil society to support the victims’ cause against the injustice perpetrated this past Christmas.”

    He accused the Orissa government of failing to stop the violence and help the victims “who continued to be tormented.”

    Many families from Kandhamal are still stuck in refugee camps, often without adequate food, and continue to be threatened and victimised by small violent acts, even by police.

    Sajan George told AsiaNews that “the rally will be even greater tomorrow, Good Friday, a day of prayer and fasting for Christians around the world. On that solemn occasion we want the government to lead the country, especially Orissa, onto the path of justice and peace.” (NC)

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    See also

    20/02/2009 INDIA
    Orissa: violence continues, another Christian killed
    Hrudayananda Nayak, 40, disappeared Wednesday evening. His lifeless body was found in the forest near the village of Rudangia whose residents are predominantly Christian. Eyewitnesses say that a group of Hindu extremists stopped him on his way home. This is the third murder since October after widespread anti-Christian violence in August and September of last year.

    12/05/2009 INDIA
    Orissa government cuts death toll from anti-Christian pogrom
    The authorities reject the list of dead submitted by the diocese of Bhubaneshwar. The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians says the government is reducing the number relying “false justifications” in an attempt “to cut compensation to the victims.” In Kandhamal tensions remain high as Hindu extremists try to storm a refugee camp at night.

    21/04/2010 INDIA
    New acquittals for people who attacked Christians in Orissa
    Fr Edward Sequeira, a Verbite priest who saw anti-Christian violence firsthand and was almost burnt to death during the 2008 pogrom, tells AsiaNews that a big organisation is working against Christians. He is certain that the Church will return to the areas where its institutions have been laid waste. The archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar says the Church is ready to appeal the acquittals.

    28/08/2008 INDIA
    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.

    20/11/2017 14:25:00 INDIA
    Sajan K George: arrested Christians, India’s vulnerable

    On November 19 some Pentecostals arrested in Madhya Pradesh; on November 15 an evangelical in Chhattisgarh. The leader of the Global Council of Indian Christians seeks protection for the celebrations of November 26, Solemnity of Christ the King.

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