08/20/2011, 00.00
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Orissa government harasses Christians. Demolition order for a church

The Christian families of Nandagiri, returned after the pogroms of 2008, receive a demolition order for the church they are building, with its own resources. The Global Council of Indian Christians appeales to the Supreme Court against the local government decision.
Bangalore (AsiaNews) - The victims of anti-Christian pogrom in Kandhamal are not allowed to rebuild their church, indeed, they have been ordered by the authorities to suspend the construction of small building (already stopped due to lack of funds) to satisfy the radical Hindus in the region. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has appealed to the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of India to stop the government of Orissa.

The refugee victims of the 2008 pogroms were relocated to Nandagiri, in the G. Udayagiri Tahasil area, many Christian families have not in fact been allowed to return to their original villages. 54 Catholic families and 17 Pentecostal families live in Nandagiri. Since June 2009, the date of their arrival, they began to celebrate their functions in a plot of land and build a church, a small building, with their voluntary contributions.

Usually, when there is a new village, the government provides land for the place of worship. When families came to Nandagiri, they were given a verbal assurance that over time they would receive a parcel of land for the church. For this they began to build one. The local Christian leader, Krisant Mallick, made a formal request for a permit for the plot, and was given assurances in that regard. But suddenly he was asked to appear in court Aug. 17 over the construction of the church. And finally, the local offical wrote to him and ordered them to evacuate the land and demolish the church within 30 days.

The GCIC complained to the Supreme Court that natural justice is being denied to the Christians of the state, and that the conduct of the government of 'Orissa seems an attack on all citizens who believe in Jesus Christ in India and outside. The Supreme Court, said the GCIC, must correct this serious error by the State Government.

For Sajan George, president of the GCIC "These are dramatic times for the Christians of Kandhamal as we draw near to thethird anniversary of the pogrom in Orissa, which occurred with the complicity of the authorities." "We call on the Chief Minister not to repeat the mistakes made in these three years - says the activist - during which the administration has not protected the victims and their property, has delayed the delivery of compensation and left the witnesses of the pogroms defenceless in the face of the death threats of the Hindu extremists. " (CN)
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