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» 07/09/2009
INDIA
Orissa spending 4 million rupees to rebuild churches
by Nirmala Carvalho
Money will go to rehabilitate 196 buildings, churches and places of worship belonging to various Christian denominations in Kandhamal District. The Global Council of Indian Christians wants compensation for victims and protection for witnesses in trials against Hindu extremists.

Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) – Almost a year after Christians were victims of a pogrom in Orissa the Union and State government have announced their intention to financially help the victims of the violence and pay for the reconstruction of destroyed churches.

The Orissa government said that it will spend 4.23 million rupees (US$ 82,000) on churches and other religious buildings. Overall the money will go to 196 buildings, churches and places of worship that belong to various Christian denominations located in Kandhamal District.

The State’s decision came after months of pressures by Christian groups on Orissa authorities.

Back in May the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had submitted a report on the victims and the damages caused by the extremists.

“Now we have to pursue the cases” not included in this compensation package as well as protect “the witnesses who have to testify in the trials against those accused of the violence as well as their families,” said GCIC Chairman Sajan K George.

Two days ago India’s Union (federal) government joined Orissa in pledging money for reconstruction. Delhi announced its decision to spend 10.5 million rupees (US$ 210,000) to help 35 families who lost a member in the violence of last August.

As for the number of people killed during the anti-Christian outbreaks, Orissa authorities and Christian groups are still far apart.

For the state government only a few tens of people were killed. Yet back in November a government official told a delegation from India’s Communist Party-Marxist-Leninist that 500 had been killed and that he had personally seen the cremation of at least 200 bodies.

In addition in the villages of Kandhamal Christians who filed charges against their attackers are still subject to death threats.

Sources told AsiaNews that Kantan Nayak has been the object of threats. He is one of the main witnesses in the trial of those accused of raping Sister Meena Barwa (see AsiaNews of 24 October 2008) and has been warned not to testify in the nun’s case unless he wants to die.


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See also
08/29/2009 INDIA
Orissa, acquitted for lack of evidence one of the brains behind anti-Christian pogrom
by Nirmala Carvalho
02/24/2010 INDIA
Orissa, "there is no justice for Christians"
by Nirmala Carvalho
08/08/2012 INDIA
Orissa court reopens Christian murder case dismissed by police
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/12/2009 INDIA
Orissa: insecurity and hatred await Christians forced out of refugee camps
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/11/2008 INDIA
Upper castes behind anti-Christian violence in Orissa
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
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"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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