04 December 2016
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    » 04/10/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Priest beaten, insulted and threatened with death during Easter in Orissa

    Nirmala Carvalho

    A group of Hindus attack Fr Sisirakant Sbhanayak, parish priest in Sukananda (Kandhamal District) on four occasions during Holy Week. The attackers wanted to destroy a path that leads to a Lourdes Grotto attached to the local church. During anti-Christian pogroms in 2008, the church was demolished together with the home of the Sisters of Mother Teresa.

    Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) - "They tried to kill me. They beat me, insulted me, and threatened to kill me," said Fr Sisirakant Sbhanayak, a Catholic priest in Sukananda village, in Orissa's Kandhamal District. He was speaking about attacks he suffered during Holy Week. According to the preliminary results of an investigation by G-Udaygiri police, members of Hindu ultranationalist groups tried to disrupt Easter celebrations at the Mary Mother of God Parish. To prevent incidents, the police set up a tight security detail around the church on Easter Sunday.

    The story began on 29 March, when Manoj Nayak and Rabindra Nayak as well as others began destroying the path that leads to the church's Marian grotto. "I told them to stop and they did," Fr Sisirakant said. However, "they came back the next day with excavating equipment. I told them again not to destroy the path, but this time Manoj and the others started to insult me using filthy language. Deepak Nayak later grabbed me by the neck, hitting me with his fists and threatened to kill me."

    If that was not enough. On 4 April, Manoj Nayak ambushed the priest as he made his way to G. Udaygiri and beat him. Two days later, Rabindra Nayak threatened to kill him.

    Fr Sisirakant has been parish priest in Sukananda since 2010. The Mary Mother of God Church has existed for more than 90 years and is part of the Diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar.

    During anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal in 2008, the church building, the priest's residence and the home of the Missionaries of Charity were looted and set on fire.

    (Santosh Digal contributed to the article.)

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    See also

    12/01/2010 VIETNAM
    In Dong Chiem Catholics beaten, a journalist wounded and a priest threatened
    Attacked by uniformed and plainclothes police, who took his camera, the reporter was abandoned unconscious and bleeding in the street. Solidarity of the bishops of North Vietnam for Father Van Lien, accused by authorities of inducing"the faithful to commit crimes."

    02/09/2016 10:46:00 INDIA
    Msgr. Barwa: Mother Teresa bring peace in Kandhamal

    Bishop of Orissa asks the intercession of the future saint to bring peace and reconciliation. On September 4, the day when the Mother will be canonised celebrations, festivities and meetings will be held in India.



    11/06/2010 INDIA
    Orissa: more anti-Christian persecution
    A group of Hindus torture young Christian man. Using violence, they drag him to a Hindu temple, where they “re-convert” him. Police charge five of six attackers, but without taking them into custody. Christian activist believes that “hidden interests” are behind incidents of this type.

    01/09/2016 10:01:00 INDIA
    Orissa, a new "Mother Teresa Road" dedicated to the Saint of all

    The road will be inaugurated on September 4, the day of the canonization of Mother. The ceremony will be a public function. The Missionaries of Charity operate in 11 homes located throughout the state. The initiative acquires more value because Orissa is the State where the massacres were perpetrated against Christians in 2008.



    06/08/2015 INDIA
    Msgr. Barwa: Kandhamal's priests, witnesses of hope for the universal Church
    The Bishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar celebrates the feast of St. Jean-Mary Vianney, patron of parish priests, with 87 diocesan priests. Affected by the anti-Christian pogrom (2008), these priests have "touched the wounds of Christ through those of their people."



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