11/16/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Survivor of Kandhamal pogrom: I lost everything except Jesus

by Kanaka Rekha Nayaka
The heartbreaking story of Kanaka Rekha Nayaka the National Eucharistic Congress. In the massacres of 2008 was a direct witness of the martyrdom of her husband, dragged by a chain around his neck and beheaded by extremists for refusing to convert to Hinduism. The assailants, who were arrested after the pogroms, are now back into the wild.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Church in India "is a vibrant and active Church, and Popr Francis loves her”, said Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, during the Mass that closed the National Eucharistic Congress in Mumbai. Thousands of faithful attended the Mass, the conlcusion of a week of testimonies by bishops and faithful from across the country. Among these  Kanaka Rekha Nayaka, who survived the anti-Christian pogrom of 2008.

After her moving testimony, the woman was blessed by the three cardinals (Card. Gracias, Card. Toppo and Card. Cleemis). Her story moved the Archbishop of Mumbai: "Testimonials like this reinforce our faith and show that Christ is with us. The Cross is inextricable from the life of every Christian". Here is the text read by Kanaka.

I am Kanaka Rekha Nayak, the wife of late Parikhita Nayak. I have two children. It was on 25th August 2008, around 1 p.m. I was with my two children at home. Suddenly a mob of 400 people entered my village with anti Christian slogans. Hearing the noise I run to the forest with my children. I could see the house burning smoke from far. I was worried about my husband. My husband had gone to the other street. The rioters encircled the house where my husband was hiding. They were carrying lathis, axes, knives and guns. They killed two of my husband’s friend. My husband pushed them and ran for his life to the forest.

I could not return to my home as the rioters had burned down my house. Spending whole night in the forest I came the following day to my mother’s house Raikia through forest. I met my husband there and as the place was not safe for us, we went through jungle to go to the nearby town. As we were going through the forest, my daughter felt thirst and cried for water. As we came down to the roadside looking for water the rioters caught my husband. Immediately about 100 people armed with swords, axes and local made guns surrounded us. With abusive language they shouted at us. They took my husband to the nearby temple and tied his hand at the pole. There, they beat him thoroughly and forced him to confess to become Christians. My husband said you may kill me but I will not become hindu. I fell down at their feet and requested them to save him but they would not listen. With cycle chain around his neck they dragged my husband about one kilometer and cut his legs and then his neck and then burnt him. I run with my two children to the nearby police station Raikia and informed the matter. The police came but by that time the rioters had fled. After burning my husband they had buried him there. We got the body and then after post mortam I gave burial to my husband. I knew who had killed my husband. Afterwards they were taken to jail. After seven years in jail now they are released. I am scared to go to my village. They threaten me. I have lost my husband, my home and properties but I have not lost my faith. Jesus is my Saviour.

 

 

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