ASIA/INDIA - Christians: "In the new year, justice for the victims of the massacres in Orissa are needed"
Bhubaneshwar (Agenzia Fides) - The new year should bring an important priority: justice for the victims of the anti-Christian massacres that occurred in Orissa: This is what the Indian Christians gathered in the All India Christian Council (AICC), an organization committed to the defense of rights of believers in India demand. Figures provided by the local Church in Orissa speak for
Location of Orissa in India. Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia
The figures say that "justice is still a huge problem for some 56,000 Christians for whom life has changed dramatically since August 2008", says John Dayal, AICC Executive Secretary in a statement sent to Fides. "Aggressors - he recalls - asked them to convert to Hinduism and burn a Bible as a sign. They did not do it and chose to escape. In 400villages the Christian presence was completely cancelled, more than 5,600 homes and about 295 churches were burned, hundreds of deaths, some women, including at least one nun, were raped".
Tension remains high in Orissa today, aggravated by the murder of a legal assistant, and former Catholic catechist, Rabindra Parichha, who was involved in then protection of witnesses. Violence continues: before Christmas, in the village of Bujlimendi, Kaleswar Digal's house, a 45-year-old Christian with a wife and three children, was burned down shortly after midnight. Now the 25 Christian families in the village with 100 houses live in fear.Rabindra Parichha is the third Christian leader to be killed in 2011, after the murder of two Protestant pastors, Saul Pradhan from Banjamaha (Raikia) and Minoketan Nayak from Midiakia (Baliguda).
According to eyewitnesses, Manoj Pradhan, a member of the
Burnt down Christian church. Image via Wikipedia
"The saddest thing in Orissa today is the lack of dispensation of justice, especially in the courts, where not a single person was previously convicted of murder, especially because the witnesses were forced to remain silent and the police presented little evidence, after shoddy investigation", concludes Dayal. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 02/01/2012)