2010-11-08 15:13:41

Christian persecution continues in Orissa

(November 8, 2010) Anti-Christian repression continues in Kandhamal district of Orissa state, eastern India, despite the government’s claims of normalcy, a fact-finding team has revealed. Although police contingents now guard several villages, Hindu radical groups’ social and economic boycott of Christians persists, the team reports. The four-member group that visited Kandhamal district on Friday said lawlessness still prevails in villages with Christians living in fear and insecurity. The district was the epicenter of unprecedented anti-Christian violence for seven weeks starting Aug. 24, 2008. In Bodimunda village a Protestant pastor said he was forced to become a Hindu to save his ailing mother. Elsewhere another pastor was fined for hiring a three-wheeler taxi to take a sick Christian to hospital. The taxi driver told the visiting team that they were fined even after complaining to the police. The team also met a group of distraught Christians in another house. Among them, a man whose two daughters are Catholic nuns alleged that the administration and the police collude with the local members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the umbrella body of Hindu extremists. The team also met a Hindu, who had to pay a 5,000-rupee fine for carrying housing materials for a Christian working with the Border Security Force.

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