2016-01-07 14:22:00

Christians still face violence in Odisha, India

Christian leaders ask government to provide protection against Hindu  hardliners who continue to threaten the community in eastern Indian Odisha  state that has witnessed major anti-Christian violence. 

Using a strike that called for tribal rights as a pretext, the mobs blocked roads on Christmas morning with logs and stones in several villages to ensure that villagers were unable to get any help during an attack. Although police later cleared the roads, "Christmas was celebrated in  fear and sadness. Father Santosh Digal from Cuttuck-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese said the roadblocks always create panic among local Christians because of past experiences.

Christian leader Amir Nayak said mobs have been blocking roads in the tribal-dominated district that witnessed several instances of violence against Christians, the worst being four-months of violence that broke out in September 2008. Rampaging Hindu mobs that month burned down Christian houses, convents and churches and raped women. At least 100 people were killed and some 50,000 were displaced.

In a further effort to get help to end the threats they face,  Christian leaders have written a report about the issue which will be submitted to state chief minister Naveen Patnaik and to the National Human Rights Commission. (UCAN)

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