Orissa state in India remains flashpoint for Christians

One year after Christians were attacked and killed by radical Hindus in the Indian state of Orissa tension remains between Indians of the different faiths. The murder of leading Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati last Aug. 23 triggered violence against Christians which extended into September, killed more than 100 people and burned more than 4,500 houses, according to Open Doors USA. Open Doors is a ministry serving persecuted Christians around the world. According to CNN, Hindus believed Christians were responsible for Sarawati’s death and targeted them in the resulting violence. Open Doors claims the murder was committed by local Communists. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India has asked Catholic dioceses in the country to pray for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation between Hindus and Christians. Some Christians have returned to their homes in and around the Orissan city of Kandhamal amid threats to drop complaints with local officials over the violence. Open Doors quoted Sam Paul, a spokesman for the All India Christian Council as saying, “The road to peace is not easily available to the Christian community. … At some places they were threatened to convert to Hinduism. At a few places, to maintain the peace, the local Christians had to deny their faith.” A New Delhi-based non-profit group, the Indo Global Social Service Society, led a campaign to get signatures for a memorandum highlighting the true condition of Kandhamal. The memorandum claims more than 11,000 people were named in police complaints, only 679 had been arrested, Open Doors said. It also alleges that a total of 50,000 persons were displaced as a result of the destruction of their houses, arson and looting, but that less than half of them have returned to their homes. The mission group Gospel for Asia (GFA) is reporting that 20,000 Christians remain in refugee camps out of fear to return to their villages. “In many villages, the radicals have warned the Christians that if they return, they must convert to Hinduism or, as they say, suffer the consequences,” GFA president K.P. Yohannan said in a press release. “And for most of the believers, they have nothing left to return to; their homes and everything they owned have been destroyed.” Yohannan added that contributions to the organization had allowed it to help rebuild 240 homes. The mission has a target of rebuilding 1,000 total homes. The first conviction related to the Orissa violence came last month when a man was sentenced to two years on rioting charges, CNN reported. Links: Open Doors USA: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/ Gospel for Asia: http://www.gfa.org/ CNN — India: First conviction for sectarian attacks: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/01/india.christian.attacks/index.html

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  1. EternalLizdom said:

    One thing we have done from time to time that my kids love is a twist on movie night… we eat dinner, get through the bedtime routine, and then do movie night in mom and dad’s bedroom! The kids thing it is great to have everyone in pj’s, to hang out in mom and dad’s bedroom, to watch the TV in our room… everything about it is special. We pile up on the bed with pillows and blankets and stuffed animals everywhere. It’s a great time to cuddle and snuggle and calm down after a long week!

    July 30, 2009
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Orissa state in India remains flashpoint for Christians

One year after Christians were attacked and killed by radical Hindus in the Indian state of Orissa tension remains between Indians of the different faiths. The murder of leading Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati last Aug. 23 triggered violence against Christians which extended into September, killed more than 100 people and burned more than 4,500 houses, according to Open Doors USA. Open Doors is a ministry serving persecuted Christians around the world. According to CNN, Hindus believed Christians were responsible for Sarawati’s death and targeted them in the resulting violence. Open Doors claims the murder was committed by local Communists. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India has asked Catholic dioceses in the country to pray for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation between Hindus and Christians. Some Christians have returned to their homes in and around the Orissan city of Kandhamal amid threats to drop complaints with local officials over the violence. Open Doors quoted Sam Paul, a spokesman for the All India Christian Council as saying, “The road to peace is not easily available to the Christian community. … At some places they were threatened to convert to Hinduism. At a few places, to maintain the peace, the local Christians had to deny their faith.” A New Delhi-based non-profit group, the Indo Global Social Service Society, led a campaign to get signatures for a memorandum highlighting the true condition of Kandhamal. The memorandum claims more than 11,000 people were named in police complaints, only 679 had been arrested, Open Doors said. It also alleges that a total of 50,000 persons were displaced as a result of the destruction of their houses, arson and looting, but that less than half of them have returned to their homes. The mission group Gospel for Asia (GFA) is reporting that 20,000 Christians remain in refugee camps out of fear to return to their villages. “In many villages, the radicals have warned the Christians that if they return, they must convert to Hinduism or, as they say, suffer the consequences,” GFA president K.P. Yohannan said in a press release. “And for most of the believers, they have nothing left to return to; their homes and everything they owned have been destroyed.” Yohannan added that contributions to the organization had allowed it to help rebuild 240 homes. The mission has a target of rebuilding 1,000 total homes. The first conviction related to the Orissa violence came last month when a man was sentenced to two years on rioting charges, CNN reported. Links: Open Doors USA: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/ Gospel for Asia: http://www.gfa.org/ CNN — India: First conviction for sectarian attacks: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/01/india.christian.attacks/index.html

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