Indian bishops publish account of persecuted Christians in Orissa
ICC Note: This report is a reminder to continue praying for Christians in Orissa, who remain in danger despite being out of the media spotlight.
03/09/09 India (CNA) – The Bishops’ Conference of India has published a detailed account of Archbishop Raphael Cheenath’s description of the critical situation facing the persecuted Catholics of Kandhamal in the state of Orissa, where anti-Christian attacks have continued.
The archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar explained that many priests who have returned to their parishes after the last wave of violence ended in September 2008, “are still not free to move about and the police themselves have recommended they request police escorts ahead of time” whenever they need to travel somewhere.
Christians are being persecuted in several ways including: “not allowing them to use public restrooms when extremists are using them,” strict punishments for entering a church, women are forced to wear degrading outfits and men are kidnapped, the prelate explained.
Another problem facing the Church is that government officials have been unable to determine how much economic compensation should be given for buildings destroyed by Hindu extremists. What the government has offered so far is well-below the value of the properties that have been destroyed.