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Christians still feeling vulnerable in India

ICC Note

Christians in Orissa face threats and coercion to convert to Hinduism. Thus, many are not able to return home from refugee camps due to fear of further attacks.

By Charlie Boyd and Babu Thomas

12/08/2009 India (Christian Today)-Thousands of Christians in India ’s Orissa state are still too afraid to return home for fear of more violence, according to the general secretary of the All India Christian Council.

John Dayal said that although there had been much work by religious groups to distribute Bibles and clothes, and to counsel victims, not much had been done to make Christians feel any safer.

“The result is that complainants and witnesses to violence feel very insecure and are susceptible to coercion, blackmail and perhaps allurement,” he said. “Not much progress has been in getting convictions especially in the murder cases involving BJP political leaders.”

He said Christians were still facing threats and coercion to convert to Hinduism following violent attacks by Hindu militants in December 2007 and August last year.

Out of the more than 5,000 houses destroyed in the violence, Dayal said most had not been rebuilt and that the church was more focused on rebuilding the houses instead of using the law to force the government to complete the houses.

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