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Pastors pledge to serve persecuted with ‘joy’

ICC Note

“We need to help our suffering, persecuted Christians and riot victims of Kandhamal to build up their life and work by providing moral support and encouragement in this trying times of their lives as joyful pastors and not merely social workers,”

By Santosh Digal

07/30/2010 India (Christian Today)-More than 100 pastors from various Christian denominations from Kandhamal district, the epicenter of December 2007 and August 2008 anti-Christian communal violence in Orissa, have resolved to take care of their flock with joy and commitment.

After having attended a two-day workshop in Kandhamal, July 26-28, they (pastors) returned to their respective villages to care of their Christian flock in the aftermath of riots with faith and confidence and in order to give people “hope” and “joy” being their leaders and pastors, said Ranjit Nayak, an organizer.

“We need to help our suffering, persecuted Christians and riot victims of Kandhamal to build up their life and work by providing moral support and encouragement in this trying times of their lives as joyful pastors and not merely social workers,” he added.

The Kandhamal riot was the largest single case of people of a single community becoming refugees in their homeland in the history of Independent India, unlike the many cases of violence against other religious minorities such as Sikhs and Muslims over the years. The violence saw 93 persons killed, over 6,500 houses were burned and looted besides 350 Churches and 45 health and educational institutes destroyed.

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