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ICC Note:

Almost six years after mob of radical Hindus swept across India’s northeastern state of Orissa, the Christian community in that state continues to suffer. More than 50,000 Christians were left homeless following the anti-Christian riots and many of them continue to live in Christian ghettos because they are not allowed to return to their home villages. In many villages, Hindu radicals refuse to allow the Christians to return and attack them whenever the Christian attempt to rebuild their lives in their home villages. Unsympathetic local authorities have created a culture of impunity that has allowed these Hindu radicals to operate without consequence, leaving many of these homeless Christian will little option other than to continue to live in the Christian ghettos.

5/10/2014 India (Ecumenical News) – Life is becoming a nightmare again for many Christian communities in the Indian state of Orissa, scene of the worst anti-Christian persecution in India’s history in 2008, says a national Christian leader.

Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) said that some parts of the state, many Christian families have seen their newly-rebuilt homes destroyed, the Roman Catholic AsiaNews has reported.

Extremists, said to be ultra-nationalist Hindus, have driven many Christians from their villages, forcing them to give up water, property, and other essentials.

George spoke to AsiaNews about new acts of “intimidation and persecution against Christians,” noting that the situation has been “made worst by the complicity of local police and administrators.”

In August 2008, Christians in Orissa, especially in Kandhamal, 250 kilometres (150 miles) from Bhubaneswar, said they had faced what they describe as orchestrated attacks by Hindu mobs, since the killing of Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in August.

A Maoist leader was reported to have claimed responsibility for the killing but some Hindu groups said it was a Christian conspiracy, as the 85-year-old slain monk had been campaigning against conversion to Christianity in Kandhamal, where he was based.

More than half the 100 000 Christians in Kandhamal were left homeless as a result of the extremists roaming villages, and trying forcibly to convert Christians to Hinduism, whilst looting and torching Christian houses.

George said on May 3, that the Global Council of Indian Christians wants the government to treat the victims of anti-Christian pogroms in Orissa the same way as it has treated survivors of the riots between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.

GCIC president George said he wants the government to give “the same concessions to those who suffered from [anti-Christian] pogroms.”

In particular, he cited “the children and dependents of victims of anti-Christian violence that occurred in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa) in 2008.”

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