Eight years ago, Christians in India experienced the worst instance of anti-Christian violence in the country’s independent history. Christians living in India’s Odisha State, then know as Orissa, were falsely accused of assassinating a Hindu leaders and were then attacked by enraged followers of this Hindu leader. For three months, mobs of radicals attacked village after village, destroying Christian homes and churches. When the violence finally came to an end, over 100 Christians had died, 300 churches had been burned, and 56,000 people had been displaced. Despite the passage of eight years, many Christians affected by the violence are still waiting for justice.
8/25/2016 India (Premeir) – Christians in India are still waiting for justice on the eighth anniversary of India’s worst incidence of anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal, Odisha State.
Anti-persecution charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says that Hindu fundamentalists killed at least 90 people on 25th August 2008.
Official government figures put the death toll at 38, but monitoring groups in India said the figure is much higher.
300 churches were set alight and around 5,600 houses were looted and burned.
Reports also showed that 2,000 people were forced to renounce their Christian faith and more than 10,000 children had their education disrupted.
Earlier in the month the Supreme Court of India said the state needed to re-investigate 315 cases of communal violence from 2008.
Each instance was reported the police but was not followed through or did not result in prosecution of the offenders.
Anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal is not uncommon and Christians in the district have been subject to hate campaigns by Hindu fundamentalists since the 1960s.
The violence in 2008 was sparked by the killing of prominent Hindu and the media and police suggested a Maoist group could have been behind the death, however Hindu fundamentalists blamed the Christian community.