Christians across India last week marked the 9th anniversary of the worst instance of Christian persecution in the country’s independent history. Following the murder of a Hindu leader in August 2008, Hindu radicals unleashed three months of mob violence upon Christians living in the Kandhamal District of India’s Odisha State. The false claim that Christians had been behind the murder fueled the unprecedented violence that left over 100 dead and 56,000 displaced. Despite the passage of 9 years, many Christians remain displaced.
08/29/2017 India (Christian Daily) – An international Christian human rights group has called for justice for persecuted Christians in India as the South Asian country marked the ninth anniversary of the Orissa massacre, which is considered the nation’s worst anti-Christian incident of violence.
The month of August this year marked the ninth year since at least 91 Christians were brutally killed in the Kandhamal District of Orissa (Odisha State) after they were wrongfully blamed for the assassination of a Hindu leader. Tens of thousands of people fled as mobs torched down their houses, churches, and other Christian establishments, Premier recalled.
Although nine years have already passed since the Orissa massacre, the group International Christian Concern said many of the victims still live in fear and are afraid of returning to their villages. They still feel wary and have yet to receive justice for what they went through in 2008.
“We are still in terror, not feeling safe,” Orissa survivor Pastor Pradeep Nayak told ICC. “At every corner of the market we feel something is going against Christians.”
Another survivor, Pastor Raj Kishore, said, “It was [the] most terrifying day of my life.”
In light of the situation, ICC regional manager William Stark has called on the Indian government to work double time to bring the perpetrators of the Orissa massacre to justice. He said many displaced Christians cannot return home unless they convert to Hinduism, and that the government must help the victims of the 2008 violence to rebuild their lives in their own villages.