10/20/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – It has been 10 years since the worst instance of Christian persecution in India’s modern history. This event exploded onto the scene in the remote Kandhamal district of Odisha state.
Following the assassination of a controversial Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, in August 2008, mobs of Hindu radicals purged the Christian community of Kandhamal. Three months later, when the dust finally settled, 75-100 individuals were killed, 600 villages and 295 churches were destroyed, 54,000 people were left homeless and about 2,000 were forced to renounce Christianity.
Many victims of this horrendous violence are still waiting for justice and compensation. Following the violence, biased police work severely inhibited any hope of getting justice for many Christian victims. Instead, seven Christians were arrested and convicted of the Swami’s assassination in spite of the fact that local Maoists admitted to the killing.
Despite the passage of 10 years, Christian and human rights activists remain committed to seeing justice done in Kandhamal. These activists continue to rally national and international attention to Kandhamal and the ongoing injustice. The question now is will India take notice?
For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: email@example.com.