Posts Tagged ‘refugee camps

02
Sep
09

Orissa: Yesterday and Today

Today’s persecution in Orissa stems from seeds of violence sown in December of 2007. An argument between Christians and the VHP (World Hindu Counsel) over the pitching of a tent in a local village to celebrate Christmas led to the destruction of Christian shops and beating those who choose to continue with Christmas celebrations. (source: Compass Direct News).

Eight months later, a prominent leader of the VHP, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, was killed. Hindu extremists immediately blamed local Christians, although a few days after the killing extreme communist groups publically took responsibility. Still, a year later, Christians continue to be persecuted. (source: Compass Direct News).

In the months immediately following the death of Saraswati, 100 Christians were killed. Buildings, 4,500 homes, 250 churches and 13 educational facilities, were also destroyed. 50,000 people had to flee to refugee camps and only half have been able to return home. . Those who have returned must start from scratch rebuilding homes and businesses. Some have been forced to deny their faith, while others must live out their faith in secret. (source: Compass Direct News).

Even more disturbing than the violence is the inability of Christians to receive justice from the government. In police reports related to the incident, 11,000 were named as attackers. A mere 679 have been arrested. There were over 750 police reports filed and only 1 has resulted in a conviction.  One major reason for the hold up is that Hindu extremists continually threaten witness and those who file complaints. In July, a key witness in a case agreed to testify against the extremists. Twenty four hours later when he was brought to trial, he denied any knowledge of the case. It was later confirmed that three extremists and threatened to kill him if he testified. (source: Compass Direct News).

This is a small corner of the world that desperately needs our prayer and support. These Christians need to be protected and the government is not intervening strongly or quickly enough. Check back for more information as Open Doors launches its Orissa Campaign on September 8.




The purpose of the blog

To EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN and ENCOURAGE. To be a voice to those who have none, a voice that is LOUDER than their persecution, oppression and pain. A righteous voice that is LOUDER than the enemy.

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