Posted by: becketfund | April 13, 2009

India: Orissa Christian Community Still Facing Hardships

ORISSA – In Kandhamal, deep in the interior in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, the community is still traumatized by a sudden burst of violence last year, 2008, described as the worst anti-Christian rioting in India since independence, the BBC reported on April 13. During the 2008 violence, dozens of people were killed, and hundreds of churches and houses were damaged or destroyed. According to local Christian reports, no-one will employ Christians as day laborers any more, and children are unable to attend school. Utsva, a member of the Christian community reported that “We have no protection and there is a sense of fear that at any time someone can attack us. So we try to sleep in the day and take turns to guard our place at night.” Minati, also a member of the Christian community, noted that they have not had enough help from the government, and they do not have enough rice to feed everyone properly. More than eight months after violent rioting shook this district, there is little prospect that political change will make things any better. “There are peace committees,” says Praful Mallick, one of the men living in the Kandhamal. However, Mallick has little faith in the committees as, he claims, they are run by the individuals who led the riots.

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