Urgent prayer required

Introduction: Christians in Orissa in North East India are suffering intense persecution because of their faith. It has been reported that increased violence against them is planned over the Christmas period, as in 2007. (For more information and websites, read this item in full) Please pray.

Excerpts from a debate in House of Lords 17 November 08








Baroness Cox asked -




Whether representations will be made to the Government of India to provide adequate protection for religious minorities, with particular reference to the violence against Christians in Orissa……………………..




……………….Is the Minister aware that, since the violence, 50,000 people have had to flee to camps? I visited those camps recently and witnessed appalling conditions of overcrowding with a lack of medical care, food and adequate sanitation. The people there told us that they dare not go back to their homes because those who perpetrated the violence have still not been apprehended………………….




Excerpts from www.barnabasfund.org (12 September 08)  (No relation to St Barnabas Church , Swanland)




As we reported on 1 September, an upsurge of anti-Christian violence in Orissa state in eastern India has claimed several lives and caused extensive damage to Christian homes, churches and other property. Hindu extremists are threatening Christians with dire consequences unless they re-convert to Hinduism. At least 15,000 people displaced by the mobs are gathered in relief camps, where attempts have been made by Hindu extremists to poison the water. The death toll is now estimated as at least 35, some of whom have been burnt alive.




                Excerpt from a letter from a camp aid worker:




    Following a rally of 100,000 Hindus in the State capital Bhubneswar on 15th. November, it was     agreed that in order to free-up the Hindu population, on December 25th across Orissa all shops are to be shut, and buses, trains and other transport to be at a standstill.







Relief camp aid workers ‘Usha and Divakaran’ have warned:




“It can turn very ugly. Anything can happen. The radicals might attack churches, Christian gatherings and anything related to Christmas or Christians. Although no open threat was given in that meeting to kill Christians on Christmas Day, leaflets were distributed in the Pulbani and Khandhmal districts to kill Christians if they do not reconvert to Hinduism. They have vowed that no Christian is allowed to stay in that part of Orissa.”







A precedent at Christmas 2007




INDIA (ANS) -- While most Christians in the West celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ with the singing of Silent Night, believers in the Indian state of Orissa faced a spate of violent but meticulously planned attacks by Hindu extremists.




The Barnabas Fund says that in attacks launched on Christians in Kanhdamal District, Orissa State , on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a total of 95 churches were burned to the ground, as well as 730 homes of Christians. In cases where a Christian ministry operated from rented premises owned by a Hindu, the attackers were careful not to damage the building, but took all the contents outside and set them on fire.    (www.assistnews.net)




Office posted the article on Thursday, 4th December 2008 at 7:03pm
Article updated on friday, 26th december 2008 at 11:25pm

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