Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Seventh Day of Violence in Orissa; Six Christians Dead, 400 Houses Burnt

(December 30, 2007) The Washington-DC based human rights group,
International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has learned that
state police and federal armed forces have failed to contain the
anti-Christian violence that began on the eve of Christmas and has led to
the killing of at least six Christians in Orissa state’s Kandhamal

A local Christian, on condition of anonymity, told ICC that 600 Christians
had to hide in a Baptist church in Udaigiri village in Mallikapur area the
night of December 28, as they anticipated attacks on their homes.

“Extremists tried to attack them during the night, but they were not more
in number than the Christians, who could scare them away,” added the

According to a fact-finding team led by Dr. John Dayal, Secretary General
of the All India Christian Council (AICC), six bodies of Christians were
found, 400 Christian homes and 60 churches were burnt down in the last six
days in Baliguda Block of Kandhamal district.

“Young and healthy Christians have left their villages to flee for their
lives, children, women, old and sick, who could not flee for their lives,
are in great danger of their lives,” Dayal said in a statement.

“Remnants are starving for the last four days, and sick are suffering
without medical attention. They are being forced to convert to Hinduism if
they are to get food, medical attention and shelter, and their heads are
[shaved],” Dayal quoted a victim as saying.

Meanwhile, The Indian Express newspaper reported that on December 22,
local Christian leaders met the District Collector (administrative
in-charge) and the superintendent of police, seeking protection.

“They handed over a letter which said they felt ‘insecure and paralyzed’
and requested that their ‘life and day-to-day livelihood should be ensured
at least from 24th to 26th of December’,” it said.

However, the administration did not heed the cry of Christians.

“The fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution to protect
lives has failed to reach the minority Christians in the state of Orissa.
State security forces have been at the hands of guns and fundamentalists.
No complaint from victims and Christian individuals has been filed by any
police station,” said Dayal.

Credits: International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941 Washington DC 20006-1846
www.persecution.org / Email: icc@persecution.org
www.persecution.org. Contact Jeremy Sewall, Policy Analyst,
1-800-ICC (422)-5441, jeremy@persecution.org

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