How To Respond To Today's Terrorism In Orissa, India

General October 5, 2008


To the global church represented by World Evangelical Alliance

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in our Lord’s holy name

On the advice of Dr. William Taylor, WEA Global Ambassador, I am sending this request on our Indian state of Orissa, confident that Dr. K Rajendran Chair of Missions Commission, WEA and Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, Executive Secretary of EFI are fully with me in expressing this concern to you.

The Christian leaders in India, both at the Orissa State level and at the national level are doing their part in responding to the situation in Orissa. EFI and its legal wing Christian Lawyers Association are taking important steps at the State and national level.

The Orissa State is ruled by a BJP coalition party. Therefore the rulers there are the main reason for this terrorism. To ask for their protection to Christians is like asking the wolf to protect the sheep.

The Central Government is expected to dismiss the State Government in a violence of such magnitude and impose Presidents’ rule. Very sadly, the Center is either too weak or indifferent to do so. The Central Government requires adequate international pressure to act. Human right and freedom of conscience are not concerns bound by any political borders. Therefore, it is in the duty of the world wide Christian Church and world humanity to act.

The Panus, the victims in Kandhmal districts are Dalits. They are the original inhabitants of India and therefore made untouchable slaves. They exist in semi-slave condition to this day. It is the Christian missions who brought them a ray of hope in their lives.

But the Central legislation dictates that if a Panu though a Dalit becomes a Christian, he loses all the Government reservation (Affirmative actions) in education, job, Government grant, land, housing, etc. We are fighting this law for the last 58 years. The Congress Government at the Center is in no mood to change this.

Secondly the Orissa State Anti-conversion Act says if a Panu becomes Christian he must be imprisoned for years and pay a fine. The judiciary is in no mood to annul this Act, which is against our Constitution.

Now thirdly if a Panu becomes a Christian the VHP and Bajrang Dal dictate that his house must be burnt, his church demolished and he must be driven to the jungle. The Central Government is in no hurry to stop this jungle law.

Therefore our request is that this matter of terrorism be brought to the urgent attention as well as action of the United Nations and also that concerned Christians in each nation around the globe are advised to lodge their strong protest to the Indian embassies in their respective countries.

We request you brothers to kindly and urgently do the needful as we here pray for your efforts. Thanking you.

Ebe Sunder Raj, Former General Secretary, India Missions Association Chairman Emeritus, Christian Institute of Management, India

HOW TO RESPOND TO TODAY’S TERRORISM IN ORISSA, INDIA

By Dr. Ebe Sunder Raj,

Many anxious Christians are asking this question. They want to be of some help in this time of great need. Therefore we are giving the following information. This information is neither comprehensive nor complete. But this may be of some help. For full information please contact the following agencies and leaders and their websites:

Every Christian needs to send a request to the President of India (or to the Indian Embassy in his country) to bring President’s rule in Orissa state.

I. Legal aid: There is great a need to help and guide the locals to register FIR and handle legal cases on atrocities. Lawyers and retired police officers can go and help the local lawyers in Orissa in this matter. Please contact

1. Ms Tehemina Arora,

National Secretary, Christian Legal Association,

New Delhi; [email protected]

Mobile: 09811895672; Phone: 011–26431133

2 Mr. Bibu Dutta Das,

Cuttack. [email protected] 0671- 2300976, 9861118695; He handles matters at the High Court.

3. Mr. Colin Gonsolves

Phone: 011-24379857; He handles legal matters at the Supreme Court.

The legal services cost a few lakhs of rupees. Because we Christians miserably failed to adequately finance the legal service before the Wadhwa Commission (Graham Staines case) ten years ago, the Bajrang Dal has grown unrestricted. We must act now. Those who want to financially contribute should contact Christian Legal Association. This is a highly responsible, credible body, an associate of EFI. See website for details.

Those who want to go and legally help local cases should contact Mr. B.D. Das Those who want to help in the Supreme Court cases or High Court cases should contact CLA.

II. Health Care: CMAI (Christian Medical Association Of India) is conducting medical camps to the Kandhmal victims. CHAI (Catholic Hospitals Association of India) may do so soon. Medicos and paramedical volunteers should immediately contact CMAI.

CMAI: Ph: 25599991, 25599992, 25599993

Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

And CHAI Ph: 040 – 27898756, 27848457

Email: [email protected]

III. Clothing: Most of the victims lost all their clothing. Clothing and warm clothing can be contributed to:

Orissa United Christian Coordination Forum, Bhubaneswar.

Rev. D.B. Hrudaya is the coordinator Ph : 0943- 7001645, [email protected]

Please do not send clothes till you hear specific instructions from them.

VI. Basic Livelihood support: Money will be needed to restart their life, trade, work, tools infrastructure like Self Help Groups etc. So far Development agencies are not able to access the interior affected areas. Contributions will be needed when they start work. You can send your contribution to any one of the credible relief or development agency you know well. Those who do not know any relief or development agency can write to Orissa United Christian Coordination Forum. Those of you who want to send help through your official Church channels can contact the following:

1. Utkal Christian Council. Bishop Samson Das, CNI, Cuttack Diocese.

2. Arch Bishop of Bhubaneswar (for the Catholic churches in Orissa).

3. All India Christian Council (for independent churches)

Rev. Pran Ranjan Paricha. Email: [email protected], Ph.: 0671-2360841, 2300983.

4. Rev. D.B. Hrudaya – for Indian Missions and EFI related ministries.

5. Baptist Council of Orissa

6. United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India

V. Information: This is a very vital area; To give or receive information on any event in any place in Orissa contact:

a) Rev. Dr. Dominic Emmanuel

Communication / I formation Bureas

[email protected]

ph. 011-23363214, mob. +91-9810018071

b) Mr. Sajan George, Global Council for India Christians

[email protected]

VI For media and press:

To give or receive very good help in the media and the press:

Dr. John Dayal

Joh[email protected]

VII. Churches Reconstruction: Those who want to contribute contact:

1. Orissa United Christian Coordination Forum

2. All the thatched or tiled churches can be rebuilt before Christmas. Those who contribute will be invited for the reopening of the churches.

VIII. Guidance: Those who want make any major plans or programmes in Orissa, please first consult and get the guidance from any one of the following national bodies who are handling major responsibilities in the Orissa matters:

1. Arch Bishop Vincent Concesso

Catholic Bishops Conference of India

Phone: (011) 23 34 34 57, 23 36 20 58, 23 34 63 75
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.delhiarchdiocese.com

2. Bishop D.N.Sahu, General Secretary

National Council of Churches in India

Phone: 0712 – 2561397, 2561464

Email: [email protected]

3. Dr. Richard Howell, Executive Secretary

Evangelical Fellowship of India

Phone:011 – 26413560 / 09810348604; Email: [email protected]

4. Dr. Joseph D’Souza, Secretary

All India Christian Council

Phone: 040 – 27862786, 27863188; Email: [email protected]