India: 2007 Christmas Persecution of Christians in Orissa Evokes Fear of Repeat of 25th December 199

General December 26, 2007

EFI NEWS


The Christmas eve violence against Christians of Brahmanigaon village, 150 kms from the district headquarters of Phulbani, over the celebration of Christmas has erupted into large scale violence against Christians. While the local Christian community wanted to celebrate the event in a grand way, the local Hindus opposed the plan, district police Chief Narasimha Bhol told IANS. This led to a clash between local Hindu and Christian groups in which at least four people were injured.

It may be noted here that the Christian community had urged upon the district administration, a couple of days ago, to provide adequate security to places of worship and ensure safe travel of people during the festival time.

The other incident which fuelled the tension was the alleged attack on Swami Saraswati near Daringbadi while he was travelling from Tumudibandh to Bamunigam.

Today the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) called for a four-hour bandh, while the violence against Christian community went on unabated. Led by VHP workers, the mob attacked three churches in Kudapaki, Gofukia and Sirtiguda towns under Nuagam Block and set the church vehicle on fire. In order to obstruct the police from reaching the place, the mob cut the trees and spread the logs at various places on the roads leading to the above mentioned townships.

The World Vision of India office in Daringbadi was attacked and property destroyed. Attacks against other Christian institutions are also reported.

Orissa violence has evoked the fears of 25th December 1998 attacks against Christians and Church institutions in Gujarat.

The Church leaders have appealed for peace and have urged the government and law enforcement agencies to restore peace and harmony and protect the life and property of Christians.

We call upon all to pray and intervene for peace in the society.

Please write or fax to the below mentioned addresses to express your concern:

HON'BLE PRESIDENT OF INDIA
SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL

President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi - 110 004
Fax : +91-011-23017290/ 011-23017824



Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India

Room No 152, South Block,
New Delhi - 110 001
Ph: +91-011-23012312/ 011-23013149/ 011-23019545
Fax: +91-011-23018939


Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa

Naveen Nivas, Aerodrome Road,
P.O. Bhubaneswar
Distt. Khurda, Pin - 751 001 (Orissa)
E-mail [email protected]
Office Phone 0674-2531100/2535100/2531500
Office Fax: 0674-2400100

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations