Thursday, December 27, 2007

Anti-Christian violence flares in India at Christmas

The article:

Bangalore, Dec. 26, 2007 ( - Three Christians were killed, and 18 churches destroyed, in a coordinated series of Christmas attacks by Hindu zealots in Indias eastern Orissa state.

Beginning on Christmas Eve and continuing through Christmas Day, Hindu mobs carried out at least 20 assaults on Christian institutions in Orissa. The wave of violence led to the destruction of 18 churches and village chapels, 4 convents, 8 hostels run by Church groups, and 15 shops belonging to Christian vendors.

The attacks began in the Kandhmahal district of Orissa, when Hindu militants began pulling down Christmas decorations that were displayed on homes and church buildings. Gun-wielding assailants then interrupted Christmas Eve services in a few churches. As the mobs surged, law-enforcement officials in four towns urged pastors not to go near their churches on Christmas Day, since police could not provide adequate security.

The Catholic bishops of India issued a statement decrying the "well-planned attacks," suggesting that they pointed toward "a planned effort to disturb communal peace." The violence, the Indian bishosp said, "completely shocked us, and we are deeply pained at a time when we are celebrating the peace and harmony of Christmas."


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