Orissa Again Under Attack

September 12, 2008

Once again, Christians in the Kandhmal District of Orissa State have come under attack. The motivation is unclear, but a group of burgeoning Communist insurgents is suspected of attacking and killing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his associates on Saturday, August 23, 2008. VHP is an organization which aims to promote and strengthen the Hindu society in India.

Various Hindu nationalist groups are trying to blame local Christians for these outrageous acts. They claim this must have been in retaliation for the "Black Christmas" persecution that began December 24, 2007. At that time 90 churches were destroyed and 700 homes burned – acts instigated by the now deceased VHP leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati.

But a Christian ministry in India contacted Christian Aid advising that Christians have gone on record making a public announcement which denounces these acts of hate and destruction. This ministry leader has also solicited action from all concerned individuals to make appeals to the Prime Minister of India and other notable officials to stop the violence.

A native missionary known to Christian Aid sent a plea asking for help provide "first phase" emergency provisions for about 2,000 Christian families. These goods (costing about $100) will consist of mosquito nets, bedding, soap, change of clothing, cooking utensils and emergency rations for each family. He is praying that Christian Aid will once again be able to help the persecuted Christians in Orissa at least until this violence is ended.

These believers are being attacked for no other reason than their being Christian. Pray for the protection of believers in Kandhamal and other parts of Orissa.