Violence in Orissa

July 31, 2009

In a period of just eight months, Christians in the State of Orissa, India, suffered two waves of persecution and a major flood. The first crisis began on Christmas Eve day in 2007, now referred to as "Black Christmas." Hindu fanatics first attacked Christians in Kandhamal. The terror spread out to surrounding villages. Tensions continued to escalate throughout the New Year, while the number of deaths, destruction, and homelessness rose.

Christians who lost their homes are still living in tents, many since the first attack in December 2007. Christian Aid sent funds to rebuild, but the ministries must wait for government approval before they can start construction.

Next, in June of 2008 incessant rains flooded the already devastated areas in Orissa. Nearly 3 million people were affected and 93 died. But even these floods did not dampen the fervor of the extremists.

In August of 2008 another major riot erupted. More people were killed, some burned alive in their homes. No one will ever know the exact number of deaths or displaced people, nor of the property, homes, and churches destroyed, as a result of these tragedies.

It is apparent everywhere that basic needs are still lacking. As help from Christian Aid arrives, these missionaries will continue to serve those in the greatest need.

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