Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Christians still suffering in Orissa state

Tens of thousands still homeless following 2008 violence.
 (Image courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs Canada)

India (MNN) ― As if being terrorized by Hindu extremists and watching their homes burn to the ground wasn't enough, believers are still waiting for justice and compensation after four years.Voice of the Martyrs Canadasays 10,000 believers are still homeless after radicals destroyed over 5,000 homes and hundreds of church buildings throughout late 2008 and early 2009.

Pray for these suffering believers.

India's Orissa state (now called Odisha State) has always been a hotbed for anti-Christian violence. But it reached a new peak following the assassination of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008. Saraswati was the leader of India's radical Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). Although a Marxist group claimed responsibility for Saraswati's death, the VHP pinned the blame on Christians and launched vehement attacks.

As the attacks increased in severity and frequency, it became clear to the worldwide community that this situation was beyond violent protests: it was genocide.

Eventually, India's Supreme Court stepped in and ordered authorities to protect believers. Change in leadership at the national level and new protections for religious minorities seemed to bring hope to oppressed believers.

But it's hard to remain hopeful in your fourth year of desperate homelessness.

According to a fact-finding visit by a group of journalists, activists, and writers, there's been no justice for victims and even less compensation for lost homes and churches. And according to, India's government isn't planning to pay. Hundreds of churches and Christian facilities destroyed by Hindu radicals will remain in rubble.
What's bright side of this dark situation? You can help.

Pray for persecuted believers in Orissa state. Pray for boldness and strength as they face continuous adversity for their faith.

Give online to VOMC's Relief and Development Fund. Voice of Martyrs Canada helps Orissa Christians rebuild their lives through skills training, micro-loans, and discipleship training for church leaders. VOMC also cares for children orphaned by the violent attacks, providing a safe home, education, clothing, food and medical attention.

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