Extremists Target Two Hindustani Churches

Post a Comment » Written on September 10th, 2008     
Filed under: News
ORISSA, INDIA (September 10, 2008) – A Hindustani Covenant Church (HCC) pastor found a bomb in one church he leads and another church was burned recently during a resurgence of violence by Hindu extremists against Christians in this Eastern region of the country.

HCC Moderator Steven David says the pastor is “discouraged.”

As many as 50,000 Christian have fled into the jungle or government relief camps, according to news reports. Christian community leaders say that more than 1,000 homes of Christians have been set on fire since violence broke out August 24, rendering more than 5,000 people homeless. At least 14 people have been killed.

Attackers destroyed an orphanage, killing a nun. Police rescued two workers with World Vision who had been apprehended by a mob while trying to flee the violence.

The violence erupted following the murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a local leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a nationalist Hindu organization. The VHP initially blamed Christians, but the India government now says a Maoist organization probably was responsible.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the violence a “national disgrace.” More than 3,000 troops are said to have been dispatched to the region.

This is the second time in less than a year that the VHP has led attacks on Christians in the region. Last December, Hindus destroyed 95 churches and killed at least five Christians.

In December 2007 the independent Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization said that a good deal of the blame for communal violence in Orissa and elsewhere should go to extreme Hindu nationalists who want a state where their religion has official dominance.

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