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Speakers at Christian Leaders meeting Demand Orissa Government to Allow NGOs to Involve in Relief Work among Orissa Christians


Several Christians from Bihar have gathered at Navjyothi Kendra, Kurji, Patna in Solidarity with Christians in Orissa who were attacked by Hindutva Forces during Christmas Eve.

 
     
 

Patna, February 20, 2008

Several Christian leaders from around Bihar gathered at Navjyothi Kendra, Patna to discuss the Christmas attacks on Christians in Orissa and demand justice for victims on February 13, 2008. The speakers demanded the Orissa state government allow Christian churches and groups to provide direct relief to victims.

“Some people have characterized the violence as a Hindu-Christian clash. This is wrong. Dalit Christians were clearly the targets and innocent victims. The authorities must come out with a white paper about this anti Christian Violence in Orissa,” said Dr. Dr. Sam Paul, National Secretary – Public Affair of All India Christian Council.

Christian leaders expressed concern about relief efforts for the devastated Christians in Kandhamal District. “Orissa’s government should allow direct relief projects by churches and Christian NGOs. Currently, we are being told we can only distribute blankets, food and other supplies through the District Collectors. We are deeply concerned this will delay needed assistance and could create opportunities for discrimination or corruption,” said Dr. Paul. “There is no logical reason to ban the direct involvement of established, peaceful Christian organizations that are already registered with the government,” Dr Paul added.

Fr. Devasiya, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, said, “We have met the Orissa Chief Minister and Governor of Orissa and informed them that the Christian victims are from tribal communities. Orissa Government must act immediately to ensure the safety and protection of Christians.

An ad-hoc committee of the All India Christian Council was formed, which includes Fr. Devasiya, Rev. Victor Moses of the Baptist Church, and Sister J Jeyavathana among several others. This committee will help to form the Bihar Chapter of All India Christian Council in three months time.

Mr. Rajendra Kamal a Christian leader said that we should work towards uniting ourselves and working with the democratic processes of our country.

In the remote villages nearer to Barkhama, massive gathering of Hindu fanatics are going on to chalk out different plans of attack.

Lambodar Kuanr the so called & self styled kui tribal leader is an aspirant to get BJP ticket for upcoming Assembly election. VHP & BJP is using him in the frontline to achieve their agenda

The program & game plan: -

On 26th Feb, Lambodar and his mob will visit Balliguda and other jails to release unconditionally all the inmates of their group arrested after the recent kondhmal violence.

If the jail authority deny to release then they will break open by force and release all.

Second step -

Go to the villages and attack the minority Christians. Conditions given to Christians: -

* Be hindu OR
* Leave your village OR
* Be killed.

Dalit minority Christians are in fear and always in a position to flee to the jungle for life.

Praise God for these dalit minority christians.

They are not denying Jesus as Lord for survival.
They are not asking for relief or rehabilitation.
They are pleading for life and faith in Christ.
Please pray for them and mobilize prayer support.
This is first hand information from the locals.

GOVERNOR'S VISIT VS. LAW & ORDER.

The Governor of Orissa, on 8th Feb visited Barkhama kondhmal. He interacted for some time with dalit minority Christians.
The fanatics got upset.
Right after Governor flew off by his copter, the fanatics blocked all the roads in Barkhama and did not allow, the Sub Collector, SDPO, all police personnel’s and govt officers to leave Barkhama in protest against the interaction.
The police and dist administration was in a stand still position for 4 hours!
There was total confusion of law & order.
Journalists were not allowed.

Three dalit christians of Baminigaon are arrested and sent to jail.
This news never came in press.
High tension in the rural belt now.
Police and district administration are silent & obedient spectators.
Situation is appalling & alarming !


Source: All India Christian Council, for Dalits

 

 
 

Speakers at Historic Rally Demand Orissa Government to Allow NGOs to Involve in Relief Work among Orissa Christians.
Thousands of Dalits and Christians from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh gathered in a Protest Rally to in solidarity with Chritians in Orissa who were attacked by Hindutva Forces during Christmas Eve.
 
     
 

Chandigarh, February 9, 2008 –

Today thousands of people assembled in Chandigarh to protest Christmas attacks on Christians and demand justice for victims. Rally speakers demanded the Orissa state government stop making allegations about Christian association with an outlawed Maoist rebel movement and allow Christian churches and groups to provide direct relief to victims.

“Some people have characterized the violence as a Hindu-Christian clash. This is wrong. Dalit Christians were clearly the targets and innocent victims. The state government has also made baseless accusations that some Christian NGOs are aligned with Naxalites. The authorities must write a white paper or give proof about these sensitive issues instead of spreading rumors,” said Dr. Dr. Sam Paul, National Secretary – Public Affair of All India Christian Council. Naxalites are Maoist rebels who often attack government installations throughout central India. Most are disenfranchised Dalits or Tribals.

Christian leaders expressed concern about relief efforts for the devastated Christians in Kandhamal District. “Orissa’s government should allow direct relief projects by churches and Christian NGOs. Currently, we are being told we can only distribute blankets, food and other supplies through the District Collectors. We are deeply concerned this will delay needed assistance and could create opportunities for discrimination or corruption,” said Dr. Joseph D’souza, President, All India Christian Council (aicc). “There is no logical reason to ban the direct involvement of established, peaceful Christian organizations that are already registered with the government.”

Rakesh Bahadu, President of Dalit Kalyan Smiti Haryana condemned Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindutva forces for attacking Christians in Orissa. He said, “The Christian victims are from tribal communities. Orissa Government must act immediately to ensure the safety and protection of Christians.

The “Stop Violence against Christians Rally” was organized by the All India Christian Council with support of various Christian and Dalit organizations. The rally marched from Sector 19 through Sector 16 Madka Chowk, Chandigarh.
.
A memorandum signed by Christians and Dalits with 10 point demands were submitted to President of Indian through Governors of Punjab and Haryana. The demands includes of Rs. 10, 00,000 compensation to the family members of those who were killed and Rs 5, 00,000 to injure. Memorandum also demanded the State Government of Orissa to allow NGOs to involve in the relief work immediately.


Karamvir Singh – President of All India Confederation of SC/ST/OBC Organizations, Haryana said "Brahminical forces have attacked Christian Missionaries because they empowered dalit children through education and sacrificial services.”

The violence allegedly began when Christians in Bamunigaon village in Kandhamal district of Orissa began to celebrate Christmas Eve on Dec. 24, 2007. Local Hindu fundamentalists opposed the event and a quarrel ensued. Also, a Hindutva leader, Swami Saraswati, was attacked by unknown assailants -- he alleged they were Christians. The next day a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)-affiliated group called for a strike and VHP members began attacking Christians across the state.


Orissa Update

PASTOR DANIEL DIGAL :- from Balligudua called me. He is a pastor of a small village Baptist church at Budrikia near Balliguda town in Kondhmal. There were around 7 christian families. All of their houses are completely destroyed. They left the village and sheltered at Balliguda. Govt announced Rs.50k package but they got cheque of Rs.10k. All of them went to clear the debris and repair their houses at the village.
The local hindus did not allow them to clear the debris and buy bricks & stones for repairing. They are threatened to be hindu or leave the village. At last all of them left the village and sheltered again at Balliguda ! You can call Pastor Daniel Digal and encourage him and the believers.

Life of the minority christian community is like that !

EXCOMMUNICATED :- GSCC pastor Nalili Naik called and said that, Minority christian community families are excommunicated in the interior villages by the local hindus. They are not allowed to collect water from public well / bore wells. They are not getting daily labourer job also in these area.

Life is difficult for them! This is a sheer violation of Human Right - Right to Live!

GSCC Pastors Counseling & Visiting : 10 GSCC pastors are into two teams based now at Barkhama & Phiringia, visiting christian victims for trauma care & counseling. Main base at Raikia. More report from Rev.Abhiram will follow.

ASWINI SINGH - is in constant touch with the victims for legal help in Kondhmal particularly in Baminigaon & Balliguda.

KRUTIBAS & SULOCHHANA :- are planning to form more Ambedkar sanghs and register those locally. They will be at Balliguda tomorrow.

HELP TO CHRISTIAN STUDENTS :- We are waiting for the budgeted money to reach to buy books and distribute to students. Detail report from Abhiram will follow.

SUDARSAN VISIT AND CHANGE OF CHURCH WORSHIP TIMING :- Today Sudarsan addresses a meeting with procession besides the CNI church in Berhampur. The district administration asked the local church to cooperate with changing worship timing from 3.30 pm to 5 pm.

This is ridiculous on minority christian & church. Today they have asked for change of timing and tomorrow they will ask to change the place of worship.

This is to accommodate RSS leader & their meeting & programms.

Whereas hindu festival timing can never be changed by govt as they consider timing is very important and auspicious timing cannot be changed.

This is a direct blow / slap to the minority christian community of Orissa.

Except God , we do not have anybody to listen to our plea & prayer. It seems secularism in India is already in a well protected coffin box!

Source: All India Christian Council, for Dalits

 
     
 

MOST URGENT PRESS STATEMENT

BJP PARANOIA, MINORITY BAITING AUGURS ILL FOR COMMUNAL HARMONY, PEACE AND EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT

Religious minorities played significant role in Freedom Struggle, Nation Building; their uplift is critical for an India really shining in future

 
     
 


[The following is the text of the Press Statement issued by Dr John Dayal}

The statements being made against the Muslim and Christian population of India at the national conclave of the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi in the last three days by its top political hierarchy does not surprise the people – be they Religious Minorities or members of the majority Hindu community, whose natural piety and strong commitment to secularism ensures the unity and integrity of our motherland.

The paranoia and bigotry of the BJP increases in direct proportion to its perception that is coming closer to capturing political power in the Union government in New Delhi, either alone or with allies who are willing to give up all pretence of decency and commitment to the secular foundations of modern India in their lust for the benefits that presumably follow a place in government.. Whether the BJP likes to acknowledge it or no, Religious minorities, and linguistic minorities in the matter of formation of States, have been legally defined and the definition is universally accepted. The Sangh Parivar understandably prefers convenient and nebulous definitions for the majority community so as to absorb Tribals and others, and to deny many other communities their very identity.

The BJP's verbal assault on the minorities is a more virulent political obscenity because it is being made even as Christians are facing the worst ever physical violence they have suffered in recorded history – and at the hands of the members of the Sangh Parivar, the ideological masters of the BJP.

The National Commission for Minorities has in its report identified the VHP as the font of the anti-Christian violence in the Kanchanalak hills district of Orissa where a complacent or conniving police, bureaucratic and political apparatus watched in silence. In Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and other States, there has again been a rash of anti Christian violence. In 2007, there were close to 200 incidents of serious anti-Christian violence, even before the Christmas week 2007 viciousness in Orissa. [Close to a hundred churches and institutions were burnt and looted, more than a thousand houses torched, several thousands Christians rendered homeless and driven into refugee camps not even fit to host animals in those mad seven days between 24th and 30th December 2007].

Behind the verbal assault of the BJP and its Sangh Parivar lies a sinister conspiracy to de-nationalise Christians, after the attempt made from 1969 to 2002 to denationalize Muslims, which directly lead to the genocide in Gujarat in 2002.

I fear that unless the Central Government acts now to stop this hate – and unless the BJP leaders, such as the now retired former Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, counsel their partymen to remain within the law and within civilisational values – the lunatic fringe of the Sangh Parivar could unleash a bloodbath against Christians. This may sound ominous and possibly even an overreaction, but having seen and felt the utter absence of governance and law and order systems in rural India, I know how easy it is for a spark to become a conflagration. It takes a long time for a single policeman to come to the scene of a crime, and more often than not, he is utterly helpless in the face of the Sangh mob, even if he himself is not a member of it.

[Union Home Minster Shivraj Patil told me and the Delhi Archbishop in a meeting on 27th December 2007 that there are a mere 40,000 Police Stations to take care of a rural reality of almost 400,000 villages and hamlets.]

There is no appeasement of the minorities in India. That Dalit Christians remain the poorest of the poor, that Muslims remain deprived is an unfortunate historical reality, and a blot on the fair name of India. It exposes lopsided development that leaves all marginalized groups even more marginalized including Hindu farmers forced to commit suicide, abort the female fetus, or sell their children.

Religious minorities and other deprived communities – sections of the Dalit and OBCs, Tribals and people displaced by EPZs, super dams, express high ways and green-field airfields, for instance -- need preferential and urgent development. That some of them belong to a different religious persuasion may or may not be incidental. But these people are citizens of a free NS democratic India, and have a right, and a demand, on the national resources which are part of their patrimony. Let no one forget that Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Dalits and Tribals have fought for Independence as much as anyone else, and certainly more than the former landlords and others who were always with the ruling elite, and are once again ruling in default and design..

India's citizens are asking for their birthright – good education, shelter, a quality of life denied them out of hate, bigotry, cronyism, corruption, elitism, or plain indifference. It is not appeasement to give them good. It is not appeasement to give them freedom of faith Dalit Human rights and basic benefits of a civilized society.

The BJP leadership does not even serve itself in its hate speech, disguised as an attack on its political adversaries such as the Congress or the Left. Hate speech fuels violence. Communal violence against religious minorities does a disservice to the Idea of India.

Source: All India Christian Council, for Dalits

 
     
  Living Mission reports persecutions and attacks against Christian missionaries in India.  
     
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