Christians in Orissa are going through severe persecution from Hindu fanatics. It was in this state that an Australian missionary Graham Stains and two minor sons were brutally burnt alive a decade ago. There have been numerous attacks against Christians, churches and Christian institutions in all these years. Lot of Christian believers and workers have been murdered.
The latest attack and arson began as a backlash to the murder of a Hindu priest in Kandhamal district. The deceased Swami Laxmanananda has been working in the tribal villages of Orissa for more than 40 years and conducting re-conversion drives to bring back tribal Christians to Hinduism. During Christmas last year he was the main person behind aggression on Christians in Orissa.
According to the government authorities the killing of this Hindu priest is the work of the Naxalite (Maoists) terrorists, but Hindus do not take it. They found Christians as a scapegoat and just unleashed unprecedented attack against Christians all over the state. They have burnt their houses, churches and institutions. The official number of death is only around 14 but according to unofficial report the death toll would go up to 1500. The number includes few Hindus as well as policemen.
In one place when the rioters approached an orphan home the inmates closed the door, attackers locked it from outside and burnt the home killing three inmates. Many villagers have fled from their houses to forests to escape from the Hindu mobs. The attackers numbering 60—100 move around with rods and dangerous weapons and destroy what ever they find as of Christians. The authorities fail to stop the arson as these villages are in remote places. Even where security personals were present they did nothing to protect the victims, may be due to the large number of the attackers. They destroy property, burn vehicles and threaten the believers of severe action if they continue to stay there.
Please pray for these helpless Christians who live under constant fear for strength to face it courageously. Let us also pray for those who instigate the mob to be transformed by the wonderful work of the living saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.