Orissa Christians Strengthened by Court Verdicts

Catholic leaders say that Christians in the Indian state of Orissa are encouraged by a series of recent convictions related to anti-Christian violence last year. The convictions of six people on September 7 on charges of riot and arson have "strengthened our people's morale," said Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. Rev. Ajay Singh, an advocate for the victims of the violence, said that the verdicts “emboldened” Christians to pursue court action against their attackers. "However, they have lots more challenges to face," he said. In the past witnesses were reluctant to cooperate with the courts following threats to their lives. Catholic leaders report that gunmen comb villages for people named as witnesses in cases related to the anti-Christian violence. The predominantly tribal district of Kandhamal was at the center of four months of violence last year, which left about 90 people dead and 50,000 displaced.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Pope Francis’ statements...were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement released Jan. 20.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 20, 2018
 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018