50,000 Christians in India Flee Anti-Christian Clashes

October 16, 2008 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

indian-christians-protest-human-rights.jpgIndian church leaders said Tuesday that Christians killed in recent
clashes were “sacrificial lambs” targeted by hard-line Hindus seeking
an advantage in upcoming national elections.


The All India Christian Council said the toll
after nearly two months of sporadic violence has reached 59 dead and
50,000 displaced. Officials in the eastern state of Orissa, site of the
worst violence, say 34 people have been killed.

The
recent violence began after Hindu activists blamed Christians for the
slaying of a Hindu leader killed in Orissa on Aug. 23. Retaliatory
attacks left scores dead, dozens of churches destroyed and thousands of
people homeless, despite the government’s claim that Maoists killed the
Hindu leader.

“A frenzied and well-armed band of political
criminals has threatened our community as perhaps it has never been in
its 2,000 year-old history in India,” said John Dayal,
secretary-general of the All India Christian Council.

There
is a long history of tension between the religious groups in Orissa
because Hindu leaders accuse Christian missionaries of forcing
low-caste Hindus to convert, charges denied by Christian leaders.

Leaders from the council on Tuesday said the
violence was led by hard-line Hindu parties preparing for national
elections, expected early next year, by whipping up religious fervor.

“The
sole motive is to gain political advantage in coming national
elections,” said Dayal. “We have been made sacrificial lambs.”

The
Christian leaders blamed the violence on radical Hindu groups,
including the Bajrang Dal and the World Hindu Council, organizations
loosely affiliated with the hard-line Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP
rules Orissa and Karnataka, the two states that have seen
anti-Christian violence, and is looking to challenge the ruling
Congress Party for power in New Delhi.

Roughly
2.5 percent of India’s 1.1 billion people are Christians, while more
than 80 percent are Hindu. India is officially a secular nation.

The Christian leaders called Tuesday for a federal probe into the violence.

Source: MSNBC

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Christian, World. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Secretary of State Says: ‘No Stone Unturned’ in Effort for Mideast Peace Obama, McCain Make A Name for This Guy ‘Joe’ by Tom Shales

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


October 2008
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

%d bloggers like this: