India: Worst anti-Christian pogrom of the 21st Century

Friday, February 14, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

ORISSA, INDIA (Worthy News)-- The worst anti-Christian pogrom of the 21st Century was done by Hindu nationalists in India, as reported by Morning Star News.

"India's northeastern state of Orissa was the scene of the most violent anti-Christian pogrom of the early 21st century," Author John L. Allen told a U.S. house subcommittee Tuesday. "In 2008, a series of riots ended with as many as 500 Christians killed -- many hacked to death by machete-wielding Hindu radicals -- and thousands more injured and at least 50,000 left homeless."

The riots were the result of the assassination of a Hindu nationalist leader who was murdered along with four of his disciples by Maoist rebels; but instead, many Hindus blamed local Christians for the killings long after the real killers took credit for their act!

Attorney Tehmina Arora told the subcommittee that violent mobs acting with impunity are a major contributor to anti-Christian persecution in India.

"The hostility of the state machinery towards the victims of communal and targeted violence was most evident in the aftermath of the violence in Orissa," Arora said.

She said the government of Orissa failed to prosecute most of those accused of violent attacks upon the Christian community. Although the government claimed otherwise, stats showed that of the 827 police reports filed, only 512 charges were ever brought to court, and of those court cases, only 75 ended in convictions, mostly for minor offences.

Arora said that to date only nine people have been convicted for their roles in the killings of hundreds of Christians despite the fact that 84,000 people were accused in more than 2,500 complaints to the Orissa police; most of the acquittals were from shoddy investigations along with a lack of judicial oversight.

In some cases, police failed to gather important forensic evidence -- such as bone fragments after mobs burnt bodies -- nor did they call upon key witnesses, Arora said.

"Police also failed to provide adequate protection to witnesses, many of whom later retracted their statements made to the police allegedly due to fear and intimidations. Even years after the violence, Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa continue to live in fear, unable in many parts to return to their homes and fields."

"They have been threatened and coerced to convert to Hinduism," Arora said.