Thirty-two priests from north-eastern India have visited the scene of the worst anti-Christian violence in India’s history, reports UCAN.
Villages in the Kandhamal district of the eastern state of Odisha (formely Orissa) were the scene of a rash of violence in 2008, during which more than 100 Christians were murdered and more than 6,000 Christian homes and 300 churches were damaged. Fifty-six thousand Christians were also rendered homeless.
The perpetrators of the attacks are yet to be brought to justice and India’s Supreme Court recently ruled that compensation paid to the victims has been “inadequate”.
One of the priests, Father Philip Barla, told UCAN that the “most affecting experience” of the visit was to know that “such intense and fanatical violence failed to have any impact on the faith of the poor Christians. The perpetrators of the violence may have hoped to wipe Christianity from the region, but they failed; the torture only strengthened people’s faith”.
India’s Christian minority has continued to suffer frequent attacks under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government.