WORLDNETDAILY - January 11, 2008
A new report confirms what Christians in India already feared: 2007 was the worst year since their nation's independence in 1947 for attacks on Christians.
The report from Compass Direct cited statistics compiled by the All India Christian Council in confirming that the number of attacks on Christians in 2007 surpassed 1,000 for the first time in India's history.
At least 200 anti-Christian attacks, including four murders, had been documented before the recent violence erupted in Orissa State's Kandhamal district, the report said. There, at least another four Christians were killed and about 800 attacks were reported. At least 730 homes and 95 churches were burned, the report said.
"It is a matter of serious concern to the country that violence has been widespread in different parts of the country in general and against the Christians in particular," said Babu Joseph, a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.
"In all the villages we have visited, people testify that the attacks, destruction and looting was done in the presence of the police," the report continued, with Hindu extremists from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad suspected in many of the gun, knife and bomb assaults.
There exists a "conspiracy to hide the bodies of Christians killed by VHP cadre to destroy evidence --- Many are missing - both adults and children - in every village," the report said.
In one area around the Barakhama village, 415 of the 450 homes belonging to tribal Christians were burned, the AICC wrote. A Christian, Bhogra Naik of Barakhama, was "cut into three pieces" by attackers after his house was destroyed, the report said.
Compass Direct reported between 1950 and 1998, government figures show there were only 50 anti- Christian attacks. In 2000, that reached 100, and the tally has been continuing to rise.
"What is most distressing is the regularity at which these attacks are meticulously planned and almost clinically executed in order to hurt the Christians," Joseph told Compass Direct.
"In all these instances of atrocities against Christians, it proved beyond doubt that some right-wing Hindu organizations were behind them; they indulge in unhindered hate campaigns creating bad blood between communities of different faiths, and that has caused immense social rupture in India," he said. - - - -
9 dead in attacks by Hindu gangs
WORLDNETDAILY - January 3, 2008
Nine people are dead and dozens of churches and hundreds of Christians' homes have been torched during a surge of Hindu violence in India, according to reports from organizations working there.
Compass Direct News reports that the deaths and damage have been reported since Christmas Eve, when members of the extremist World Hindu Council launched their assaults on the faithful belonging to Christianity.
"Orissa state's Kandhamal district remains tense 10 days after the series of anti-Christian attacks began, and thousands of Christians whose houses have been burned down are facing hunger and fear," the Compass Direct report said.
Pastor Victor John, who was in the region during the attacks, said federal Indian troops have been deployed, but there still remain tensions and worries.
The nation's Human Rights Commission this week reported nine deaths from the attacks, close to 90 churches burned, about 600 homes either torched or vandalized, and about 5,000 people forced to flee. - - - -