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Protect Christians from Fundamentalists: Bishop to govt.

Balasore, India, 18 July 2013: Against the backdrop of the rape of a nun in Kandhamal district in India’s Odisha state, Bishop Thomas Thiruthalil of Balasore has asked the state government to protect Christians from Hindu fundamentalists.

“Violence still strikes Christians in Orissa. Very often those responsible are Hindu fundamentalist groups who do not look kindly upon Christians,” said the prelate, who is the president of the state’s episcopal conference.

He said that as a Church they are insisting the government to ensure the safety and security of Christian-faith citizens.

The bishop said the Christians are victims because often they are accused of trying to convert people.

“The fact is that our people are vulnerable and defenseless,” he added.

It may be noted that Kandhamal was the epicenter of anti-Christian violence in 2008 in the state, which claimed some 100 lives and displaced 50,000.

Groups of Hindu fanatics looted, burnt or destroyed thousands of houses, 250 churches and scores of Christian institutions, besides attacking and raping several women, one of them a nun.

Few of the perpetrators were arrested; many are still free on bail.Source: UCAN


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