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Indian archbishop expresses Christians’ concern about election outcome



April 11, 2014 - Christians in the eastern Indian state of Odisha are concerned about who will win the general election, but they believe in democracy and the power of the vote. Archbishp of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar in the state’s Kandhamal district said this to AsiaNews on Thursday, as more than 13 million people were going to vote in 10 districts of Odisha, in the third stage of India’s April 7 – May 12, 2014 general election. He said the round of voting on Thursday was crucial as it concerned 91 constituencies in 14 states. For 11 years until 2009, Odisha was ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in alliance with Biju Janata Dal (BJD). It was under this leadership, that the most violent anti-Christian violence ever to take place in India occurred in 2008 in Kandhamal, at the hands of Hindu fundamentalist groups close to the BJP. Archbishop Barwas said Christians “want a peaceful life, a life of equality and harmonious coexistence, without anyone disturbing their daily life, work, or religious practice". For this reason he said they hope the new government will give justice to the victims of the carnage of 2008. Justice is the right of every individual. For the betterment of the state and peoples and for the progress and development of all peoples, where all people enjoy the same rights and privileges and freedom and dignity irrespective of majority or minority community or Faith". (Source: AsiaNews)




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