Location Orissa, India : In the middle of August a group of about 50 naxalites (a group of extremists who use violent means against rich and the money lenders) attacked a Hindu ashram and gunned down five persons, including a Hindu priest. This priest had led some violent protests against Christians about an year ago. Catholic Church and other church leaders had condemned the murder of the Hindu priest and the other Hindus who died with him.
However, soon Hindu fundamentalist groups have begun attacking the Christian institutions, claiming that the "naxal groups" have joined the Christians! These same groups had vandalized churches, and killed many Christians on the Christmas eve of 2007. Attack on Christians in the state of Orissa has increased. Since 25 Aug, several churches, children's hostels and convents have been burned down, in various parts of this eastern coastel state of Orissa. Many priests and religious nuns, and hundreds of Christians have gone "missing". And at least 14 persons have been killed, including four Hindus. Ten are Christians, and they have been murdered with local weapons, sickles and swords-- still worse three of them are said to have been burnt live! (The four Hindus died in a police shoot-out to control the violent mob attacking Christians and Christian institutions.
To mark this tragedy, all Christian institutions in whole of India will remain shut on Friday 29 August 2008. You can download a slide-show on the Orissa atrocities by clicking on : Orissa Burning