Valin Posted September 1, 2015 Share Posted September 1, 2015 Christian Post: Stoyan Zaimov September 1, 2015 School children listen to a speech by a Christian leader during a protest rally in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata August 29, 2008 Christians in India marked the seventh anniversary of the Orissa attacks on Monday, praying for close to 100 Christians who were massacred by Hindu extremists who were pressuring them to convert. An Archbishop has said the faith of Orissa's Christians has grown stronger in the face of persecution. The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, His Exc. Mgr. John Barwa SVD, told Fides News Agency that Christians "gather in prayer for the victims, reiterating, all together, our common commitment to promoting peace, justice and hope. The faith of Christians in Orissa has become stronger in the face of persecution." The major attacks on August 31, 2008, in Orissa also left close to 56,000 Christians homeless after 300 churches and 6,000 homes were raided and looted. The Hindu mob reportedly organized against Christians who they accused of converting Indians to Christianity. Many of the Hindus that had converted to Christianity were from the lowest caste system, known as Dalits, or "Untouchables," who are often treated as less than human in Indian society. The Dalits see Christianity as a way to escape their low status. (Snip) Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar agreed that the events seven years ago in Orissa have only strengthened the faith of Christians. "They suffered horrific anti-Christian violence. Yet their faith did not waver; on the contrary, they strengthened their faith and love for Christ," Barwa said, according to Catholic World News. He recalled stories where Christians were asked before their families to give up their faith, but refused despite all threats. "Every day we are called to encounter Christ in the joy of our suffering for His Name. When I went around after taking over, I visited every convent, and I met all my leaders and all my priests. And I heard one voice, 'Archbishop, all our houses have been destroyed, our churches have been destroyed, our beloved ones have been massacred, but one thing the persecutors could not do: they could not separate Jesus from us,'" Barwa added. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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