Mental shift

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Church shocked as Christians forced to become Hindus

Posted by jytmkh on September 2, 2008

NEW DLEHI (ICNS): The continuing anti-Christian violence in Orissa took a vicious form with fanatic Hindus forcing Christians to denounce their religion, become Hindus and destroy their own churches.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) said the Church “is shocked” to learn that the Christians are “forced to become Hindus and attack their own Churches in which they have been worshiping so long.”

The bishops in a statement said latest reports from Bhubaneshwar say mobs continue to attack Churches and ransack the Christian institutions at will.

Such violence happened despite the deployment of riot police at several places in Kandhamal with specific instructions “to shoot at sight,” the statement said.

On Monday, September 1, it is reported that 10 prayer halls were destroyed in Kundra village of Jayapur District. In Tikabali Block, 5 villages were attacked and property looted. Similarly, a Church, a convent and two hostels were destroyed in Mondasore under Raikia Block, the statement said.

The Church is “extremely distressed to note that despite the assurances” form chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to end violence the atrocities continue.

“We find that there has not been much improvement in the riot hit areas of Kandhamal. Even though security forces have been deployed in Kandhamal, the fundamentalists continue to attack Christians and their institutions freely,” their statement said.

The bishops appealed to “act firmly against those who are taking law into their hands and safeguard Christians, their houses and institutions.”

“We also request the State Administration to be vigilant at the forced re-conversion issue since it is a gross violation of their Constitutional right to live in the country without fear,” said the bishops’ statement.


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