Church of England, partners observe Kandhamal day

August 23, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kandhamal DayUnited Kingdom, August 21, 2014: The Church of England and its Ecumenical partners will be observing Kandhamal Day on 25 August to mark the sixth year anniversary of communal violence against Christians in Orissa state’s Kandhamal district.

The Kandhamal communal violence claimed an estimated 100 lives, displacing around 56,000 people and saw the destruction of 295 churches and worship places.

Bishop Humphrey Southern of Repton, who chairs the Derbyshire Partnership of Churches with the Church of North India, said in a statement that “Kandhamal Day is being observed to raise greater awareness of the communal violence in Orissa.”

He said that by recognizing this day, “we are encouraging the Indian government to take the necessary actions to ensure that justice is done for the victim-survivors and work towards ensuring that such atrocities do not happen again.”

The need for this is all the more urgent in a world where persecution and ethnic cleansing on the basis of religion continues to be so horrifically apparent in Iraq and elsewhere,” he said according to a press release from rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

A recent CSW visit to Orissa revealed that six years on and there has been no justice for the people of Kandhamal. The scars of this violence continue to plague Christians in the State as they endeavor to rebuild their lives, the release said.

The National Solidarity Forum in India noted that “we have observed and created enough pressure on the fact that the economic justice of relief and compensation has been minimal from the part of the Government. We hereby express our deep shock at the process of the criminal justice delivery system which is still not provided to the victims and survivors of Kandhamal violence in Orissa”.

The bishop’s statement continues: “The Church of England with its Partners call for solidarity and prayers for the victims in recognition of Kandhamal Day. We need to build the confidence of minority communities being persecuted for their faith and to remind the government of its responsibilities to the people of Kandhamal.

– press release

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