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Violence Escalates in Orissa
International Dominican Justice Promoters Urge Support for Christians in India

SANTA SABINA -- September 8, 2008 -- Violence against Christians in the Orissa area of India has reached a boiling point. In a 72 hour period over 114 major acts of violence were reported. Prakash Lohale, OP and Toni Harris, OP, international co-promoters of justice and peace are urging Dominicans to devote some time to prayer for peace.

The request comes just as Dominicans are preparing for the September 21st International Day of Prayer for Peace.

Orissa OrphanageAccording to Christian news sources in India, Christians in Orissa attempting to return to their villages after fleeing widespread communal violence are being compelled to sign papers renouncing their faith and converting to Hinduism. They reportedly face threats of social ostracism or the destruction of their property unless they comply with this demand.

Much of the recent violence stems from the murder of Swami Lakhmananda Saraswati and his four associates. The Hindu extremist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), of which Saraswati was a local figurehead, blamed the Christian community for the killing, and launched a devastating series of attacks on Christian targets, including murders, rape and widespread destruction of property, and publicly incited further hatred against Christians.

Indian priest describes mob ordeal 'like being tortured for Christ' (CNS) MORE

Read the letter from the international Dominican Promoters of Justice and Peace

LEFT photo: Chrisitan orphanage burned in Orissa

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