10 Years Since Anti-Christian Massacre in India; 'Prayer for the Martyrs' Launched

Published 16 February 2018  |  

Marking the 10th year since the worst and biggest massacre of Christians in India in three centuries, the 2008 kandhamal riot, believers in the country have launched a "prayer for the martyrs" in churches.

In 2008, about 100 Christians were killed with 6,000 homes set on fire leaving nearly 56,000 believers homeless over several months of violence in Odisha by Hindus.

Christians in the state are been accused of 'conversions' to this day, a charge that Hindu radicals keep using to justify violence against followers of Christ.

The special prayer, according to the Christian Persecution Update, has been prepared in both English and Odiya.

Christians across India are demanding the reopening 315 cases of 2008 violence, a verdict given by the Supreme Court in August 2016.

Fr Joseph Kalathil, former vicar general of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, recently said that the victims were killed specifically for their faith in Jesus, which is why they are being designated in the prayer as martyrs.

"The victims of anti-Christian persecution of Kandhamal for the sake of faith in Christ manifest the supreme witness to the truth of the faith. It means bearing witness even unto death for Christ who died and rose," said Kalathil.

"Praying for the martyrs' cause in every nook and corner of the diocese and Odisha definitely will increase our faith in Christ and respect and honour to the victims. Their shining examples will inspire us to do the mission of Christ with dedication and commitment," Kalathil added.


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