Memorandum Submitted urging protection of Christians in Odisha

A memorandum sent by the Christian Forum in Sambalpur district in Odisha to the state governor S.C. Jamir urged for protection of rights of the Christian community.

Marking the anniversary of the anti-Christian violence in December 2007 and again in August 2008, which left in its wake more than 5000 burnt houses, 296 churches destroyed or charred to the ground, about 100 people dead and about 56,000 Christian tribals and Adivasi's displaced.

The ethnic cleansing of Aug 2008, was carried out by the Hindu fundamentalist group namely Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) after a local Hindu priest with a huge following, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, was gunned down by few unidentified people. Ceasing the opportunity VHP leaders in the state squared the blame on Christians for abetting, conspiring and killing their leader with no evidence to support the accusations.

What followed was the massacre that has not been seen in Odisha before and is considered the biggest systematic ethnic cleansing of Christian community in India so far.

The memorandum asked the government to ensure "peace, security and protection to Christian minorities in Odisha."

More recently, Praveen Togodia, the VHP leader known for his enticing speeches of hate against the minority communities especially Christians, has been banned from entering into Odisha.

At present the situation in Odisha is currently under control.