A mob in Odisha's Bodoguda village demolished a church that was under construction. According to reports from the AsiaNews, the area has a long history of violent persecution of Christians.
“On May 16, about 150 armed people demolished a church under construction in the village of Bodoguda, in the Koraput district,” Father Purushottam Nayak, a priest of the diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, told the AsiaNews.
A complaint was made with the Koraput police station by a few local pastors and members of the Christian community, requesting compensation.
“In the village, 12 Christian tribal families who live with 60 Hindu families are victims of anger, jealousy and revenge only for their faith,” said Father Nayak.
Several acts of violence against Christians have occurred in Koraput district for over four years, but local authorities' failure to take strict action against the perpetrators has simply resulted in additional episodes of violence.
"This new attack against the Christians of the village of Bodogua is not spontaneous. The crowd was armed,” said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).
According to George, a group of Hindu extremists viciously beat eight Christians, including an elderly, in July of last year. The extremists not only beat the Christians mercilessly, but also ransacked the house that hosted the Christians, “whose homes had been destroyed by the fanatics themselves.”
GCIC strongly condemns violence and intimidation in this village, said George.
“Even in the previous incident, the Christians filed a complaint with the police: not only were there no actions against the perpetrators, but the administration threatened the Christians who had filed them. This failure strengthens extremists who gain political space for their attacks on vulnerable Christian minorities. Alongside a question of order, there is a serious problem that affects religious freedom,” he told the AsiaNews.