Massive extremist attacks on Christians spur ADF funding for legal defense project in IndiaMore than 100 dead, tens of thousands homeless after Hindu militants target Christians in Orissa state
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
“Christians should have their legal rights protected no matter what country they are in. The persecution of Christians in India calls for a concerted legal effort to deter future attacks and to bring about justice,” said ADF Senior Counsel Glen Lavy. “Emergency measures must be taken to stop the brutal torture and ruthless murder of Christians in Orissa and the senseless destruction of their property. ADF is pleased to provide funding to defend the legal rights Christians have under Indian law.”
Since last August, reports indicate that a large number of Christians have been murdered, hundreds of churches have been destroyed, thousands of homes have been burned, and tens of thousands of Christians have been left homeless and are fleeing to refugee camps at the hands of anti-Christian Hindu militants in Orissa. Gospel for Asia and The Voice of the Martyrs have reported rife atrocities taking place across the state, including the murder of more than 100 Christians and the displacement of 70,000 more.
The ADF-funded project is providing legal support to those affected by communal violence--especially in Orissa--by helping victims file criminal complaints and by helping to bring the criminals to justice. The project is also focused on strengthening the involvement of faith communities and civil society in promoting and protecting religious liberty through India’s legal system. India’s constitution protects the religious liberty of Christians, but the extent of the violence has overwhelmed the justice system.
One popular religious persecution blog in Britain describes the extent of the violence in Orissa and the rest of India, “where nuns are being gang-raped, and many believers are being murdered, tortured, or burned alive. Children are being hacked to pieces before their parents’ eyes, and churches, community, and pastoral centers, convents, and orphanages have been burned down and destroyed… Sisters of Mother Teresa have been attacked by stone-throwing Hindu militants with some being seriously injured. And mobs are terrorizing believers throughout the area, marching and shouting ‘Kill the Christians.’”