First conviction in Orissa anti-Christian violence

By July 6, 2009

India (MNN) — International Christian Concern reports a
conviction in the Orissa sectarian riots.

Nearly a year after the outbreak of anti-Christian violence,
the state government sentenced Chakradhar Mallick to four years in prison. 

He was accused of inciting Hindus extremists to burn homes and attack Christian in
response to the murder of Hindu fundamentalist leader, Laxmananda Saraswati. Hindus
in Orissa blamed Christians for killing the swami even though Maoist rebels had
publicly claimed responsibility for the murder.

The violence spread from Mallick's initial attack,
eventually spanning several states and spanning over six months, displacing
thousands, and costing hundreds of believers their lives. 

Some 800 cases have been filed in courts in connection with
anti-Christian assaults that broke out in Kandhamal last year after the murder
of a Hindu religious leader.

The conviction is timely because anti-Christian violence is
flaring once more. Last week, a group of
believers in Orissa, India, was attacked with weapons by 40 to 50 people after
refusing to participate in a Hindu festival.

A church leader in
Orissa state says it will boost confidence in the justice system and
government. Pray for a quick end to the violence and protection for Christians.

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