Orissa under curfew following devastating riots

By August 27, 2008

India (MNN) — Parts of Orissa state are under an indefinite
curfew today following deadly riots by Hindu mobs. Police and paramilitary groups marched in
force in the three towns under the curfew. As a precautionary measure, the state government closed all schools and

The Evangelical and Catholic Church heads also called
Christian schools, colleges and institutions around the nation to close down on
August 29 to show their solidarity with the Christians suffering in the Orissa.

Orissa does not have a state commission that would
investigate discrimination and violence against the non-Hindu religious.

This has not gone unnoticed. India's National Commission for
Minorities issued a report after visiting Orissa on January 6-8, 2008, and again
on April 21-24, 2008.

Their findings showed that caste-based discrimination played a role,
as did an anti-conversion campaign conducted by Hindu extremists. The Commission then faulted state government
officials for not preventing the violence.

Because tensions are so high, aside from the outcry, Christian
communities are planning a peaceful protest rally. It will take place in front of Orissa Bhavan
on August 29, at 10 AM. The event will begin at Cathedral gate, New
Delhi . 

Mawii Pudaite with Bibles For The World says, "Our hearts
cry out to God for mercy. The Word of
God that keeps coming to mind is Psalms 76:10 — 'Surely the wrath of man shall
praise Thee.' We have seen this happen on many occasions when God turns the
wrath of man to His praise, even in the state of Orissa."

Pudaite urges prayer for pastors and other church
workers. Outreach teams are still
active.  "Bibles For The World
recently printed and distributed 100,000 copies of the Gospel of John in
Oriya for the people of Orissa. We must
do more to spread the Good News of peace." 


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