Indian church attacks caused by 'inadequate' government protection, say Christians

( [email protected] ) Dec 29, 2007 12:03 PM EST

The state government of Orissa is responsible for the attacks on churches and Christian organisations in Kandhamal district in India, according to the Orissa unit of the All-India Christian Council.

The Orissa unit described action by the state government to prevent such attacks as “inadequate”, reports The Hindu.

The state unit president of the All-India Christian Council, Rev Pran Ranjan Parichha said, "The government does not appear to have taken the matter seriously and the slackness on the part of the administration is evident."

Parichha said that the violence had been fomented by Hindu fundamentalist groups. He demanded more provision of security in trouble-spots, saying that people lived in a climate of anxiety and fear.

He said, "This is the first time in Orissa's history that church services could not be held on Christmas Day despite police presence," reports The Hindu newspaper.

On Christmas Day, one person was killed and numerous churches were set ablaze in communal violence triggered by an attack on a local Hindu leader who heads an anti-conversion movement. Following the violence a curfew was imposed on parts of eastern India.

Another Christian Leader, Raphael Cheenath, Archbishop of Bhubaneswar, told local TV, "I feel the government has allowed them to continue this sort of thing somehow, because I am afraid they are repeating what happened in Gujarat in the last two-three years," reports Reuters.

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