Orissa anti-Christrian violence
- Update 25th August 2008
1. NUN REPORTED BURNT ALIVE: A Christian woman, possibly a nun, was
reported burnt alive on 25th August 2008 by a group of Vishwa Hindu
Parishad mob which stormed the orphanage she ran in the district of
Bargarh (Orissa). Police Superintendent Ashok Biswall has told this to
news reporters. A priest who was at the orphanage was also badly hurt
and is now being treated in hospital for multiple burns.
2. NUN RAPED: A young Catholic Nun of the Cuttack Bhubaneswar diocese
working Jan Vikas Kendra, the Social Service Centre at Nuagaon in
Kandhamal was reportedly gang raped on 24th August 2008 by groups of
Hindutva extremists before the building itself was destroyed.
3. SENIOR PRIEST AND NUN INJURED: Fr Thomas, director of the Diocesan
Pastoral Centre in Kanjimendi, less than a kilometer away from the
Social Service Centre, and another Nun were injured when the centre
was attacked. They were taken to the police station in a disheveled
state as the armed mob bayed for their blood. The Pastoral centre was
then set afire.
4. BALLIGUDA CHURCH BUILDINGS DESTROYED AGAIN: On 24th August 2008
evening lynch mobs at the block headquarters of Balliguda, in the very
heart of Kandhamal district, which had seen much violence between 24th
and 26th December 2007, attacked and destroyed a Presbytery, convent
and hostel damaging the properties.
5. The mobs in Balliguda caught hold of two boys of the Catholic
hostel and tonsured their heads.
6. PHULBANI CHURCH DAMAGED: On 25th august 2008 morning followers of
the late Lakshmanananda Saraswati damaged the Catholic Church in
Phulbani, the district headquarter town.
7. MOTHER TERESA BROTHERS ASHRAM ATTACKED: mobs attacked the Mother
Teresa Brothers’ residence and hospital in Srasanada, destroyed once
before and rebuilt two months ago, and beat up the patients.
Fundamentalists have targeted Priests, religious and also the Faithful
in Pobingia also.
8. BHUBANESWAR BISHOP’S HOUSE ATTACKED: On the morning of 25th August
2008, violent mobs made several attempts to enter the compounds of
Catholic Church and Archbishop’s house in the heart of the Capital of
the State of Orissa. They could not enter because of the police
presence. They threw stones at the guesthouse of Archbishop’s House,
9. DUBURI PARISH; Another group of fundamentalists entered presbytery
in Duburi parish, managed by the SVDs and destroyed and damaged
property. Two priests of the parish are missing.
10. Mr. Jamaj Pariccha, Director of Gramya Pragati, is attacked and
his property, vehicle etc. damaged, burnt and looted.
11. A Baptist Church in Akamra Jila in Bhubaneswar is also damaged.
12. Christian institutions like St. Arnold’s School (Kalinga Bihar),
AND NISWASS report some damage.
13. BOUDH DISTRICT [Adjoining Kandhamal]: Fundamentalists enter the
Catholic parish church and destroy property. People are fleeing to
safer places. But nothing seems safe.
14. Muniguda Catholic Fathers and Nuns’ residence have been damaged.
15. Sambalpur HM Sister’s residence (Ainthapalli) has suffered
16. Padanpur: One priest is attacked and admitted to a hospital.
Hostel boys and the in charge have moved away from the place.
17. Madhupur Catholic Church currently under attack.
18. SMALL CHURCHES: Attempted violence on small churches in various
districts, including Padampur, Sambalpur near GM College, Talsera,
Dangsoroda, Narayanipatara, Muniguda, Tummiibandh, Tangrapada,
Phulbani, Balliguda, Kalingia, Chakapad, Srasanranda.
19. VILLAGE CHRISTIAN HOUSES ATTACKED: Houses attacked on forest
hamlets of Balliguda, Kanjamandi Nuaguam (K.Nuaguam), Tiangia
(G.Udayagiri), Padangiri, Tikabali.
20. KALAHANDI DISTRICT: houses burnt even though the district is more
than 300 kilometers from the place where Swami Lakshmanananda was
21. Pastor Sikandar Singh of the Pentecostal Mission beaten up and his
house burnt in Bhawanipatna.
22. Kharihar: 3 Christian shops were looted and burnt. Pastor Alok Das
and Pastor I M Senapati beaten up.
23. Aampani: Pastor David Diamond Pahar, Pastor Pravin Ship, Pastor
Pradhan and Pastor Barik beaten up and chased away with their
24. Naktikani: Mob surrounds village to attack Christians. The
government has sent forces, it is reported.
[This list is compiled with assistance from Archbishop’s House,
Bhubaneswar and other sources]