Hindu extremists burn down village churches
Thursday 27 December 2007
Hindu extremists attacked Christians celebrating Christmas in eastern India, ransacking and burning at least six village churches. One person was killed.
Four hundred and fifty police were deployed to quell the violence in the remote district of Orissa state where the churches most nothing more than mud and thatch houses were attacked. The violence had eased by yesterday.
There were conflicting reports of what sparked the unrest in Orissa, which has a history of violence against the state's tiny Christian minority. Some reports said Christians had attempted to attack a hardline Hindu leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad group, who led an anti-conversion movement.
"The situation was aggravated by some Christians forcibly stopping the 80-year-old Hindu leader Laxmanananda Saraswati and attempting to attack him," said Giriraj Kishore of the VHP. "When they were prevented from attacking him by his followers, the Christians hit someone with an axe and one Hindu died," he said.
But the Catholic Bishops Conference of India said the fighting began when Hindu extremists objected to a show marking Christmas Eve, believing it was designed to encourage Hindus at the bottom of the religion's caste hierarchy to convert to Christianity.
An argument over the Christmas show got out of hand and some of the Hindus opened fire on the Christians, wounding three of them, said John Dayal, a spokesman for the Bishops Conference.
The Hindus then went on a rampage on Christmas Day, chasing people out of six churches and setting the buildings ablaze, he said.
Later, dozens of people from each community clashed, Mr Dayal said. One person was killed, he added, but could not say if the dead man was a Hindu or Christian. Another 25 people were wounded, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant (ACCA / CIMA, ...
£11 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A 10 year old girl who has profound an...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Manager ...