Christians in Orissa, India face daily persecution, but have become stronger in the seven years since Hindus extremists killed 100 of their number in a brutal attack.
Mission Network News reports Hindu extremists killed 100 Christians and destroyed 300 churches and 6,000 homes in attacks that began on Aug. 31, 2008. The assaults left 56,000 Christians homeless.
Seven years later, Orissa is still an insecure place for Christians to live.
John Sparks of India Partners said, “For most of us, the fear and the experience of persecution has passed away and we haven’t tracked with that much. But for the people that live there, it’s still something they have to deal with.”
Recently an Indian pastor was assassinated for his faith. He was a husband and father to two children; now his family will be rejected as widows are seen as bad luck in Indian culture.
The pastor’s death also hinders the spreading of the gospel, as other pastors fear retribution.
Sparks said, “The situation there is difficult because of the stress that they live in. A pastor is killed in one area, the rest of the pastors tend to pull back and operate out of fear rather than being able to really share the Gospel.”
Still, many Christians in Orissa hold onto hope and their faith.
The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar said, “The faith of Christians in Orissa has become stronger in the face of persecution.”
Publication date: September 8, 2015