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India's Christian leaders challenge federal government to protect religious minority

Catholic World News - May 10, 2011

Church leaders in India have called the attention of the nation’s leaders to a “saffron-colored corridor” of states in central India where Hindu extremists have pursued a campaign of violence against the Christian minority.

In separate reports to the government, the Global Council of Indian Christians and the Catholic Secular Forum have called for action to protect Christians in the states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, running across the width of the subcontinent. The reports point to more than 1,000 anti-Christian incidents in these states in the past 3 years, and the reports cite “over 100 cases of true martyrdom.”

In the “saffron-colored corridor,” the Christian groups charge, Hindu zealots often have the tacit or even overt support of local police and government officials. In Orissa, described as “the crossorads of hatred,” a Hindu leader who has been linked to massacres of Christians in the Khandamal district has appeared as the featured speaker at public rallies organized by military officers.

The reports challenge India’s national leaders to take action against the anti-Christian violence, saying that it poses “a test for the government about its real capacity to promote justice.”

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