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Orissa prelate emphasizes love of enemies on massacre anniversary

Catholic World News - August 24, 2011

On the third anniversary of the beginning of the wave of anti-Christian persecution that left 100 dead and 50,000 homeless, the leading prelate in the eastern Indian state of Orissa said that Christians there are striving to love their enemies.

“Despite the suffering and the tragedy of 2008, we harbor no hatred or revenge,” says Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. “Today I can see the evidence of authentic faith that my people are showing: in them there is no hatred or resentment towards those who have destroyed and killed, but the joy that comes from God This is love towards the enemy, preached in the Gospel.”

“On the other hand justice is important: we will continue to follow--through our priest-lawyer--the court trials, so the victims are given the right compensation and the perpetrators of violence are punished,” he added. “Orissa is a test to examine the credibility of the Indian judicial system: the foundations of the rule of law are at stake.”

“Currently, the situation seems calm: there is no mass violence, although there are subtle forms of oppression and discrimination against Christians.”

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