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India: 53 arrested for attacks on Karnataka churches; Orissa Church life paralyzed

Catholic World News - September 17, 2008

While authorities in the state of Karnataka have reacted to anti-Christian violence-- tardily, in the view of Church leaders-- the mob attacks continue in Orissa. Now the campaign of violence has spread to another Indian state: Madya Pradesh.

AsiaNews, citing figures provided by All India Catholic Union, reported that so far the violence in the state of Orissa alone has killed 45 and wounded 18,000; 5 are missing; 56 churches, 11 schools, and 4 NGO offices have been destroyed; 300 villages have been attacked; more than 4,000 homes have been burned or destroyed, forcing more than 50,000 people to flee. Of these, 40,000 are still hiding in the forest; 12,000 are sheltered in the refugee camps provided by the government.

Hindu antipathy toward the Church is illustrated by the complaints that a television ad depicting a priest as an educator is an offense against the Hindu faith-- despite the fact that Church-run schools have educated millions of India's children, including Hindus.

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