Justice for persecuted Christians in India

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Mar 07, 2016

In 2008, a frightening burst of anti-Christian violence broke out in India’s remote Kandhamal region, leaving more than 100 dead and driving more than 50,000 people from their homes. Anto Akkara, a frequent contributor to Catholic World News, has won international acclaim for his dogged investigation of that violence. He has also given the world the astonishing, inspiring story of how the persecuted Christians endured, clung to their faith, and eventually converted many of the militant Hindus who had persecuted them.

The violence began when a prominent Hindu-nationalist leader, Swami Lakshmanananda, was murdered. The crime was soon traced to a Maoist group, but militant Hindus nevertheless held Christians—all Christians—responsible. That’s when the violence began.

In a chaotic climate of violence, seven illiterate Christian men were convicted of involvement in the killing—in a stampeded trial, with virtually no evidence presented. Anto Akkara has now demonstrated their innocence, and is seeking to win them a new trial. Toward that end, he has launched a petition drive, hoping to generate some international pressure on India’s leaders to take a fresh look at this miscarriage of justice.

If you’d like to be involved in this effort to right a terrible wrong, please add your name to Anto’s petition.

You can learn a bit more about the petition drive here.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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