The 2008 annual report of the All India Christian Council has showed that it was a “horrible year” for Christians in India, who were subjected to waves of violence and attacks. The report called the constant persecution Christians were subjected to in the state of Orrisa, “ethnic cleansing” and “the fruit of Hindu-inspired terrorism.”
According to the Fides news agency, the AICC report indicates that there were “106 isolated attacks against Christian persons or structures, which have affected 16 states of India, with an average of 9 acts of violence per month.”
The report divides the attacks in Orissa into two phases, which it says constitute a “black page” for Indian society and for its values of democracy, freedom, pluralism and respect for individual rights.
“It is a true ‘negative record’ in the history of India,” the report stated.
The first phase of the report, described as the fruit of “ethnic cleansing,” occurred “at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, when Hindu extremist groups attacked the Christian community, destroying 105 churches, killing 9 Christians, assaulting and raping women, burning more than 730 rooms and damaging 40 businesses.”
The report says that the second phase began on August 23, 2008 and was the “fruit of Hindu-inspired terrorism.” This period of persecution saw 120 deaths (including a Catholic priest), 4640 destroyed homes, 315 towns in which the Christian presence was completely wiped out, 250 churches and places of prayer destroyed or damaged, 13 Christian schools looted, and more than 54,000 people made internal refugees.