.- The Pontifical Missionary Works of Spain made public this week the harrowing testimony of a Spanish missionary nun concerning the alarming wave of violence and persecution that Christian communities in India, especially in the state of Orissa, are suffering.
Sister Antolina Martinez de Maranon of the Daughters of Charity, who works in Bombay with leprosy, tuberculosis and AIDS patients, said in her letter that the violence began in Orissa, “but has now spread to many more states, even to the state we call the Rome of India, Bangalore, where our provincial house is located.”
“Many churches have been profaned there, Masses have even been disrupted, priests and others have been beaten, many things have been destroyed, and they are sowing panic.”
“Nobody is doing anything to stop the radicals from sowing panic and hatred in the minds of simple people and fear and insecurity in the minds of Christians,” Sister Martinez said.
“The Indian bishops want to draw attention to this all over the world, in order to get the international community to react,” she continued. “Otherwise nothing will be done, even though the central government has warned the extremists. Nevertheless, we are dealing here with the opposition party, which has many economic resources and many members trained to hate Christians,” she explained.
Sister Martinez pointed out that news of the death of a priest or nun in some part of the country comes each day. “The Daughters of Charity are very protected by the Virgin Mary, even those who are in the north amidst the violence. We recognize that and we give thanks to God,” she said.