Bhubaneswar, India, Aug 16, 2016 / 05:08 am
Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, who lived through one of the worst Christian persecutions in modern India and spent the remainder of his life fighting for justice for those who suffered in the Kandhamal massacre, died Sunday at the age of 81.
Archbishop Cheenath had been Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar from 1985 to 2011. He passed away Aug. 14 at Holy Spirit Hospital in Mumbai, after a battle with colon cancer.
His death followed the successful outcome of a legal battle he brought forward to gain an increase in relief to the victims of the 2008 attack against the Christian community in the Indian district of Kandhamal.
In 2008, Hindu extremists led anti-Christian attacks on nearly 200 villages in Kandhamal, part of the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese. Around 30,000 people fled the East-Indian state of Odisha, and 6,000 homes were destroyed.