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For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Christians in Orissa (2007-08)
“Come back as Hindu or don’t come back at all”

Pregnant Christian woman Kamalini Naik was cut to pieces along with her one-year-old son in front of her husband by an angry mob of Hindu extremists, when she refused to convert from Christianity to Hinduism during the horrendous anti-Christian riots that broke out in Orissa, India, in August 2008.

The large-scale violence, which continued unabated until October, followed coordinated attacks on Christians in the area the previous Christmas. At least 60 Christians were brutally murdered; some were cut to pieces, others burnt alive. Many of the dead were pastors, who were specially targeted by the attackers. A paralysed man in one village was unable to escape from a fire and so burned to death. Around 18,000 Christians were injured, many of them severely, and numerous Christian women were raped. Over 4,000 homes as well as several orphanages and hundreds of church buildings and Christian schools were destroyed. Tens of thousands of Christians were left homeless, and at least 400 villages were cleansed of all Christians. Many were too fearful to return home, threatened by the Hindu extremists: “Come back as Hindu or don’t come back at all.” Some of those who dared to return were forcibly converted to Hinduism or sometimes covered in petrol and set on fire if they refused to renounce Christ.

This is not our final or permanent place. We are only pilgrims here. That is our faith. Whatever may come, we will never leave our faith. In any case, we will have to die one day… I am not angry with God. I am happy with what God has given us. It is written in the Bible that you will be persecuted for your faith.

Christudas, a Christian from Kandhamal in Orissa state, whose wife, Ramani Nayak, was killed in the riots.