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Obseswar Nayak stands on the remains of his property for which he was initially offered token compensation.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

According to India's Supreme Court, adequate compensation has not yet been paid to those who've suffered severe loss during the religiously-motivated tide of violence that took place against Christians in the Kandhamal district of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa).

On August 23rd, 2008, about 100 Christians were killed, 300 churches and 6,000 Christian homes damaged, and 56,000 people displaced by extremists who retaliated the killing of their Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. His death sparked the worst case of anti-Christian violence in India's history. The extremists targeted multitudes of innocent believers residing within this district, even though Maoist rebels claimed responsibility for Swami's death.

After the violence, the local community has struggled to receive adequate compensation from the government. However, Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, believes that the Supreme Court's most recent ruling is a positive one: "It is a step forward in justice for the victims of Kandhamal.... The justice procedure is slow and inadequate, but this is a sign of hope."

Learn more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus for India's Christians by reviewing our country report. Note that there is also a video clip (on the right) featuring a song of praise presented by the orphaned children of the Sideras Children's Home.

After eight years of hardship -- and for many persecuted victims, homelessness -- it is encouraging to know that the Supreme Court of India has acknowledged the need to properly compensate those whose homes have been badly damaged or destroyed during the violent outbreak. Pray that Odisha's state government will be able to meet this tremendous need for compensation in a timely and efficient manner so displaced Christians can finally resettle in permanent housing and move on with their lives. May God's blessings also be upon the many rescued children whose parents were killed during the massacre so they can continue to heal, grow and thrive in the safety and care of our VOMC-sponsored homes.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC VOMC assists persecuted Christians with legal support and rehabilitation assistance, and cares for children of martyrs by providing them with a safe place to be nurtured physical and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and works to strengthen and support marginalized and persecuted Christian women. Additionally, VOMC helps to provide medical assistance to believers who have faced injuries after being attacked.”

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Legal Defense, Relief and Development, Women’s Ministry, Medical Fund

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Indo-Aryan (72), Dravidian (25), Mongoloid and other (3)

Religion (%)
Hinduism (79.8), Muslim (14.2), Christianity (2.3), Sikh (1.7), other (2)

Leader
President Ram Nath Kovind (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for India

Despite the intimidation and violence that have taken place in many of India's states, may Christians wisely yet unashamedly preach the Gospel. Pray that indigenous Christians and foreign missionaries will minister in ways that do not hint at fraudulent conversions, unmasking the intentions behind the anti-conversion legislation. Intercede for India's leaders, that they may reign with justice and righteousness.

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