New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) -During their Plenary Assembly, to be held from 2 to 9 March in Bangalore the Indian Bishops will examine and discuss the issue of the persecution of Christians which occurred in Orissa in 2007 and 2008. As Fides learns, Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswa (Orissa) will explain and remember the violence that was recorded in the district of Kandhamal. The Archbishop expressed his satisfaction for this opportunity.
The Church in Orissa has established a "Martyrs Day", withn the proposal to celebrate it at a national level, and intends to begin the process of beatification of the martyrs of Kandhamal. At a local level, a group of priests and lay people are preparing a detailed list of the martyrs of Kandhamal, with the dates of their death, denomination or religion, gathering the necessary documentation and testimony to start the diocesan phase of the canonical process.
The violence in Kandhamal, district in the Indian state of Orissa, lasted for nearly four months in 2008 and claimed more than 90 victims, while more than 50,000 people were left homeless. Numerous Bishops and Indian Cardinals have visited the district in recent years. "The commemoration of the massacre will be held so that events like this will not happen anymore, and for us expresses a desire for full reconciliation" says the local priest, Father Ajay Kumar Singh to Fides.
The Bishops of the 171 dioceses in India, as well as auxiliary and emeritus Bishops will attend the plenary of Indian Bishops. The central topic is "The response of the Church in India to current challenges". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 08/02/2016)