Kandhamal (Agenzia Fides) - Profound sympathy and solidarity for Christians in the Middle East, particularly in Syria: is what was expressed by the survivors of the anti-Christian massacres that occurred in 2008 in Orissa, in Kandhamal district, who met for the first time in recent days to "share our struggles for justice, religious freedom and human dignity", remarked a statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
The meeting, held at the "K.Nuagaon" Pastoral Center on February 9, in Kandhamal district, aimed to build communion and solidarity among the victims of violence, who lost their loved ones. "We shared our stories of hope, of faith and the fight for justice" say the survivors.
"The violence in Kandhamal was the worst anti-Christian pogrom in modern Indian history in 300 years. The violence, which lasted nearly four months, caused the deaths of 101 faithful and 75,000 displaced from their homes and villages", recalls the note sent to Fides.
"Targeted violence and ethnic and religious cleansing - the text continues - is a crime against humanity and there is no parallel in recent history. We understand the unimaginable suffering of millions of people just because they follow different religious traditions and faith. We feel distressed about the unspeakable crimes against the followers of Christ in the world. Religious fundamentalists are the scourge of humanity and do not spare women and children".
"We express our sense of solidarity with Syrian citizens who are facing a huge crisis and are in danger of life. Let us pray that peace is restored and that human rights and dignity prevail. Violence in Syria must end soon", said Christudas Nayak, one of the participants.
The statement released after the meeting concludes: "We appeal to the United Nations, the Holy See, inter-religious bodies and civil society groups so that they work for the promotion of peace, harmony and religious tolerance in particular in the Middle East". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/02/2016)