Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Freedom: Little... Fidelity: Great

In the latest from Orissa, 300 Christians have seen their homes burned, with at least one murdered...
The latest violence took place yesterday morning at 4 AM. Groups of radical Hindu organizations set upon three Christian villages while the people were sleeping, attacking them with axes, clubs, swords, and knives.

The Christian woman killed was Ramani Nayak, mother of a family. Her husband and two daughters were able to get away. A dozen people were injured and are in the hospital of Behampur. Those most seriously injured include an eight-year-old boy and his mother. After making the inhabitants flee, the radical groups rased their homes and used Molotov cocktails to set them on fire. The flames and smoke can still be seen in the three villages. A chapel was also damaged....

Two days earlier, a Catholic in the area of Phiringia was taken to the hospital after suffering torture on the part of Hindus who wanted to force him to renounce his Christian faith.

The police have again imposed a curfew in the area.

Since August 24, when the campaign of violence began against the Christians, 60 Christians have been killed; 178 churches have been destroyed or damaged; 4,600 homes belonging to Christians have been burned; 13 schools or social centers have been destroyed; more than 50,000 people have been forced to flee; more than 18,000 have been wounded.
...while in Vietnam -- where the faithful and authorities have clashed for months over church property and the right to demonstrate -- the continuing pressure on Archbishop Ngo Quang Kiet of Hanoi has now found the prelate placed under de facto house arrest:
Video cameras, telephone surveillance equipment, "spontaneous" demonstrations with insults and threats, another raid on a church. The Hanoi authorities are doing everything they can to intimidate Kiet, with the unconcealed objective of forcing his resignation or removal.

Video cameras and telephone surveillance equipment have been placed openly on the terrace of the Hoan Kiem elementary school, to the right of the archbishop's residence, and on neighboring buildings. In practice, no one can enter or leave without being filmed, and the archbishop is essentially confined to his residence. Some appointments and celebrations have been rescheduled or canceled. Around the archbishop's residence, groups of elderly people are paid 20,000 dong (about 1.2 dollars) to pretend to be Catholic and shout at Archbishop Kiet to resign. The measures clearly have the purpose of intimidation.

The same objective was behind a raid carried out against the little church of Mac Thuong in Ly Nhan. Hundreds of thugs entered the building shouting obscenities and threatening the faithful, telling them their lives will not be easy as long as the archbishop remains at his post.
PHOTO: Reuters