Request to join the memorandum campaign to return Orissa into Peace and Harmony

Madhya Pradesh Isai Maha Saba Launches E-mail Campaign to Restore Peace in Orissa
(We Invite all people of good will to join the Email Campaign )

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Isai Maha Saba launched an E-mail campaign to support the suffering Christians in Orissa due to communal violence which began on 24th December 2007. Archbishop Dr. Leo Cornelio held a meeting of around 200 priests , sisters and brothers at Archbishops house in Bhopal on 27th December 2007. He called for prayer and fasting for the cause of the Christians in Orissa. Following the request of the Archbishop , Regional Public Relations Office called a meeting of Christian leaders on 28th December 2007. The meeting entrusted the campaign in the hands of the Madhya Pradesh Isai Maha Saba. Archbishop Dr. Leo Cornelio along with Fr. Anand Muttungal, Mr. Anup Jose, Sr. Sneha , Mr. Richard D’Silva and Dr. Manis Mathew.

The Christian community decided the following :-

1. Send E-mail Memorandum to all the members of Parliament and Rajya Saba , President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Orissa and other officials.
2. Keep one-day prayer and fasting to return peace and harmony in Orissa
3. All the districts of Madhya Pradesh will send Memorandum to President and Prime Minister through the Collector with signature from the Christians and secular minded persons. The memorandum will be submitted to district collectors.
4. We request all E-mail ID holders who are associated to the Regional Public Relations Office to join the memorandum campaign to Members Parliament and Rajya Saba. We will provide the E-mail IDs.

Enclosure

I. Copy of the Memorandum Send by the Christian Community in Madhya Pradesh
II. E-mail -IDs of both Houses of Parliament.

Memorandum From Christian Community M.P & C.G
31st December 2007

Sub: – Requesting to initiate steps to stop wide spread communal violence against Christians in the Khandamal district of Orissa State , India.Sir,

It is to call to you attention to communal violence against Christians in Khandamal district of Orissa State , India . As per the information received we would like to brief you about the incidents that took place, on 24th December 2007 at 8.00 a.m. in Bamunigam. The member of the RSS and its umbrella organizations forcefully removed the Christmas decoration which the Ambedkar Baniko Sangho had put up as a preparation for Christmas . This was followed by some quarrels. Within a few minutes a group of people who were stationed close by pounced on the members of Ambedkar Baniko Sangho with sticks, knives and other lethal weapons. They looted and destroyed a number of shops and houses owned by Christians.In Bhubaneswar during the midnight Mass on 24th December, an unidentified person threw a bomb on Archbishop’s House, Bhubaneswar. No one was hurt.

On 25th December violence spread to Church at Bamunigam many village churches were also being burnt along with many Christian house. They also targeted the Church at Kttingia , Balliguda , Phulbani, Pobingia, Convents, Church of the Baptist Christians, Pentecostal Christians and many schools , hostels , and Christian houses

By 30th December 2007 a number of Churches, houses, convents and institutions were being set fire.

Our Request

1. Initiate immediate steps to contain violence and provide security to life and property. Form a coordination committee consists of Head of All Religions to work for peace in Orissa.

2. Order an independent CBI enquiry into the unprovoked violence against Christians. The role of fundamental organizations responsible and the nexus with the police must also be probed because violence continued in the presence of the police.

3. Government must take steps to rehabilitate the Christian victims who lost their houses and property. The houses and shops burnt, the Churches burnt, the convents burnt and all other institutions burnt must be compensated sufficiently to rehabilitate the victims.

Thanking you in anticipation
Yours truly,
Archbishop Dr. Leo Cornelio
Archbishop of Bhopal Archdiocese &Chairman , Catholic Council of Bishops M.P & C.G Mr. Anup Jose Secretary ,
Madhya Pradesh Isai Maha Saba, Fr. Anand Muttungal Spokesperson &PRO , Catholic Council of Bishops , M.P & C.G

2 Responses

  1. Our governments in India must realize that violence is not a part of our culture and moreover violence against a minority is against our Indian Ethos. Those who sow the winds of violence will only reap the storms of violence. We Christians will not resort to violence but violence breeds violence and this is what perpetrators of violence should be told firmly through action of the Goverment and law-wnforcing authorities.
    To be protected is nto a favour the Goverment does to its people. It is our right and we demand that this right be respected. If the Orissa Government cannot protect its people, let it go!

  2. I feel very distressed seeing this situation . I remember a quote by St Augustine” Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” I hope we as Christian can distinguish the acts of charity by our friends in political power who hold out to justice without spoiling there characterless white clothes .
    Let it be another learning experience for our Christian community,until we decide to rise to the occasion as one community or as individuals.

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