Info & News
from the Generalate
from the Provinces
September 2, 2008
My dear confreres,
am writing to ask you for your moral support and solidarity. As you
may know, during the week of Aug. 23, 2008, violence and atrocities
against Christians in the Eastern Indian state of Orissa, India has led
to 27 deaths, 4014 houses of Christians destroyed or burnt and more than
50,000 people homeless living in the relief camps. A nun has been gang
raped, religious men and women personnel humiliated, beaten, and
tortured, some close to death.
|Subject: Orissa India
From: "USC Provincial"
Date: Tue, September 2, 2008 10:08 am
Some of you may be aware of the events taking
place in the state of Orissa in India. There has been a terrible
wave of violence against Christians and church institutions.
Some of our own confreres have been injured in this violence.
Richie Vaz has followed the situation carefully, and has asked
for our support. Attached is a letter from Richie, explaining
the situation. Also attached is a draft letter, which you can
use or adapt in writing of your concern to Indian government
officials. Please share these letters with your friends and
others to get the word out. I encourage you to take action in
defense of our brothers and sisters in Orissa!
Some of our SVD missionaries have suffered great injuries and a young
woman who was working in one of our homes for children was burnt alive.
The murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda
Saraswati on the night of August 23rd sparked this recent outbreak of
violence. I wish to make you aware of the situation in case you are
asked about it.
Finally, I ask you to take a moment to support our brothers and
sisters in India. Attached is a sample letter that asks Indian federal
leaders to protect the victims of this violence. Please use the letter
to draft a message in your own words or copy and paste the sample letter
into an email. For your convenience, I have listed fax number and email
addresses of the Indian prime minister and the president, as well as the
chief minister of Orissa and the chairperson of the National Human
Rights Commission in New Delhi.
Thank you for your time. In case the media contacts you, you may
refer those calls to Theresa Carson province center at 847-412-1606. If
you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can reach
Yours in Christ,
Richie Vaz, SVD
Mission Office, Techny
Sample letter to Indian leaders
Please send letter to:
Madam Pratibha Patel
President of India
Fax: (0091) 11-2301 7290 or( 0091) 11-2301 7824
Please send copies to:
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Fax: (0091) 11-2301 9545 or (0091) 11-2301 6857
Mr. Naveen Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa
Fax: (0091) 674- 253 5110
National Human Rights Commission
Fax: (0091) 11- 2338 4863
Re: Call to end pogrom of Christians in Orissa
Dear Madam President:
Through international media reports, I am aware of your
attempts to stop the violence in Orissa. In spite of your
efforts the carnage against Christian community continues not
only in Kandhamal district but in several other districts of
It is reported that 27 people are killed, 4014 houses
destroyed, more than 50,000 people have left their homes and are
either in the refugee camps or seeking shelter in the woods.
Religious men and women personnel humiliated, beaten, tortured,
some close to death. Churches, convents, orphanages, and other
church institutions destroyed, burnt or looted.
I hope that in the coming weeks and months the Christian
minority in Orissa receives compensation for their losses and
that, under your protection, they once again feel secure in
their homes and homeland. It was India’s concern for its
minorities that had brought it respect internationally. I also
hope that the perpetrators of this violence be brought to
justice so that these atrocities end.
[CITY, STATE, COUNTRY]