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Indian Church holds week of prayers for peace after anti-Christian riots

 Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman has appealed to "all Catholics and people of goodwill" in India to observe a week of prayers for peace and inter-religious dialogue in the aftermath of a series of attacks on Christian property in Orissa, in north-east India. Riots in the Kandhamal district of Orissa, believed to have lead by Hindu extremists, which began on Christmas Eve, resulted in the destruction of about 400 Christian homes, nearly 60 churches, six convents, six hostels, two seminaries and one hospital, a Goa Church spokesman said in a press note. The spokesman said that parish priests and religious superiors have been asked to "conduct prayers during regular Parish Masses and to organize special prayer services - Holy Hours, Night Vigils, etc. - in Churches as well as the recitation of the Rosary in families and church institutions, from Sunday, January 6 to Sunday January 13, as an expression of our solidarity with our Christian brethren in Orissa and for the restoration of peace in the riot-affected areas." Source: Indian Catholic Bishops Conference