India: increased solidarity for Catholics in Orissa

 The Catholic community in India is working hard to support Catholics in Orissa who have lost their homes, lands, property, and means of livelihood, Fides reports. Solidarity campaigns have been held in several Indian dioceses. Church communities of all sizes, parishes, associations, movements, are doing all they can to spread awareness among the people, inviting even non-Christians to participate in the solidarity effort for the Christians in Orissa who have suffered violent attacks from Hindu fundamentalist groups.

The immediate help consists in material and psychological aid. There have been collections taken up for non-perishable food items, blankets, and clothing, personal hygiene products, etc. all of which has been sent to the refugees who have been forced to flee their towns and are now living in refugee camps or are still in search of a new place to live. There is even a team of psychologists dedicated to post-trauma help, which is especially necessary for the children, youth, and adults who have lived the violence firsthand.

A second phase in the campaign will consist in building new temporary housing for the refugees, until they can find new homes, in Orissa and in other areas.

Other Catholic associations, such as the All India Catholic Union, have taken action in offering the Christians who have suffered the attacks (the majority of whom are from tribes or are "Dalit"), a proper legal assistance, through the collection of testimonies and information that will later be presented to civil authorities and judges, in the hope that justice will be met and the crimes will not remain unpunished.

The Church, in its most recent statements, has asked the government to offer recompense to the victims and funds for rebuilding the church and structures that have been damaged or completely destroyed in Orissa.

Source: Fides

Share this story