Fearful Christians Pretend to Be Hindu

June 29, 2009

Author: Shaikh Azizur Rahman

Source: The National


Christians in the state of Orissa are pretending to be Hindus to protect themselves from militants who continue to threaten them nearly 10 months after a wave of sectarian violence.

Orissa’s Christian leaders reported this week that in some remote villages of Kandhamal district Christian families are still living with an “outwardly adopted” Hindu identity.

They maintain their faith despite being forced to take part in Hindu conversion rituals following an outburst of attacks against Christians after a Hindu monk and four of his associates were killed in Kandhamal district in August.

Although police later found Maoists responsible for the killings, militant Hindu groups launched anti-Christian riots that over several weeks saw 122 Christians killed or go missing, hundreds of houses and churches destroyed, thousands of people driven from their villages and 3,000 Christians reportedly forced to convert.