Religious Rift Tears At Orissa Communities

April 13, 2009

Author: Chris Morris

Source: BBC News

Hundreds of people have gathered in the darkness in the town of Raikia.

Candlelight flickers across their faces as they sit quietly on the floor. They chant and pray as a priest leads them in worship.

For Christians, Easter is a time of hope. But in Kandhamal, deep in the interior in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, hope is in short supply.

This is a community still traumatised by a sudden burst of violence last year, described as the worst anti-Christian rioting in India since independence.

Dozens of people were killed, and hundreds of churches and houses were damaged or destroyed.