“Remember my chains.”
14 years ago, we witnessed the biggest act of violence against Christians in the history of India.
According to reports, over 300 churches burnt down, around 600 villages ransacked, about 56,000 people left homeless and many, faceless, countless Christian families burnt alive or killed.
This is where the seeds of ADF India were sown, inspiring us to stand for the fundamental freedoms and inherent dignity of every person.
14 years on, for the people in Kandhamal, those days tainted with violence, brutality and death have become a distant memory, wounds have become faded scars, and the once-incredulous passing of loved ones a reconciled occurrence. Yet families continue to struggle to overcome the trauma, the fear, the shock that one could be targeted so inhumanly for one’s faith. There is a crucial need to remember these chains, much like Paul urged the Colossian Church to do. (Col 4:18)
In today’s context, we would do well to heed his appeal – to remember that every person born on God’s green earth is entitled to inherent dignity; to remember that there are many who are unjustly denied religious freedom; to remember that each of us needs to stand for them; never to take for granted the natural rights of any human being; and to pray for those who have suffered because of this inhuman denial of the basics to survival.
In the spirit of “remembering”, let’s unite online to seek God’s healing, restoration, protection and grace over those who faced the violence in Kandhamal in 2008.
- Pray for justice and comfort for those who were persecuted and whose fundamental freedoms were violated in Kandhamal
- Pray for those who continue to provide support and aid to victims of this heinous violence
- Pray for the Rule of Law to be upheld in the state and country, so that such an atrocity is never repeated
- Pray for the eyes of the people (especially persecutors) to be opened and for them to experience Christ’s love
- Pray for social harmony and peace to prevail in Orissa and in India