Minasi (75) and his wife Sartabati (68) have seen their church in Mukundipur village attacked on five occasions, in 1966, 1975, 1998, 2007 and 2008. They said they did not think they could cope with another attack.
Gajapati District, Orissa. Marcus Perkins/CSW 2009.
We Remember. 25 August is #KandhamalDay
In 2008 the Christians of Kandhamal District experienced the most severe outbreak of anti-Christian violence in India’s history. Almost 100 people died and over 54,000 people were forced to leave their homes. Around 5,600 houses were looted and burned while an estimated 295 churches and other places of worship were destroyed. There has still been no justice for the people who were affected.
“I live in fear while my attackers go free”- Pramod, one of the survivors, who had to flee his home village
After the violence was over, the survivors of the attacks and the families of the victims faced another, longer fight: for justice. Eight years on, many of the perpetrators still walk free with no consequences for their actions whatsoever.
Now, however, there is a glimmer of hope. The Indian Supreme Court has ordered the local government to reinvestigate 315 cases from Kandhamal. This is a great start: but there are hundreds more people awaiting justice.