Northeast church appeals for calm in Orissa

August 28th, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Aug 28 (IANS) The North East India Christian Council (NEICC) Thursday condemned the recent incidents of communal violence in Orissa and called for urgent steps to prevent Christians from being targeted in the state.Educational institutions across the northeast run by the Catholic mission in India have decided to remain closed Friday in protest against the clashes in Orissa.

“The centre and the Orissa government should take immediate steps to defuse the tension through confidence building measures,” said NEICC secretary Rev. N. Sandiwell Phawa.

A special prayer is being organised across the northeast Aug 31 for the return of peace and normalcy in Orissa. Sep 7 will be observed as as a day of fasting, and Sep 8 will see a peace rally.

The National Christian Council of India (NCCI), Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI) and Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) have jointly sent messages to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking their intervention to defuse the tension.

Communal clashes have flared up in Orissa since Saturday when a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader was killed along with four others in the volatile Kandhamal district. At least 11 people have been killed and several churches attacked across the state where many towns are under curfew.

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