Thursday, 18 March 2010

Please continue to pray for Persecuted Christians

This comes from
A six-year-old girl in the state of Orissa, India, identified a parliamentarian as the killer of her father, just one victim of the 2008 anti-Christian massacres perpetrated by Hindu extremists.
Lipsa Nayak identified Manoj Pradhan, a member of Orissa's Legislative Assembly, as the killer of her father, who was given the choice of denying his Christian faith or dying, reported the news agency Eglises d'Asie of the Paris Foreign Missions Society.
Her father was tortured and killed along with dozens of others in the wave of attacks.
Nayak and her mother were among the hundreds of witnesses called by two special courts established in Orissa to try cases related to the attacks against Christians.
When the judge asked if she could identify her father's killer, the girl pointed to Pradhan, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Indian People's Party), connected with the Hindu nationalists.
The child's mother explained to the court that her husband fled with his family to the forest, but a group caught him.
The 25-year-old widow recounted how her husband reacted calmly but with determination when they asked him to renege his Christian faith or die.
"They played with him for a few days before cutting him up into pieces and burning him with kerosene," she said, adding that her daughter, who was then four years old, witnessed the crime.
In a hearing held Friday, the defense lawyers and attorney subjected Nayak to 90 minutes of questioning, asking her about the persons she had seen kill her father and about the place of the crime.
"She answered all the questions without hesitation," Me Raj Kishore Pradhan, an assistant lawyer, told UCANews.
"There is a girl who found the courage to witness against what the political power represents," He said. Her example "should encourage others to give witness to the court and enable justice to be done, instead of withdrawing" their accusations."
Manoj Pradhan is being accused of being one of the principal instigators of the 2008 attacks, and he must answer new charges, among them 14 criminal fires, looting and a dozen murders.
It is estimated that around 5,000 houses, 150 churches, and 40 schools were destroyed or burned to the ground in that wave.
Imprisoned in 2008, the accused ran for office in the April-May 2009 elections, and was elected to Orissa's parliament.
After leaving prison in July, in the following months he was exonerated of all the accusations leveled against him by Orissa's special courts of justice "for lack of sufficient evidence."
Father Manoj Kumar Nayak, from the same village as the little girl, expressed the hope that the child's testimony will finally enable justice to be done for the victims.
The priest said that Manoj Pradhan is one of the 307 persons exonerated by the special courts of justice for lack of sufficient evidence. According to him, most of the suspects have not been taken to court and have not even been arrested.

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