Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Protests mark anniversary of India's worst anti-Christian violence
Hundreds gather to demand justice for Kandhamal victims
Saiba Farooqi speaks to a rally in New Delhi
- Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
- August 26, 2014
Hundreds of people across India took part in rallies and demonstrations on Monday to mark the sixth anniversary of India's worst ever spate of anti-Christian violence.
More than 300 gathered in New Delhi to demand justice for the victims of violence committed against tribal Christians by Hindu nationalists in the Kandhamal district of Odisha state, eastern India, from August 24, 2008.
Hundreds more gathered in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, for a protest and concert in honor of the victims. Similar programs were held in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
The 2008 violence followed the murder of Lakshmanananda Saraswati, leader of the Hindu right wing organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Although Maoist insurgents at the time claimed responsibility for the killing, Hindu nationalists blamed Christians.
Over the course of three months, Hindu groups burned Christian homes, churches and convents, killing at least 100 people and leaving at least 50,000 displaced.
Since then, little has been done to fulfill assurances from both state and federal governments that the perpetrators will be arrested and punished.
More than 3,200 complaints were filed but the police only registered 828 of them. They finally referred 327 cases to two "fast-track" courts, but these were closed down last year with cases still unheard.
The protests on Monday called for action against politicians and organizations directly or indirectly involved in the violence, and for proper compensation to all people and institutions affected by it.
Protesters also called upon the authorities to protect the faith, culture, language, values and religions of tribals and Dalits of the Kandhamal district.
“This fight belongs to all people who believe in democracy and human rights,” Saiba Farooqi, of the All India Democratic Women's Association, told ucanews.com.