Church petitions Indian Supreme Court to protect Christians in Orissa
NEW DELHI (CNS) — The Catholic Church in India has petitioned the country’s Supreme Court to protect Christian lives and property in Orissa state. Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar told the Asian church news agency UCA News Sept. 2 that the church decided to approach the highest court “as we are not getting sufficient response” from the Orissa government. The archbishop, whose archdiocese is in Orissa, said the church wants the court to order federal authorities to protect Christians in the eastern state. “We want some clear help and response” from the government, added the archbishop, who has stayed in New Delhi since the violence broke out in Orissa Aug. 24. The church petition seeks the deployment of sufficient riot police in villages where Hindu extremists continue to destroy churches and Christian buildings. It also demands that the Central Bureau of Investigation, the country’s criminal investigative agency, probe the violence.