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Orissa, India: Relief Camps Closed

Government authorities in Orissa state have shut down relief camps forcing thousands of Christians displaced by the wave of violence that began last August to flee, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

Believers have been left without adequate protection against further attacks or compensation for damages sustained. Many of the believers were threatened with violence while in the camps and fear further attacks if they return to their homes, many of which have not been rebuilt. Officials are providing some of the refugees with 10,000 rupees ($201 US) However, the sum is inadequate to meet their long-term needs and it is unlikely that many will be able to secure employment, as local Hindus often refuse to hire Christians.

VOM provides assistance to persecuted believers in India. Following the Christmas attacks in 2007 and the systematic attacks by Hindu extremists in August 2008, VOM provided immediate assistance to persecuted believers and distributed thousands of Bibles to displaced Christians. VOM also provided resources and supported families that lost loved ones during the attack, through the Families of Martyrs fund. The August 2008 attacks resulted in more than 116 believers killed and more than 50,000 believers displaced.

Ask God to protect believers as they face potential challenges and danger. Pray that their needs are met and they find employment so they can provide for their families.

Posted: January 22, 2009

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