Attacks on Christians and their churches continued in Orissa leaving at least nine people dead. Pope Benedict XVI in an address at the Vatican spoke of his “deep sadness.” The Pope appealed to “religious leaders and civil authorities to work together” to bring people of diverse religions to end the violence. There are reports of Christians being dowsed with kerosene and burned to death by angry mobs. Violence also spread to new areas when a mob set afire a church and a missionary hostel. It appears mobs are upset about alleged efforts by Christian missionaries were making progress in converting poor Indians to their religion.
Poverty in India is among the highest in the world and some estimates are that one out of three poor people in the world now live in India. Christians are expected by fundamentalist Hindus to remain quiet and behave themselves and avoid attempts to reach out to the poor. These brutal attacks speak more of the poverty among Hindus of dealing with poverty than any mistake on the part of Christians.