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Christian Widows Grateful Despite Trauma Of Hindu Violence

by | Wed, Nov 16 2022

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Fifteen years ago Hindu nationalists rampaged through Christian communities in the Indian state of Odisha.

They killed at least 100 believers and burned down thousands of homes to avenge the murders of a Hindu religious teacher known as a swami and four followers.

Maoist rebels were behind the killings, but Hindu extremists wrongly blamed Christians and unleashed a wave of violence against them that displaced 75,000 believers.

Most of them were lowest caste Dalits who were forced to live in relief camps.

The Indian government paid damages to some widows but none were compensated for their loss of their property.

With no fixed monthly support from the government or the church many widows have struggled on a daily basis to provide for their families.

They still suffer significant emotional trauma from the attacks.

“Though we have forgiven the Hindu community, we have not forgotten what they did to us,” Asmita Digal said.

“There is constant fear and insecurity as we continue to live among them.”

Christianity Today reports that despite the lack of justice the widows are determined to hold on to God.

“What keeps them going is their faith. None of them have abandoned their faith even in their testing circumstances,” said Ajay Singh, a Catholic priest and a social activist working closely with the victims.

One widow noted how she had been blessed:

“Despite utter poverty there was not a single day when there was no food in my house,” said Priyatama, pointing to the goodness of the Lord who has “always provided.”