Thursday, December 25, 2008

Orissa Christmas update

Christians in Orissa had a "peaceful" midnight mass and  also morning Christmas service amidst tight security across the state. There was absolutely no problem reported any where in Orissa. The arrangement made by the state government was satisfactory. The people in eight relief camps in Kandhamal performed their ritual church practice without any trouble. There were prayers, singing and dancing in Kandhamal and elsewhere in Orissa. 30 churches in Kandhamal were provided with security cover even as villagers held mass prayers last night in their respective places of worship.

There were reports of road blockades from three places in the Kandhamal district and one person was arrested in this connection near Raikia area and the tree logs have been cleared by Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force immediately .The blockades were set up by felling trees at Linepada and Shankarakhole under Tikabali police station and at Katingia under Raikia police station.

The Christmas Service at Barakhama Church is just finished without any problem. I talked to the church leaders . People are happy this year as last year they could not celebrate the Christmas because of Communal riot. The district administration is negotiating with the tribal leaders to conduct a peaceful tribal congregation near Barakhama in Kandhamal this afternoon . However the Tribal Leaders are insisting to hold the death anniversary near the Barakhama Church and have threatened to call another Bandh if they will not be allowed to hold the first death anniversary near the Church. The situation is tensed at Barakhama but under control. The administration had already imposed prohibitory order for the purpose in the disputed.

Thank you very much for your prayer support. Please continue to pray for rest of the evening Christmas service to be held after a short while.

Update from Advocate B D Das