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Orissa: Christian leaders disagree with US panel's report

August 14, 2009 13:07 IST

Taking exception to a report by a United States' panel, on global religious freedom, placing India on the Watch List for Kandhamal violence, Christian leaders in Orissa on Friday said the majority community has been 'extremely cordial' to them.

Minorities in India have been targets of hate campaign by a small section, "but the civil society of the majority community has been extremely cordial and supportive of the minority community in the state," Orissa Minority Forum president Swarupananda Patra said.

His remarks came in the wake of a statement made by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom that India was placed on the Watch List due to 'disturbing increase' in communal violence there.

Though a few 'criminal elements' created problems for the minority community during the riots, the secular fabric of the society was intact, Patra said.

Another organisation, the Orissa Secular Front, said the riots in 2002 in Gujarat and Kandhamal in 2008 were painful but could not be generalised to embarrass the strong secular foundation of India.

The Christian leaders also pointed out that they have initiated the process of peace and harmony -- to strengthen brotherhood among communities and forget the violence that took place after the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmanananda Saraswati last year.

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