Nearly a hundred Christians slaughtered in mob violence in India in 2008 could soon be on the road to sainthood.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the sub-continent, said he will personally ask Pope Francis to start to process to canonise the ‘martyrs of Kandhamal’ in the eastern Odisha province.
He has ordered Church authorities to collect evidence of atrocities against Christians who refused to abjure their faith at the point of death.
The martyrs include more than 90 Catholics butchered by Hindu nationalists during a seven-week pogrom against the Christian minority.
Protestants also died in witness to their faith but they will not be included among any future saints canonised by the Pope.The victims were tortured, raped, burned with acid, castrated and disemboweled before they died, refusing to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism.
India’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric has said he will personally ask Pope Francis to start to process to canonise the ‘martyrs of Kandhamal’
A Indian Christian villager looks over her home in Orissa’s Kandhamal district in 2008A church in the village of Raikia, Kandhamal, is pictured in the wake of the attacks in 2008