Global Councle of Indian Christians mourn death of orissa crusader. Graham Staines to Kandhamal
Emeritus Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack -Bhubaneswar will be be remembered for stostoutly fighting for justice. Our association has began in.1999 after the brutal murders of Graham Staines and children to Fr.Arul.Doss
He was a great encourager to us when the forced conversions of Christians were challenged by us.and.subsequent dialogue with Puri Shankaracharya.
When Odisha government refused NGOs and civil society to distribute the relief for Kandhamal victims & survivors, he took the matters to Supreme Court and got the state government order cancelled. On his petition, Supreme Court, earlier in the month, passed order for enhancing compensation as well as reopening of the closed 315 cases. I saluted the man, who was a friend and guide for last 25 years and had several times interactions. He made the difference in the lives of the thousand of people. We fought for justice till the end.
He died a winner, with the Supreme Court last week upholding his Public Interest Litigation for enhanced relief to the victims of the August 2008 targetted violence against the Christian community of Kandhamal. The Archbishop provided leadership to a people who were shattered. 60,000 had to flee to the forests to save their lives after 6,000 and more houses were destroyed by the attackers. More than 100 men and women were killed, and many women, including Catholic Nuns, were gang raped.
I mourn a friend with whom we chartered the resistance of anti Christian attavks in Orissa from the days of brutal murder of Graham staines and family to pogrom at Kandhamal
May Lord Jesus bestow the peace that passes all understanding for the bereaved family and friends