Kandhamal, the hilly tribal district in eastern India has witnessed several incidents of anti-Christian violence in the past two decades. In August 2008 marauding crowds of Hindu extremists murdered Christians, destroyed churches and convents, set fire to Christian homes and institutions and raped nuns, in what came to be known as the largest persecution of Christians in modern Indian history.
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It called on the EU’s foreign ministers to find “instruments to provide security and protection for Christian communities under threat” when they discuss persecution at their meeting on January 31. Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, told the European Parliament that any “discrimination or violence” because of religious beliefs violates EU values and should be “taken seriously and condemned with the same force”.