Staines' killer launches anti-Christian booklets

In a move expected to add to anxiety within India's churches, supporters of a convicted killer of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons plan to massively distribute anti-Christian materials in the tense eastern state of Orissa.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of India reports that Dara Sena, an anti-Christian group sponsored by supporters of the the instigator of the murders Dara Singh, plans to distribute as many as 30,000 copies of booklets describing Dara Singh as a "god and depicting Christianity in [a] poor light.".

The organisation was formed to project Singh as a protector of Hinduism.

Located in the northern part of Orissa, Karanjia is a rural area dominated by tribes, who advocacy groups say have been open to the Christian Gospel, despite pressure from Hindu militants.

Staines and his two sons were burnt alive by a mob led by Singh while they were sleeping in a van at Manoharpur village in Orissa's Keonjhar district in the night of 21 January 1999.

The Superintendent of Police of Mayurbhanj district has made clear he will not accept the distribution of anti-Christian publications, amid fears of new religious tensions.

"So far, no booklet has been distributed. But if they start distributing them, the police will arrest them," the official was quoted as saying.

The Hindustand Times suggested that the booklet distribution was aimed at creating a base for Dara Sena's political ambitions. "Officials in the state intelligence don't rule out the possibility of at least one of the acquitted persons taking the plunge into politics with the active support of the Dara Sena," the newspaper commented.

Staines' Killer Dhara Singh's Supporters Launch Anti-Christian Booklets (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 21/7/05)

Bomb explodes outside Catholic school in Indian-controlled Kashmir (Catholic News Service 20/7/05)
Crosses Desecrated in Goa (Catholic Bishops Conference of India 21/7/05)
New Diocese Established in India (Zenit 20/7/05)
Caritas Aiding Flood Victims in India and Pakistan (Zenit 17/7/05)

22 Jul 2005