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Early Christians of 21 st Century Anto Akkara

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Stories of incredible Christian witness from Kandhamal jungles
In this year of Faith, Anto’s book is a fitting tribute to the amazing witness of Kandhamal Christians. It is inspirational and prophetic. Kandhamal has made history.
Cardinal Telesphore PToppo
Archbishop of Ranchi & President, Conference of Catholic Bishops of India
In a society threatened by communalism and fanaticism, this well-documented book highlights how Christians bravely face persecution, live and die for their faith.

Description

Stories of incredible Christian witness from Kandhamal jungles
In this year of Faith, Anto’s book is a fitting tribute to the amazing witness of Kandhamal Christians. It is inspirational and prophetic. Kandhamal has made history.
Cardinal Telesphore PToppo
Archbishop of Ranchi & President, Conference of Catholic Bishops of India
In a society threatened by communalism and fanaticism, this well-documented book highlights how Christians bravely face persecution, live and die for their faith.
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary, National Council of Churches in India
The faith in Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose from the dead, motivated Kandhamal Christians to witness to it even to the point of death. Stories of their living faith are well-narrated in this book.

CONTENTS
Acknowledgement 6
Foreword 11
Preface 13
Introduction to Kandhamal 16
Part I – Shining Faith in Kandhamal 19
1. Martyrs of Kandhamal 21
Farmer torched alive 22
St. Stephen of Kandhamal 2 5
Sadistic killing of Christians 27
Paralysed youth burnt alive 30
Pastor dies for his faith 31
Archdiocesan treasurer too joins martyrs 33
2. Heroic witness amid persecution 3 8
St. Paul of Kandhamal 3 9
Priest survives from being burnt alive 50
“Jesus kept me alive”: Policeman living with gun pellets 54
Tortured for Christ – Father Chellan’s ordeal 58
Husband carries dying wife in his lap 62
3 Rock-like faith of widows and nuns 6 5
Widow pledges to keep husband’s faith 67
Husband killed in front of wife 6 9
Widow resists family pressure 71
Illiterate widow stands firm in faith 73
“Jesus is alive on the Cross”: raped nun 75
Incredible story of prayer 8 1
3. ‘Rice Christians’stand up for their faith 84
Illiterate convert ready for martyrdom 86
Alive from jaws of death 8 8
Naked parade strengthens faith 89
Forced to pull down Christian houses 93
Brother’s murder no dampener for convert 94
4. Horror of reconversion 97
Haunted by reconversion ritual 98
Dreadful reconversion ordeal 100
Reconversion strengthens pastor 101
Reconvert repents like St. Peter 103
5. Zealous witness at starless Christmas 105
Starless and hungry Christmas 106
Grieving widow celebrates Christmas in heart 109
6. Persecuted faith shines in slum 110
Fleeing Christians find shelter in slum 110
Teacher forsakes job to uphold faith 112
Slum life better than renouncing faith 115
Stinging slum holds out freedom of worship 117
7. Vibrant and living faith 119
Ordination amid persecution 119
Holding faith aloft in hostile terrain 121
Rosary saves from chasing mob 123
Record Mission Sunday collection 124
“Our suffering is nothing compared to Israelites…” 125
Pastor rebuilds house with cross 127
Burnt girl’s ambition: ‘Lord’s work’ 128
Faithful peeved at turning damaged church into godown 130
Adversity inspires, not dithers 132
Living witness of transplanted Christians 134
8. Kandhamal proves Tertuilian right 140
New converts in martyr’s village 141
Flower from assailant on New Year day 143
Tormentor turns Christian 144
Unflinching faith attracts Hindus 146
Danger that awaits new converts 148
Cost of conversion: cooked up murder charge 150
Dozens baptised with government permission 152
‘God’s own people’ 155
Part II – What happened in Kandhamal? 157
9. Funeral procession of Indian secularism 159
Church desecrated in police presence 162
Funeral procession across Kandhamal 163
10. Christmas nightmare 166
Impunity bred by inaction 170
11. ‘National Shame’ 172
Burning bodies to deny compensation 173
Even Hindus not spared 176
Rape as a weapon 179
Hindu girl raped for uncle’s refusal to reconvert 181
Heavy toll on pregnant mothers and infants 183
Unabated intimidation 184
‘Peace Committee’ – a farce 185
Mockery of constitutional guarantees 186
Contrast between Kandhamal and Kashmir 189
12. Turning sheep into wolves 191
Church record fabricated to prove ‘conspiracy’ 193
Hindu nationalist double-speak on Kandhamal 196
Nun’s rape – ecclesiastical afterthought’ 197
‘Harvest of Hate – Kandhamal in Crossfire’ 197
Double Parker: same book with two different authors 198
13. Cover-up of refugee crisis 200
Refugees dumped in no-man’s land 201
Government contradicts itself 203
Compensation for damaged places of worship 205
Glimmer of hope fades away 208
14. Conversions in Kandhamal 210
Orissa Freedom of Religion Act (1967) 21 1
Bogey of ethnic clash 215
15. Kandhamal – a haven for saffron cadres 218
16. Police open church gate for desecration 220
17. Insensitive guardians of law 221
18. Acquittal in police station torching too 222
19. Criticize bigots, police will act 224
20. Chronology of anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal 226
21. Impunity under ‘secular’ government 228
Deep-rooted saffron bias 229
“Murderers may be innocents”: inquiry commission 231
Tribunal lambasts ‘institutional bias’ 232
Murder passed off as death due to cold’ 234
Pastor dies in ‘accident’ 236
Marginalization of a vibrant community 237
‘Stop reconstruction’ orders mark third anniversary 240
People’s tribunal indicts government 242
Epilogue: Buds of hope 246
Apologetic Hindus hold out hope 246
Hindu caterer eager to help refugees 247
Strong faith melts hardened hearts 248
Change of heart – Christian baiter turns supporter 250
Author’s testimony 254
“Woe to me unless I preach the Good News” 254
Miraculous healing of fractured leg 259
Glossary 262

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