By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
NEW DELHI, INDIA (Worthy News)-- Seven Indian Christians have been sentenced to life imprisonment after being unjustly convicted of murdering a militant Hindu leader back in 2008, according to BarnabasAid.
The murder of Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his aides unleashed a backlash of anti-Christian violence throughout Orissa state. Although a militant Maoist group would later claim responsibility for the killings, Hindus continued to blame Christians, killing 90 and injuring thousands; more than 56,000 were left homeless as houses were looted and torched while hundreds of churches and other Christian properties were destroyed.
Even today, at least 10,000 Christians in Orissa remain homeless; those who left the region were told to "Come back as Hindu, or don’t come back at all".
In January 2009, seven Christians were arrested and charged with Saraswati’s murder; they languished in prison for nearly five years as special tribunals were established, but the cases were eventually transferred to an ordinary court that convicted the seven on Sept. 30.
Sajan George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, denounced the court’s decision.
"It is shameful that innocent fathers of families have been locked in jail for almost five years and subjected to trials for a crime they did not commit," he said.