Besieged Christians in Orissa, India, are banding together to protect themselves from attacks by radical Hindus. An interdenominational group of churches and Christian organizations started the Rastriya Surakshya Vahini to "peacefully confront attacks on the community," the Times of India reported. Its 500 young people also will campaign for law and order and the protection of religious freedoms in the state.
The Orissa government opposes minorities, Christian leaders said. The government has allied itself with radical Hindu groups and "has totally failed to protect the community and give them justice," Catholic Archbishop Raphael Cheenath told the Times. Attacks against Christians have gone unpunished in four of the state's five districts, he said.