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Rome Reports

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Religious Liberty Report: India and Africa show bad standing

India and countries in Africa rate the lowest when it comes to religious freedom. Recently tensions have risen in some of those areas and actually professing one's faith in public can cost one their very life. India has experienced an escalation of religious violence Even though Islamic extremists are the most known, they are not alone. JOHN DAYAL Secretary General, All India Christian Council "In India there are 26 million Christians and about 150 million Muslims, who are victims of a new and emerging Hindu fundamentalist group of  militant extremists. The Hindu and Muslim groups clash and Christians are caught in the middle.â? John Dayal knows the situation quite well, especially in the Indian state of Orissa, where there has been major violence in recent months. JOHN DAYAL Secretary General, All India Christian Council "The state of Orissa, has 56,000 people who ended up homeless, 400 villages were taken from all Christian presence. Catholics were raped, 100 people were killed, 500 or 600 houses were burnt, 300 churches were destroyed. And the state has not acted as it should have. The world didn't give it the importance it should have.â? With this report, Aid to the Church in Need, hopes to draw attention to the lack of religious freedom in the world, which is reflected in conflicts that simply cannot be ignored. BR/KLH AA -JM -BN