Pope plea for Orissa peace

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 28.08.08

Vatican City, Aug. 27 (Reuters): Pope Benedict today condemned spiralling violence against Christians in India but also deplored the killing of a Hindu leader that sparked clashes.

Benedict said he was profoundly saddened by the violence and by destruction of Christian homes, churches and orphanages at the hands of Hindu protesters in Orissa.

“While I firmly condemn every attack on human life, whose sacredness required respect by all, I express my spiritual closeness and solidarity to the brothers and sisters in the faith who are so sorely tried,” he told pilgrims and tourists at his weekly general audience.

The Pope specifically condemned the killing last week of the Hindu leader and four others.

The Pope, making his first comment on the episode, appealed to local religious and political leaders to do everything possible to restore peaceful inter-religious co-existence.