ASIA/INDIA - "The suffering of Christians in Orissa is not in vain, it has increased our faith", says the nun raped in 2008

Bhubaneswar (Agenzia Fides) - "I am sure the Christians in Orissa have not suffered in vain. Our suffering has borne fruit: we grow in faith and the love for God", says to Fides Sister Meena Barwa, the nun raped during the anti-Christian massacres in Kandhamal district in Orissa in August 2008. While there are still cases of Christian leaders murdered and while many of the faithful await justice, the nun said to Fides: "Priests, religious and lay people have suffered and fought together. The Lord knows our ordeal, but there is no hatred in our hearts. We believe that unspeakable pain inflicted on us has not been useless". In fact, Sister Meena continues, "we know that in suffering we experience God's blessing and the pain has borne fruit: today we have become stronger in faith and the love for God". With regards to her experience in Orissa, the nun says: "I feel part of the community in Kandhamal and I have never thought of leaving this place. We have come a long way and we have a long way to go together. In this path, God is our strength and our stronghold". "Today - the nun continues in her witness – we survive thanks to faith. God is our protection and He is with us always. We cannot stop to look back because there are significant challenges ahead of us: the Lord has kept us alive and now we are called to face these challenges with hope, confidence and conviction". The nun ends with a thank you: "I am deeply grateful to all those who did not lack in giving us, in the past and until now, support, encouragement and prayers". (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/01/2012)