Christians in different parts of India, especially in Kandhamal district of the eastern state of Odisha, need constant prayer and support from everyone, especially during Lent", according to Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. Speaking to the Vatican’s Fides news agency in Odisha’s capital, Bhubaneshwar he noted that the spiritual renewal during the Lenten season through fasting, repentance, moderation, spiritual discipline in preparation for the resurrection of Christ is something very dear to the Christians of Odisha who have faced untold atrocities for their faith during the terrible 2008 anti-Christian violence in the state, especially in Kandhamal. "The agony, the suffering, the pain and the psychological traumas still affect the Christian people in Kandhamal district, 9 years after violence was committed against Christians,” said the Divine Word Archbishop, whose jurisdiction includes Kandhamal. The violence caused a hundred dead and more than 50 thousand people were displaced. Arch. Barwa said Christians in Odisha were joining Pope Francis in March in praying for Christians who suffer, "so that they are always supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church".
Kanaka Rekha Nayak a Christian widow whose saw her husband being burned alive at the time of the violence told Fides, "Constant prayer can give me great strength to move forward in my life."
"May Lent be for every Christian a renewed experience of God given to us in Christ, a love that each day we are called, in turn to give to our neighbor, especially to those who suffer most and are in need. Only then we can fully participate in the joy of Easter", Arch. Barwa added. (Source: Fides)