Bhubaneshwar - For the first time, more than 10,000 Christians and Hindus celebrated Easter together in the Indian state of Orissa. Most notably, celebrations were held on the grounds of the Vijaya Catholic school in Raikia, Kandhamal District, scene of violent anti-Christian pogroms in 2008 by Hindu radicals.
People from all walks of life, including children, senior citizens, women, politicians, government officials, villages chiefs, religious and nuns, took part in a 12-hour prayer service and attended various cultural meetings.
After songs, bible readings and prayers, Christians of various denominations organised small recitals, exhibits and dances.
"Our goal was to consolidate our unity and bear our Christian witness to all," Fr Jorlal Singh, from Our Lady of Charity Parish in Raikia, told AsiaNews.
Speaking about the celebrations, Fr Ajaya Sabhasundar, a catechist, said, "The resurrection of Jesus gives fresh hope to overcome the difficulties of life. It is an opportunity to work for peace, justice and unity in Indian society."