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India: Mountain as dwelling survivors of anti-Christian violence turn into Our Lady of Fatima Shrine 

The faithful (mountain-dwelling survivors of anti-Christian violence) participate in the Feast of Our Lady celebration

On the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13 in Sugadabadi, Raikia, under the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Diocese of the eastern Indian state of Odisha, a portion of the mountain-dwelling survivors of anti-Christian violence consecrated as a new shrine.

There were around 5000 faithful priests and nuns participated in the celebration. 

The mountain was a refuge for those who escaped the 2008 anti-Christian attacks. The survivors proposed naming the area a shrine in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. 

Honorary member of Sugadabadi Zone Bijau Mallick said, “If we are alive and safe because Mother Mary protected us from the fundamentalists and persecutors during the anti-Christian violence of 2008. Faith in Jesus through Mother Mary is more powerful than the persecution and threat from the Hindu fundamentalists.” 

The Sugadabadi Zone, a group of survivors and Marian devotees, also said that the shrine is their way to show their “deep respect, reverence, and devotion to Mother Mary.”

Father Pradosh Chandran Nayak, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, blessed the new Marian shrine.

“The celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima in the new shrine reveals our deep faith in God and the power of intercession of Mother Mary,” said Father Nayak.

Sagar Digal, one of the survivors of the 2008 attacks, said that the mountain kept them safe from “threat, persecution, ostracism, and denouncement” from those who wanted to attack Christians. 

“The believers in Christ took sheltered in the mountain for week-long without food and drink, praying to God and interceding God’s intervention through Mother Mary,” he added.

Other survivors, including some nuns, recalled how traumatic the anti-Christian violence was for the children and the elderly. However, they said they managed to draw strength from Our Lady of Fatima. 

Several homes, institutions, and churches under the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese of Odisha were destroyed and looted during the 2008 violence, with more than 56,000 people taking shelter in the forests. 


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.