Hindu Extremist Violence in India

Religious violence in the state of Orissa, India, has reached a new level as extremist Hindu groups have put a price on the head of leading Christian aid workers, with a $250 bounty for the murder of a pastor. "People are being offered rewards to kill, and to destroy churches and Christian properties. They are being offered foreign liquor, chicken, mutton, and weapons," said a spokesman for the All-India Christian Council. A spokesman for the largest hard-line Hindu group denied the claims. The recent violence comes on the heels of calming tensions between Hindus and Christians, who have been fighting since the murder of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, a prominent extremest Hindu leader, last August.