| GEO World|
| India's supreme court orders report into anti-Christian|
| Updated at: 0223 PST, Friday, September 05, 2008|
ORISSA: India's supreme court today ordered the state government in Orissa, on India's eastern flank, to detail the efforts it has made to stop a wave of anti-Christian violence that has claimed 16 lives.
Almost 200 people have been arrested after riots sparked by the gunning down of a Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. Although leftwing guerrillas claimed to have been behind the murder, the violence from Hindus has been directed at Christians.
Many have fled to the jungles after their homes and churches were attacked. More than 10,000, mostly Christians are sheltering under police guard in seven camps in Orissa's Kandhamal district.
The violence has brought strong condemnation from the Pope and the Italian government. The latter summoned India's ambassador to the foreign ministry for a dressing down.
The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has described the violence as a "national disgrace", but the central government has refrained from intervening in Orissa.
Kandhamal, where a quarter of the 600,000 people are Christians, has been a flashpoint between Hindus and Christians for years. Hindu groups say that “Christian missionaries” had killed the Swami because he had broken up "prayer meetings, conversion ceremonies and attempts to kill cows".