Indian Government Hassles Martyr's Widow

Two years ago, an Australian missionary, Graham Staines, and his two young sons were burned alive in Orissa, India, by some Hindu zealots. Despite the fate of her husband and two children, Gladys Staines decided to stay on in India to accomplish her husband's dream of setting up a hospital for lepers at Mayurbhanj, said the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

However, "government authorities…are trying their best to repossess the leprosy home. It was gifted 102 years ago by the Maharaja to care for lepers," said the GCIC national convenor, Sajan K. George. The government recently demanded money "for regularizing the property," even though it had been "gifted" by the Maharaja.

Staines is now facing a situation where her residential visa will expire in August 2001. George added that well-orchestrated attempts were being made to "traumatize her by unleashing hate literature and a vilification campaign."