Coastal communities in Bangladesh and north-east India scrambled to shelters as a category 4 cyclone, with wind speeds of around 150 mph, caused devastation over the weekend - with nearly 3,000 dead, and the total likely to move toward 10,000.
According to Indian government documents, Christians account for less than 10 percent of the population of the southern Karnataka state. But the proportion may be much higher because of the impact of caste and categorisation, research shows.
Despite India remaining the world's most populous and vibrant democracy, freedom of religion is in decline and plural secularism threatened, says a journalist-turned-Christian activist who is now secretary general of the All India Christian Council.
They are people seldom spoken of - the rural poor, landless and tribal people of India - at time when their country is being hailed as a new economic superpower. But last week they demanded to be heard, at the start of one of the biggest non-violent protests since Gandhi chased out the British.
The sixtieth anniversary of India's independence reminds us, says Jonathan Bartley, that the nonviolent activism of Gandhi and the the peaceful and environmental 'awkward squads' point to a more hopeful form of politics and social change.
India gained independence through nonviolence, but partition involved much brutality, says Savi Hensman. Independence means embracing peace and justice in spite of intolerant ideologies, both religious and secular.
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the North American development and peace agency, is working with local partners to provide a 10-day supply of food for 5,050 families caught up in the post-flood crisis in Bangladesh.
The UK-based international development agency Christian Aid is launching an appeal to help more than 20 million people in India and Bangladesh who have been affected by the worst flooding there in living memory.