October 10, 2008

MORE prayers for Orissa, India

It's time for India to start acting like the world's largest democracy.
A Christianity Today editorial | posted 10/09/2008 06:25AM


As local police looked the other way, dozens of Christians were murdered, hundreds of homes were destroyed, scores of churches were torched, and thousands of Christians fled to nearby forests for safety. Some faced this stark choice: Become a Hindu or be killed. The mayhem quickly spread to five more states. Pledging aid to the victims, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh—whose secular government did too little, too late—called the violence a "national shame." What an understatement that is.

The real embarrassment to the world's largest democracy is not this incident. No, it is the fact that this flashpoint is not all that unusual for India...According to All India Christian Council, which defends the human rights of the nation's long-oppressed Dalits, somewhere in India an attack against Christians occurs on average every three days.

...Prominent Hindus who rightly see their nation as an emerging world power are beginning to turn away in disgust from the militants. "I am a Hindu myself," Indian television talk-show host Rajiv Bajaj says. "Hinduism is a strong, ancient, rich tradition. Are we so insecure about our identity and heritage that it should lead to this kind of mindlessness? First the Sikhs, then the Muslims, now the Christians. Where does it end?"


A Christianity Today editorial | posted 10/09/2008 06:25AM
Christians knew the attacks were coming, but no one knew they would be this deadly.


Nationalist Hindus have killed, raped, and otherwise assaulted Christians, burned Christian schools, churches, and houses, and left tens of thousands homeless.

...The Times of London called it "the worst anti-Christian violence in India since Independence [in 1947]."

...Orissa's population is mostly Dalit, the lowest rung in traditional Hindu society. Christianity represents relative security for a convert, since India has many reputable Christian schools, hospitals, and charities. "Conversion is basically equal to development," said Sam Paul. For that reason, many Hindus claim that converts to Christianity were bribed or tricked into it.

"If we believe the gospel is life eternal for a person, if it is Good News to the poor, why should that Good News be stopped? It's their choice whether to accept or not, but it is their basic human right to hear that news."

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