Saturday, 27 September 2008

Conversion Fire -Kalesia in the Arena

Kalesia is the Hindi/Urdu word for church.
Persecution fire is spreading to various States of India. It started in Orissa,then MP, Karnataka , Uttrakhand and my state of UP.

Click on this link from COMPASS DIRECT NEWS to read some news stories.
A few days ago I got a text message from the Pastor of the AG church informing us that there is a threat of attacks on Allahabad churches this Sunday (tomorrow), specially a mega church , called Yesu Darbar on the outskirts of the city .

I am not afraid.Our trust is in the God of Daniel who stopped the mouths of the lions.People are interceding.
Here is a video about the violence in the South India





Some time ago I posted a comment on Julia 's blog responding to her post about atrocities against Christians in India.
I want to reproduce it here
WHAT IS CONVERSION AND WHO IS A CHRISTIAN
______________________________________

The attacks against Christians in Orissa have triggered many a debate in the media and on the Internet.
People have questioned the conversion issue. Why Christians are so “aggressive “about their faith and evangelism among the tribal and low caste people etc.People are also accusing Christians of making converts by offering them money and worldly lucre.
I wrote a comment on Julia‘s blog which I want to reproduce here with additions.

First of all the VHP and RSS (right wing fundamentalist Hindu groups) have no right to speak on behalf of all Hindus, just as a particular group of Christians cannot represent all the colors of Christianity.
There are millions of Hindus who are moderate and do not adhere to the views of the Sangh Parivar. (Right wingers)

Secondly, if I want to change my faith, how does it affect the next man? Every human being has a right to believe in whatever religion or philosophy they choose to. It is a God-given freedom. God has freed humans to choose even not to believe in Him too. He is not going to force Himself down anybody’s throat. He reveals Himself in nature and the Holy Scriptures, but if one wants to turn a blind eye to it, so be it.
Even if the dalit (low castes) and downtrodden people of our country want to convert to Christianity, or any other religion because their religion has deprived them of their basic human rights , so be it whether it be for the sake of pure heart conversion or the attraction of a better life and dignity. They are free to do so and no one should object. It only shows what a poor hold their religion has on them in the first place.
The Indian Constitution gives us the basic fundamental right of choosing,practising and propagating our religion.

Now -why do Christians spread the Gospel - the good news of Jesus Christ?
1. It is a command given to us by Christ Himself.
2. Jesus Christ said,”IAM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME. We have to share it with all men everywhere whether they accept it or not.
Its like a poor family living down the street, they have nothing to eat and you know of a place where plenty of nourishing food is available for free, everyday - how can you not tell them.
Somebody has said -Spreading the Gospel message of Christ is like one beggar telling another beggar where to find food.

3. We firmly believe that in order to be a Christian one has to be born again - which means accepting Jesus as one’s personal Saviour.You can be a name-sake Christian or a traditional Christian but that won’t do you any good. God does not have any grand children. He only has children. So if you want to enter into the kingdom of God you must be born again, accept Jesus as your personal Savior, as He Himself taught.
If a cat gives birth to kittens in a garage they don’t become cars, the same way a person born into a Christian family does not automatically become a Christian. Unless he accepts Jesus as his personal Savior. It’s a personal choice.
So if people are converting to Christianity for economic or social reasons even marriage, it really won’t do them much good in eternity. They can only improve their lot here on earth but not in the afterlife.

Many people followed Jesus as He was feeding the hungry and healing the sick and doing miracles, but He said GO BACK - you cannot be my followers unless you are willing to take up your cross and follow me. Don’t come to me for social and economic reasons. Jesus Himself discouraged crowds and emotional followers...and many turned away because they could not pay the price.
A rich young nobleman came to Jesus wanting Him to endorse his piety. But Jesus said;”If you want to be part of God ‘s kingdom, sell your possessions and distribute your money among the poor.” The man went away disappointed because he could not part with his wealth.
Christianity is dangerous, it can make you poor, empty your pockets instead of making you rich, as some mistakenly believe.
4. Being a Christian is a costly affair. It’s not a namby-pamby thing. Many Christians are not living the way Jesus commanded us to live and we are spreading the Gospel among namesake Christians too…Many people born into Christian families don ‘t know what Christianity is all about.
Jesus said "You cannot be my disciple unless you are willing to cut ties with your family and society and riches if they stand in your way.”

5 It is not true that only dalits (low caste people) and economically backward people have accepted Christianity. There are thousands of Christians who belong to the upper castes and strong economic backgrounds.

Many of them have been cut off from their families, inheritance and society when they accepted Christianity. If you want to be a true Christian, you have to be prepared to GIVE UP.

My great grandfathers left their home and wealth in order to become Christians. They were wealthy land owners of Western UP (thakurs).Many people are doing so today. I personally know hundreds of them.
My brother-in-law belongs to a high caste Tamil family.
My church padre (priest) comes from a Brahmin family. His forefathers were royal priests of Chattisgarh.But when he became a Christian, he was turned out of his house naked (his brother-in-law gave him his clothes) What was he getting in return ...food...money...dollars???
Sometimes he had to eat leaves to stifle his hunger. For more than 17 years his father refused all contact with him, but now he has reconciled with him, amazed by his son ‘s faith.. There are thousands like him.


So Christianity will make you poor my dear brothers and sisters - you will have to give up your family and relationships etc. Never think otherwise.

A very wealthy student from Nepal became a Christian and his father stopped sending his college fees, so we got together to pay it till he finished his MSc.His uncle came with a gun to shoot him when he visited Nepal, but God miraculously saved him.

This is not only happening in India but all over the world. You should read what happens to you when you accept Christ in China, many Muslim countries, communist countries, Burma, parts of Africa and South America.Even in the West true Christians are ridiculed and mocked.

Being a true Christian is a costly affair.
Be willing to be hated by the world. Jesus said,” The world hated me, it will hate you too”.

______________
News breaking on TV there has been another bomb blast in New Delhi

16 Fertilize my soul:

Sita said...

Amrita, your words are truly anointed and I pray it speaks to the hearts that have been prepared by Him to receive the Truth.
May God rout all Christians all over the world to bend their knees and intercede for their part of the family who are being persecuted.
Thank you for sharing this, Amrita. God, please make a way through the 'impossible' situations my brothers and sisters find themselves. Shutt he mouths of the lions, put out their fires, show them that You are God and bring them to their knees to confess that Jesus is indeed Lord. In the Name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Kathryn said...

Praying for all Amrita, especially today, during Ramadan's "Night of Destiny".

May the eyes of the surrounding enemies be opened to see the Lord's chariots of fire, which surround His children! (Reference 2 Kings 6:17).

And, may we not forget the 4th person in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego! (Reference Daniel 3:25).

May God richly bless and protect you, dear friend.

Jeanette said...

Oh, Amrita, I am in tears reading this post. I agree with Sita...These words are truly anointed. And with Kathryn, too... may we not forget the 4th person in the fire.

Renae said...

Praying for you and standing with you in Spirit, Amrita.

Angie said...

If I had not read this, I wouldn't have known this was going on. Powerful words here, Amrita. Joining my sisters in prayer for you and all affected.

Taiwan Prattler said...

Thank you for Spirit-led comments. The Lord bless you and keep you.

Saija said...

praying for you and the Church ...
what times we are living in ...

Michelle said...

Amrita I am so glad I found your blog. This post was so encouraging and convicting at the same time. Please keep posting about what is happening in India. It is so important to hear about it from a person's perspective and not from a news article.

I am praying for you and all Christians in India....

Shelley said...

Hi Amrita, I am praying for all Christians of India,and for your safty. Your faith is amazing....

Blessings, Shelley

Roo said...

we are praying for you guys.
you are much on our heart. xoo

~Robin said...

yes yes yes yes, yes! we in america have it very backwards alot of the time-expecting a life of luxury and 'blessing', when the greatest blessing is to be counted faithful for the Lord.
oh my prayers are with you today Amrita!!
Hugs also,

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

It is very tragic indeed that religious persecution is happening in some parts of India. I think all Christian Indians should petition their governments to end these unprovoked attacks on Christian churches. Your constitution guarantees religious freedom. We will join prayers with you to protect all the Christian churches in India against these attacks and persecutions. God will make a way and will protect His children against all the wiles of the enemy. Thanks for the eye opening post. God bless you and your loved ones always my friend.

Julia Dutta said...

Dear Amrita,
I was happy when talking to Rajdeep Sardesai of CNNIBN, the great lyricist, Javed Akhtar, said in no uncertain terms, that we cannot look at terrorists always as Muslims, but must begin to look at the other terrorists growing in number, right under the nose of the Government – the RSS and Bajrang Dal and other fascist groups out to show power by taking lives in the name of conversion.

We are aware of the hideous ruling that has given Narendra Modi a clean chit after the whole India knows, he was responsible for Godra. In fact, Modi has said it in so many words, that it was the best thing that happened to Muslims after their centuries of looting and killings in India. SHAME! We as Indian must bite dust, because, Sanathan dharma which is the root of Hinduism teaches only respect for all life and it is exactly why, the basic tenet of Hinduism is tolerance of all religion. Alas! We are in the grip of criminals, touting the pride of their religion, which they call Hindu, in order to kill and loot, to oppress and disown the basic right to existence of those they kill. Deprive of a respectable place in society and treat as scum. Shame, this India, where politicians only give lip service and do not bring to guillotine, or hang those who kill masses of Christians in the name of religion. We have reached an abysmal bottom and in fact, if in fact, the Hindus themselves do not rise to cry against this new face of terrorism in India, the very religion Hinduism will die. Lakhs of Hindus take to Buddhism or to Christianity, to even Islam, because, they need dignity of life. There is absolutely no harm if one changes ones religion. After all, true religiosity is in the heart and I must be able to have a personal relationship with my God, to be committed to a religion. I must be able to say my Our father in heaven, Holy be thy name, with equal ease and spontaneity as I can say, Buddham Saranam gacchami and in the same breath also bow to the words of the Gita, which teaches me to do my duty, not look for the fruits. As a truly religious person, I belong to Christ as much as the Buddha, or to Durga. But, to force me to be only one, or kill me because I say, I am not really a Hindu in practice but in Philosophy, is murder and such murderers must meet the same fact as a rapist, or a criminal in India – be jailed, or be hanged.

I wonder why the Government is taking so long to act upon it? Is this State and Centre – sponsored massacre of poor Christians? Or their vote bank politics have now begun to stare in the face of the world as bloodstained?

I fear, the latter.

I know of many Christians who are my friends, from Nainital and in Bengal as well, who were Brahmins, who converted to Christianity. And I know, many who don’t have education and are starving, and they have got food for thought and stomach, because Christ, came and lifted them up from their state. I believe, the knife, the sword, the gun is the face of true insecurity of right wing Hindus and in the long run, they can only lose. When Christ, or a Buddha comes to someone’s door, no orange, or obnoxious tikkas can keep the inmate from being lifted by God.

This is called free will. I hold out my hand in desperation, the Lord will pick me up and carry me to safety.

Come what may!

Kimmie said...

If a cat gives birth to kittens in a garage they don’t become cars, the same way a person born into a Christian family does not automatically become a Christian.

I love this...how true.

Praying for you and my brothers and sisters in Christ in India.

I love you Amrita, God's hand upon you.

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Amrita said...

Thank you dear friends for your prayers and supportive comments. This means such a lot to us as we are the branches of the one true vine.

God bless you.

Jeremy R said...

Way to spell it out Amrita!