Tuesday, 12 April 2011

All this has happened to us




(Still   life  paintings   by  Luciano  Ventrone)

This   article  was  published  in  the  Hindustan Times  on April  5th.

Praying   to  be  heared.

Before the report, 'Hindu group involved in Orissa, Karnataka blasts', appeared in this paper on March 24, little had been written or spoken about the possible connection of 'Hindu terror' with attacks on Christians. Now, hopefully, some attention will be given to the role of the Hindu extremist grou p Abhinav Bharat in several attacks on the Christian community in the country as stated by the military investigator's report. The cases being handed over to National Investigation Agency will hopefully bring out this aspect more clearly and firmly.

For India's Christians, this revelation is nothing new. Their voice is often ignored by the police or by the powers that be. Let us take the case of Swami Aseemanand's confession before the magistrate. With revelations made by Aseemanand about his links with various terror attacks such as Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer dargah and the Samjhauta Express, it would be instructive to look into the role played by him and others in anti-Christian attacks.

Aseemanand had reportedly taken upon himself the task of targeting Christian missionaries working in the Dangs district of Gujarat ever since he arrived there in late 1995. Under his leadership, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal organised a rally on Christmas Day in 1998 in Subir to prevent Christmas celebrations. A person, allegedly planted in the crowd, threw a stone at the Hindus who had gathered to attack the Christians. The carnage that began on December 25 lasted for 12 days. The panic-stricken Christian community did not know where to turn, for there was a BJP government in Gujarat and the BJP-led NDA at the Centre.

The Aseemanands of the world heard the message loud and clear. In 2006, Aseemanand organised a Shabri Kumbh in the Dangs. The slogan was, 'Every single person converted to Christianity adds one more enemy to the country'.

The pattern followed by Aseemanand in the Dangs was replicated in Kandhamal by Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. After Saraswati's death in the hands of the Maoists, Sangh parivar workers unleashed violence against Christians for 42 days, killing nearly 100 people, burning 147 churches,leaving nearly 48,000 people homeless, and raping a nun.

The story is the same in Karnataka. According to Justice Michael Saldanha who led the People's Tribunal Enquiry into the attacks on Christians, "The state is under an unprecedented wave of Christian persecution, having faced more than 1,000 attacks in 500 days... On January 26 [2010], the day we celebrated India's Republic Day, Karnataka's 1,000th attack took place in Mysore city."

In the past few years, the number of attacks on Christians, recorded by the Evangelical Fellowship of India, has been more than 1,000 attacks a year. On a petition by the spokesperson of the Madhya Pradesh Church, Father Anand Muttungal, the MP High Court asked the government to explain how in one year there had been more than 180 attacks on Christians.

India's Christians do not expect much from political parties, as the community is not perceived as a vote-bank for them. But they certainly expect the media to bring the injustice against them to the fore.


Dominic Emmanuel is director and spokesperson, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese
The views expressed by the author are personal.

I  read Psalm 44  this  morning - a  cry  of  complaint  and  trust

13You have made us a reproach to our neighbours, the scorn and derision of those around us
14 You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us.

15 My disgrace is before me all day long, and my face is covered with sham
16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge
17All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten you or been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path
19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals and covered us over with deep darknes

22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

23Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us for ever
24 Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression
25We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground
26 Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love

18 Fertilize my soul:

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
This is worse than I can understand.
The only thing I do know is, Christ is there, midst amongst you.
I hope you can rest in that.
You are of course in my prayers. My best to your Mama.
Felisol

Amrita said...

Thank you Felisol, I am encouraged and blessed.

Because of this the church is growing - there is no turning back.

Last minth I attended a baptism service for 30 new believers- 2 from our church.

So we praise God in the midst of everything.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

There is so much religious bigotry and persecution in India. Hindus are very fanatical regarding their beliefs just like the Muslims. And Christians are in their way. Just like in the early days of Christianity, modern day Christians in India are feeling the persecution and harassment from sectarian ideologues. You must persevere for God will reward you all for your steadfastness in your faith. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5: 11-12). Thanks for the post. God bless you all always.

John Cowart said...

Amrita,
It is easy for me to sympathize with you from afar. Safe in my secure home and working all day in my garden.

My only thoughts are that you and the other Christians there must be doing something right; I don't think the devil bothers much with people who don't bother him. However, the Lord knoweth His own. And Jesus Christ is worthy of what your people suffer for Him.

John

Amrita said...

Dear Mel, becaus e o f th e peaceful un-millitant and apolitical nature of Undian Chritians we are targetted.

Amrita said...

Ye s John, you are right - the Church in India is growing, that annoys the adversary

Zim said...

During our trip to mountains I knew man, who knows pastor from India. He told me, that few year ago this pastor build the church and group of Hindu people made him big row. Then this pastor asked: "You have Your own land and You have Your own temples - so I have my land and I have my church. So why do You attack me?". They stayed and didn't know what to say.

Crown of Beauty said...

God is your refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
Praying that you will see the protection of God and his vindication. His hand will push back your enemies.

Love
Lidj

Amrita said...

Dear Zim, in a country of many religions - live and let live with respect should be the policy, but that doesn 't always happens

Amrita said...

Dear Lidjm thank you so much for your prayersfor your brothers and sister in India

Vilisi@islandmusings said...

Hi Amrita. I just want you to know that I came by today and read your post. Thinking of you & praying for you...

Diane said...

Everywhere I read, it seems the Christian community is under attack. The degrees are different, but the intention is the same, as is the instigator. Satan is unhappy when Christians flourish and spread the Word. Please know I am praying for you and for your countrymen who are so courageously taking a stand for Jesus Christ. The battle wages on but the war is already won!

Many hugs..............

Diane

Dani said...

I have been aware of this, and pray for the persecuted Church..also from what I've read, the Church is growing greatly throughout the world..not the mainsteam big churches but the Bible believing primitive Church who meet in homes and small buildings such as yours....God bless you as you are on the forefront.

Amrita said...

Thank you for your prayers Vilisi

Amrita said...

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church dear Diane, the gospel is reaching many people gere. Thank you for your prayers.

Amrita said...

Dear Dani, unafraid of persecution many people are stepping forward to receive Christ - glory to His name

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Dear Amrita,
I didn't realize the magnitude of this religious/political violence. My heart reaches out to you and your mom, and I will keep you in my prayers.

Doris

Amrita said...

Thank you for your prayerss Doris, encourage others to do so too. I posted this article because I wanted people from all over the world to read this