Pray for our brothers and sisters in India

My Thanks to Phil Johnson for this post:

eports out of India over the past week or so describe a dramatic increase in violence against Christians, mainly at the hands of radical Hindus in the state of Orissa. The conflicts are to a large degree rooted in Hinduism’s caste system and Hindu resentment over lower-caste people who have converted from Hinduism to Christianity.

But the incident that sparked the current violence was the August 23 murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, Orissa’s top leader of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hard-line Hindu nationalist organization. Saraswati was well-known for his militant opposition to Christianity. He is alleged to have directed the burning of hundreds of churches.

Maoists (communists) have taken responsibility for Swami Saraswati’s murder, but Christians have been the main targets of the radical Hindiu backlash. VHP leaders insist Christian missionaries plotted the murder.

More than 50,000 Christians are said to have fled the region, hiding in jungles and forests to escape the violence. Many of them will likely be permanently dispossessed of all they have.

Reports also allege that the partisan government in Orissa has done little to stop the anti-Christian violence, and has perhaps even been complicit in the persecutions.

I’ve received a few e-mails this weekend from friends in India describing some of the persecution. The Web is full of stories about it as well. None was more disturbing than this e-mail I received, from an evangelical church in India:

Yesterday one of our church members B_____ P______ hailing from Orissa reported that Fanatic Hindus came to her home in Orissa and asked all of them to become Hindus. On refusal they started threatening the family, so her brother said, “We will worship our Lord Jesus.” The Hindus said that they would kill him, and asked, “Don’t you fear to be killed?” He said, “I am willing to die for Jesus.” So they cut him in three pieces. They also killed her maternal uncle, burnt the whole house and threw them on the road. Kindly keep on praying. Things are started happening in our state also. Kindly see Orissa violence on Net for more information.

I thank you all for praying, & we can say that He is El-Shaddi God. S_____ F______.

Here’s another document, compiled by the Evangelical Fellowship of India, listing forty-six typical acts of violence that have occurred over the past week. At the end of the document is contact information for three government officials to whom letters of concern and protest may be addressed.

  1. On 24th of August Pastor Jeebaratna Lima from Khurda District, was attacked and beaten up mercilessly. The miscreants doused petrol on him and about to set him on fire but timely arrival of Police saved his life. He was in Police custody but later was released on bail next day.
  2. Pastor Bahumulya Paik of Bamandei, Patpur Police Station. Ganjam District was beaten to a point of death by a mob of around 100 people. He vomited blood and later gained conciousness and managed to flee from the place while the group was engaged in attacking the local believers. Since the hospitals were closed no medical help was available. On August 26, the police escorted him to some distance by their vehicle and left him on the way to take a bus and go away.
  3. Pastor Bishnu Kumbhar and his pregnant wife of village Dutta, under Madan Rampur Police Station of Kalahandi district, were chased out. To save their lives, they ran away in the darkness and hid themselves from the attackers.
  4. Pastor Susanjit Beero of Tengada Pathar under Tikabali Police Station of Phulabani, was attacked by a group of Hindutva miscreants. Along with few believers he is still reported to be taking shelter in the forest though without food and clothes from the last 48 hours.
  5. Pastor Dillip Koshla of Tiangia village, under Raikia Police Station was attacked by the mob. His house and property are burned and looted by the unruly mob.
  6. Pastor Birendra Harijan, of Nakapolo Church under Dharmasala Police Station of Jajpur District was beaten up badly. As the miscreants were about to set his house on fire the timely arrival of police saved the disaster.
  7. Pastor Amit Pani of Ampani village, Koksora Police Station(PS) under Kalahandi district was chased out and locked in a house but they manage to escape.
  8. Pastor Lebiyo Raito of Kanjamendi, Nuagam PS, Phulbani, was attacked and chased away from his house. He is still hiding in the jungle.
  9. Pastor Jatan Nayak, of Bhadrak district was attacked and his house ransacked. He is in the Police protection at the moment.
  10. Pastor Abinash Garjang, of Tattaguda, Malkangiriis attacked and the Church building was ransacked.
  11. Pastor Aurobindo Sahu of Tumgurpada Church, Bargarh District is threatened to leave the place with dire consequences.
  12. District pastor Anant Benya of Badibahal church, Luisingha PS, in Bolangir District was issued threat to attack the church on 26th August.
  13. Pastor Pabitra Digal and Pastor Dharmendra Digal, of Sundargarh district have received threats to their life burning the church.
  14. Pastor Thomas Bhoi of Petapanga church Raikia, Kandhamal district was attacked by the mob and their household items were damaged.
  15. Pastor Ramakant Pradhan of Dotta Church and Pastor Sulaisng Barik of Hatibandh Church under Sinapali PS of Nuapada District was chased away from the village. Their whereabouts are not known.
  16. Pastor Bijaya Surya of Penkam Church, Gunapur PS, Rayagada District is threatened and asked to leave the place.
  17. Pastor Mothilal Sagar and his family, also along with 5 Sisters and two brothers in Madekela, Godphila block were attacked but they managed to flee and hid themselves. The miscreants are searching for them.
  18. More than 15 church buildings of Believers Church alone and several churches of other denomination are damaged. The rampage is still going on unabated.
  19. Church building and 60 houses in Tiangia village, Raikia, Kandhamal burnt. Two Christians named Dasarath Pradhan, Bikram Naik killed.
  20. Church building was bombed and destroyed. 30 houses burnt in Tengdapathar, Tikabali, Kandhamal.
  21. Church and parsonage damaged, 20 houses burnt, Two believers killed in Pettapanga, Saranggada, Kandhmal.
  22. Chandrasekaharpur, BDA Church, Bhubaneswar damaged.
  23. Tangupada, Bargarh District, the anti-Christians have threatened the pastor Arobindo Sahu to leave and they have a plan to destroy the newly built Church.
  24. Audio Visual Team are hiding in the jungle in Chandragiri, Gajapati District because of the threats.
  25. BOH (Education centre for Children) in Kuttenpalli, Bolangir District having 120 students was threatened to close down.
  26. Tattaguda Church of Pastor Abinash Garjang in Baipariguda, Malkangiri demolished.
  27. Bhatta Palla Church of Pastor John Naik in Madanpur, Rampur, in Kalahandi demoslished.
  28. Tujung Church of Pastor Basant Digal in M. Rampur Kalahandi damaged.
  29. Ladapanga Church of Pastor Rajanikanth Nayak in Daringbadi damaged.
  30. The residences of Pastor Bijaya Kumar Surya, Pastor Susil Lima of Miraguda, Gunupur ransacked and looted. No police protection given.
  31. The Church of Pastor Junus Digal destroyed and 180 houses of Christians burnt in Balkidadi, Kandhmal. Without food and drinking water the Christians are in the jungle from last three days.
  32. The church building and all the houses of the Christians in Kurmingia of Kandhamal burnt. The Christians have fled to nearby jungles.
  33. Church building and houses ransacked and later burnt in Tattaguda of Malkangiri District.
  34. Churches destroyed and houses burnt along with 4 believers killed in Dadingia of Raikia, Kandhamal.
  35. The church of Pastor Alif Nayak alongwith 12 houses in Ranipada, Kandhamal burnt. Pastor killed.
  36. Houses burnt and Christians attacked in Madkela, Tusura in Bolangir.
  37. Pastors Dandapani and Junus Diagal chased out of their place but they managed to flee to safety in nearby jungle.
  38. Four incidents of attacks reported in Koraput. 39. Carmel English Medium School in Khurda threatened to close down by Hindu fundamentalists.
  39. Houses in Khariapada, Udaigari were bombed by petrol bombs.
  40. Unconfirmed reports suggests around 10-11 Christians were killed in jungles by angry and unruly mob.
  41. Church in Balangir demolished.
  42. Complete failure of Law and Order in violence affected areas. Police and Para-millitary forces are mere spectators.
  43. 300-400 attackers burnt houses of Christians in Kurmanga, Raikia.
  44. Nuagaon village dominated by around 50 Christian families completely burnt down.
  45. Church in Nuagaon village burnt.
  46. Grace Girls Hostel having 60-70 students in Kotagarh, Phulbani attacked by more than 1000 people. Just 10 Police personnel posted for protection were not sufficient to protect the Hostel.

The [Hindu] fundamentalist group are going from village to village destroying Churches, burning houses, attacking and killing Christians. It is reported that thousands of extremists have been brought from Gujarat and Chhattisgarh to perpetrate this violence which has spread to all the districts of Orissa. Their agenda is to wipe out Chrisitians and Christianity from India starting from Orissa.

Christian community is saddened by the response of the Government so far to tackle the situation in Orissa that has become the boiling pot of crooked political agendas of the Sangh Parivar. EFI once again request the concerned Christians to voice their concerns at the below mentioned addresses:

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Room No. 152,
South Block,
New Delhi, 110001

Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa
Naveen Nivas,
Aerodrome Road,
P.O.-Bhubaneswar,
District-Khurda,
Pin-751001 (Orissa)

Email:cmo@ori.nic.in
Shri Amarananda Pattanayak, IPS
Director General of Police

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Do pray for our brothers and sisters in India.

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I am currently serving churches and colleges as a bible teacher, overseas and in the UK.

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