Persecuted Church - Orissa
The News we Don't Get to See - Unless we Look for it
I would like to start this Hub with a few questions that I would like you to bear in mind when you read what is to follow and should you choose to watch the videos connected with this article.
What sort of stories are we used to reading about? Now that can be on the BBC, New 24 or whatever magasines you pick up on a weekly basis. My guess is: some terrorist stories related to certain Islamic Extremist groups, some British; EU and American Politics, The 2012 Olympics, various natural disasters and of course our favourite Celebraties. Have you ever heard of the horrifying behaviour towards the persecuted church? Did you know about the barbaric massacre of Christians in Orissa? Are you aware of the Anti-Conversion Law in many states in India? Do you know what the penalties are and for whom? And most importantly, do you know what you can do to help these innocent minorities that are being so horribly traumatised as the days go on? Christian or not, I can almost guarantee that after reading this and watching these videos that you will feel for these people. If you have any shread of humanity inside you, you will empathise with these people.
*Warning the following may disturb readers/viewers*
The Persecuted Church are Christians who are being tortured and punished due to their beliefs. More often than not, being given the choice of convert to ... or die after they have been severely beaten. Here are some recent examples of Extremist Religious groups taking the Law into their own hands by killing, beating, raping and/or forcing them to convert to their Ideology of a Religion.
DHAKA, Bangladesh, September 24 (CDN) — Authorities are investigating possible motives for the vicious killing of a church worker by students at Dhaka University. (Refference: http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/bangladesh/9839/)
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 1 (CDN) — Islamic militants in Somalia this week killed a woman who led an underground Christian movement in the war-torn country. Sources told Compass that a leader of Islamic extremist al Shabaab militia in Lower Juba identified only as Sheikh Arbow shot to death 46-year-old Mariam Muhina Hussein at 2 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 28) in Marerey village after discovering she had six Bibles (Referrence: http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/somalia/10010/)
Five months after the daughter of a member of Saudi Arabia’s religious police was killed for writing online about her faith in Christ, Saudi authorities have reportedly arrested a 28-year-old Christian man for describing his conversion (Referrence: http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/saudiarabia/1880/)
These are but three of the hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of people who are treated in such an inhumane way just because of the religion that they choose to follow.
Now I am aware of the fact that the above examples seem to be mainly related to extremist Islmaic groups. However, I must stress that this does not reflect the opinions and actions of the majority of Muslims. And in-turn, what is to follow; relating to Extremist Hinduist groups; does not reflect the vast Hindu population's beliefs or actions.
Orissa is a state in India that, particularly in the last few years, has under gone some of the most horrifying torture imaginable to Christians. The worst of this was in August last year (according to Open Doors Magazine, Aug 09 Issue, page 5). It is thought that at least 120 people were murdered and around 50,000 people were left homeless and/or on the run from the attacks of Hindu Extremists. The destruction affected such a vast area in Orissa and approximately 4,000 homes, 300 villages, and a minimum of 250 churches were burned to the ground. (according to Open Doors Magazine, Aug 09 Issue, page 5)
Now, after reading this article in the Open Doors Magazine I was truely disgusted and sickened to the stomach. And as bad as it sounds I hope you feel the same because of the truely barbaric nature of this attack, in the hope that will also feel compelled to do something to help in the future of likewise Christians such as this.
This is the story of an innocent and unsuspecting seventeen year old girl in Orissa that so unfortunately fell victim to an attack from some Extremist Hindu men. They ripped the clothes from her body with the intension to rape her. They then contnued this terriffying experience by drenching her in Kerosene and setting her alight! Thankfully, Open Doors covered her medical expenses and helped her to overcome her ordeal emotionally too.
The reason that is thought for the increase in hatred and persecution towards Christians in Orissa is because of the assassination of Swami Laxmanananda. The assisination was actually carried out, however, by a Maoist guerrilla group. Swami Laxmanananda was one of the "elite" leaders of the Hindu Extremists. He had been fuelling the fire against Christians for many years and had gained quite a few devout followers on the way. All with the same ambition: A fully Hindu Nation. Even if this means murdering all other minorities that do not conform to their Ideology of what India should be.
The next issue I feel is very important to highlight is the Anti-Conversion Law that exists in many states in India. Orissa being one of them. The Law has been passed to try and deterr the conversion of Hindus to Christianity/Islam. The Law states that it is illegal for any Hindu to convert to another religion and it is punishable by imprisonment and/or a rather large fine. It is stated that illegal conversion is by means of "force, allurement or fraudulent means". However hey have failed define exactly what the corresponds to. Those in question can only be redeemed by reconverting to Hinduism. The penalty is upto four years imprisonment and/or a fine of 100,000 Indian rupees ($2000) and for women, minors and lower castes, the penalty is doubled. The penalties are to be incurred by the convert and the one converting them. Personally, I find this Law an emense violation of basic Human Rights but I will leave you to draw your own conclusion. Moreover, due to the biased approach towards Evangelism, the increase of violence is evident. This is clearly because of the fact that the Extremists do not fear the Law as they would feel it is almost on their side, in my opinion. They therefore take matters into their own hands and reak havock on the almost helpless Christian minority. Subsequently, those attacked or those who have witnessed attacks are too scared to speak up and put these criminals to justice. They probably would just feel that it is futile considering the lack of arrests after the surge of attacks in August last year.
Finally, I would say this is an equally important part of this article. This is where you can find ways and organisations to help those in need and in danger of such attacks. If you would wish to and are able to financially support the work of such organisations as Open Doors (Registered Charity in Engand and Wales No 1125684) please do follow the links you will find below the videos. If you want to keep upto date with the latest news on Persecuted Christians worldwide then the site Compass is a good place to start. If you are able to send materials to such charities then I am sure it would be very much appreciated. Obviously you can also support the work of Christian Aid aswel. Or if you are more the hands on type and you are a Christian that feels God is calling you elsewhere, maybe after some time praying about it, you might consider taking a Mission to one of the affected areas to help practically. If you are or are not able to do any of these things, please pray for these people. Pray that their fear will be lifted so they can continue in their walk with Jesus proudly. Pray that the perpetraitors of these heinous crimes will find some mercy in their hearts and bring and end to the torture. Pray that Peace will come to all those involved. Thank you and God Bless!
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is in the Kingdom of Heaven" Mathew 5:10 NIV translation
"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him" Philippians 1:29 NIV translation
"If they persecute me, they will persecute you also" John 15:20 NIV translation
"Now if we are children, then we are Heirs - we are Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may share in His Glory" Romans 8:17 NIV translation
"We have much trouble, but we do not give up" 2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV translation
"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer... Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the Crown of Life" Revelation 2:10 NIV translation
In conclusion, it is prophesised many times of the persecution was and is to come. We as Christians, according to the Bible, must stay true to our faith and we will be given eternal life with Him in Heaven. We must as the body of Christ in His Church worldwide, do what we can to ease the pain of the innocent. However, I hope that regardless of your religious background, you will consider the issues that have been raised and feel empowered to act on behalf of these Christians.
Links for further Information
- Worthy Christian News India: Anti-Conversion Laws Linked to Higher Persecution
India: Anti-Conversion Laws Linked to Higher Persecution
- The Hindu : Anti-conversion laws
- Compass Direct News
- Open Doors - News from the Frontlines
UK christian charity serving persecuted christians worldside. Supporting the persecuted church by providing Bibles, training, community development projects. Highlighting the persection of christians.
- India State Enacts Anti-Conversion Law
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