20 October, 2008

Persecution in northern India

If the NYTimes is reporting on the persecution of Christians you know it has to be bad.

Christians are being brutally persecuted in northern India. They are having their homes destroyed, their families torn apart, their livelihood ruined. Many are being forced (on threat of death) to convert to Hinduism.

Subash Chauhan (the state’s highest-ranking leader of Bajrang Dal, a Hindu radical group) was asked repeatedly whether Christians in Orissa should be left free to worship the god of their choice. “Why not?” he finally said, but he warned that it was unrealistic to expect the Kandhas to politely let their Pana enemies live among them as followers of Jesus. (NYTimes)

So they are free to worship, if they're ok being persecuted for it by their neighbors who see them as "enemies"... Got it.

Indian Times reports, "27,000 [Christians] — have returned to the relief camps where they live in sub-human conditions, too terrified to return to their villages."

The article goes on to report (emphasis added),
On the second night (of the looting) Father Thomas Chellan, 57, was not so fortunate. He has said that when he saw the news of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati’s murder he called the Orissa State armed police for protection that never came. The mobs hunted him down, along with a nun. Both were stripped naked, doused with kerosene, and made to run along the main street while the mobs jeered at and beat them repeatedly. The nun was gang raped. Both are in trauma centres of different hospitals. Several villagers narrated this incident with the horror still alive in their eyes. Not a single person has been arrested for this crime.

A nun was attacked and raped. What kind of coward rapes a nun (what kind of coward rapes a woman in general, but a nun... come on!). And this violence has been going on for months.

It all started with the murder of "
Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. Although leftwing guerrillas claimed to have been behind the murder, the violence from Hindus has been directed at Christians." (The Guardian)

So I ask - how much longer will this go on? Who will intervene? And, more importantly, where is the church; the holy catholic and apostolic Church? Our brothers and sisters are being brutally persecuted and terrorized for no other reason then they are not welcome where they are.