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Orissa Burning

posted by awelborn

Please go read – and bookmark – this blog that is detailing the horrors being inflicted upon the Christians of Orissa, India.

A video grab shows the interior of a Christian orphanage which was torched by a mob in Bargah town, in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, August 25, 2008. Authorities imposed a curfew in parts of an eastern Indian state on Tuesday after two people were burnt to death and more than a dozen churches torched by suspected Hindus angry over the murder of their leader. Hundreds of police were deployed in three towns in Orissa as they tried to end two days of violence in which the Christian orphanage was also torched by suspected Hindu mobs. Video taken August 25, 2008.REUTERS/ANI via Reuters TV (INDIA)



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Mike Walsh, MM

posted August 29, 2008 at 7:17 am


This and similar stories have been grossly underreported. An Indian friend writes: “This has secretly been going on for years in Bihar, as the adivasis, the tribals, are looked down upon. The Spaniards,etc. did a lot for them and so all foreign missionaries have been denied further entry into India.”



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Gashwin

posted August 29, 2008 at 7:47 am


Thanks for linking that Amy. This is what I wrote in the comments on the Siena blog a few days back. It’s absolutely horrific and barbaric. India is projecting an image of a confident regional power, a surging economic powerhouse, with millions being lifted out of poverty. Yet, it remains an incredibly violent place. And such continued barbarism is a shame, or ought to be, to all Indians.
This latest bout of violence is almost certainly being politically instigated by the Hindu right wing, which wants to brutalize the Christian minority, and gain electoral victory on a wave of anti-Christian sentiment. Similar tacticts have worked before against Muslims. It’s now the turn of the Christians.
The sad reality is that such brutal destruction of human life is not uniquely visited upon Chrisitans — other minorities have felt it too. In 2002, the pogroms in the Western state of Gujarat targeted Muslims, and thousands were killed, some most horrifically, while the police looked on. Caste-conflicts riddle the subcontinent, where brutal massacres of lower-castes by higher-caste militias are too common to make the headlines in some areas. Where Hindus were minorities, they get treated similarly, as the Kashmiri Pundits fleeing the Kashmir Valley in the 90s experienced.
Human life is cheap in India. A Jesuit friend once told me, “Hinduism can deify everything — except one’s neighbor.”
[Lest anyone feel a bit smug that such things cannot happen in Christian places, let’s just remember Rwanda please. The human heart contains incredible viciousness.]
Please pray for our sisters and brothers in the land of my birth.

Gashwin (Who can’t blog, but can leave comments.)



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Adi

posted August 29, 2008 at 12:30 pm


Yes, Gashwin, such terrible things happen all over, not just in India and not only by Hindus.
Lets remember what Malaysia, a Muslim country and Sri Lanka a Buddhist country have done to Hindu minorities there.
Lets remember what Egypt a Muslim country is doing to its Copt minorities.
Lets remember what Iran, a Muslim country is doing to its Bahai minority.
And lets never forget what Christian Europe did to the Jews, or what Christian America did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and continue to do now in Iraq, in Afghanistan.
And and and, lets pray for wisdom and mercy and greater understanding for all…



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Gashwin

posted August 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm


@Adi: I really don’t have the time for a discussion: I would, however, distinguish Hiroshima from your other examples. The attack was not motivated by any kind of religious reasons; nor was it the attack of a majority against an internal minority. It was part by a world-wide conflict between states. Not cononing it at all. Just making distinctions.
Sandro Magister has an article today on the violence in Orissa by Vittorio E. Parsi, an Italian commentator.
In India, the Christians’ Offense Is Fighting Against Slavery.
[Just to comment a bit on the first line: “The slavery is that of the caste system. Against this, the Christians both preach and practice equal dignity for all. ” While that may be true of modern Catholcism, it’s far from true historically in many parts of India. Indian Christianity adopted caste distinctions and “casteism” is rampant in many parts of the country, for instance, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It’s a reality that the Church has only begun to address, I think, in the 20th century.]
Thanks Amy! Don’t mean to sublimate my blogging instincts through here! :)



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Ramesh

posted August 30, 2008 at 3:30 am


It is not underreported.
What is actually underreported in the kind of venom Christians in India spread against the majority community.
The call Hinduism the religion of Demon and making false promises about Christ’s coming soon (why has he still not after nearly a century of propoganda?). It doesnt stop there, every thing about history and culture of India has been distorted to meet the narrow ends of missionaries.
And this is not just about a lie. It is equally about coercing people by lure of money to convert and visible demographic changes on this account.
Hindus can never take to Christianity seriously. They cannot believe in a God who could not protect himself but died on the cross!
So my dear, understand the facts first. You are free to spread whatever venom you want. Sooner you understand reality, the better it is for all.



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araceli

posted August 30, 2008 at 7:54 am


Gashwin,
The suffering Catholics in India have my prayers.



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Louise

posted August 31, 2008 at 12:53 am


<>
Then that’s their loss, isn’t it?
If Christians have been lying to try to gain converts then that is deplorable, but it hardly warrants these atrocities.
Also, Hinduism is a repulsive religion, with its caste system and widow-burnings etc. Life is cheap in India and that’s a fact.
It must be horrible for the higher castes to see the Untouchables etc be loved and cared for and educated by missionaries. I guess the preaching against the caste system might count as “venom against the majority community.”



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Terry

posted August 31, 2008 at 11:33 am


Thanks for posting this. How the Pelosi Show and now the Sarah Palin Show can pre-empt this story is a scandal to me.



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Louise

posted August 31, 2008 at 8:02 pm


The bit between the symbols was supposed to be:
“Hindus can never take to Christianity seriously. They cannot believe in a God who could not protect himself but died on the cross!”
(I was replying to Ramesh).



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PMcGrath

posted August 31, 2008 at 11:32 pm


Good heavens, is no one going to step up to Mr. Ramesh’s challenge?
As for the notion that Hinduism is a religion of demons, well, that is not accurate. That would presume that the supposed deities of that pantheon exist, and, as the prophet Jeremiah noted (as recorded in the book of Baruch, Ch. 6):
They are wooden, gilded and silvered; they will later be known for frauds. To all peoples and kings it will be clear that they are not gods, but human handiwork; and that God’s work is not in them. Who does not know that they are not gods? They set no king over the land, nor do they give men rain. They neither vindicate their own rights, nor do they recover what is unjustly taken, for they are unable; they are like crows between heaven and earth. For when fire breaks out in the temple of these wooden or gilded or silvered gods, though the priests flee and are safe, they themselves are burnt up in the fire like beams. They cannot resist a king, or enemy forces. How then can it be admitted or thought that they are gods?
As for Mr. Ramesh’s taunt that Hindus … cannot believe in a God who could not protect himself but died on the cross! — well, we could go for hours on that one — and St. Paul had a few choice words about it for the Corinthians. Let’s keep it simpler: CHRIST IS RISEN! He is Risen, indeed!. It sounds better in Russian: Khristos voskres! Voyistinu voskresu!. It probably sounds superb in Sanskrit as well, but I would defer to Mr. Ramesh there.
And as for when He is coming back, well, people have been wondering about that for millenia, Mr. Ramesh, not just a century. Frankly, I don’t know, and neither does anybody else.
This is a sufficient reply to the objections.



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TalkCool

posted September 1, 2008 at 1:50 am


Why do any one comment about Hindu caste system when Christians dint solve their Church system.
Do all people go to same church?
We have Black Church, Latino, While, Protestest, First Mary,Second Mary..what not.
When all these Christians are not united how can they blame Hinduism castes.
Atleast every one go to same temple….inspite of their differences (diminishing though).



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Vijay

posted September 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm


It was quite an experience to read all the entries in the blog.Let me try to put things in perspective as an Indian first and a Christian Indian next.
India is my country. We value life here. We do go through the same heartbreak and trauma that anyone would go through on losing loved ones. The only difference perhaps is that we are not so demonstrative about our emotions as I have noticed people in the West to be.I will not deny that the caste system does continue in Christianity but perhaps is more limited to marriage. However, what must be remembered is that there is no inter caste strife/ violence among Christians in India as seen in Hinduism.
It is a fact that atrocities are being inflicted on Christians in Orissa and the news is not being spread . Only since yesterday has the media really started mentioning it and this morning it made the headlines. I am told by friends in Orissa that there has been a systematic black out of news and that media were not allowed to go to affected places where entry was prevented by blocking up roads.
What Christians in Orissa need most now is your prayers. Pray for their well being and protection. Pray for their love to overcome the hatred of others because that is what Christ taught us to do and pray for Ramesh, who perhaps is perhaps writing in English because he was born in a Christian hospital or studied in a Christian school or in the very least was taught by a Christian teacher. Education and health care are two areas where the contribution of Christians are immense. Most of the best schools and colleges in India are Christian.



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Satya

posted September 1, 2008 at 11:27 pm


Can’t say I know everything but won’t defend what’s wrong.
I belong to Orissa and I bleed for my people. What is happening needs to be stopped NOW.
I am a Hindu, and I know Hinduism has its flaws. Please try and understand the religion has never asked people to KILL people from other religions. Its the people. Not every Hindu kills.
When Christians have such notions about Islam and Hinduism, and they are so defensive about their religion being supreme, it would but just need a group of fanatics to start a genocide against other communities. Neither can the whole christian clan be blamed for that nor can christianity be put to shame.
Caste system is evil. But it would need a noble perspective to understand how it developed. Religion is more social than anything else. It is a power hungry system which feeds on unquestioning individuals, the ones who say “we believe”.
I just can’t get the equation. You don’t believe in a certain religion, want people to convert and then ask people from other religion to respect your religion…Is it this easy? Let PEACE PREVAIL, LET US TALK LIKE HUMAN BEINGS AND NOT AS HINDUS, MUSLIMS OR CATHOLICS.
Regards,
Satya.



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jytmkh

posted September 2, 2008 at 7:21 am


More and comprehensive reports available here
http://jytmkh.wordpress.com/



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Binoy A. Mathew

posted September 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm


The only reason for these atrocities is one and one only, the Hindu society is completely dependent on the caste system, without this highly segregated (slave like) caste system, this society would collapse. Hence even the thought that giving everyone equal rights and dignity and liberty is something that they will oppose at all costs (even killing) because the upper caste is completely dependent on the upholding of this system.
Christians promote education and equal rights and oppose the slave like conditions of most of these people (who are denied any development for fear they may rise against their oppressors), and are dealt with fatally.
This was the case in all the states in India, though most southern states have had stronger Christian influence and thus mostly educated and people are aware of equal rights and the fundamentalists cannot dictate much (in Kerala they are yet to win a seat to the National Assembly!). This is overcome by playing the religious card and portraying Christians as evil and malicious (waiting at streetsides to convert forcefully, I’ve personally seen some videos in this line).
The very fact that Christianity has been in India for 2000 years and were under the rule of Christian forces for hundreds of years (liberated only in 1947) and still Christians form only a dismal 2% of the entire population, proves that this was never the agenda of the Christians to forcefully convert. If it were true, there would not be a single non-Christian in India!
I challenge these fundamentalists to get rid of the caste system and convert people to Hinduism! They simply cannot. This would reveal their hidden agenda. Once the Christians are silenced or evicted, they could take India back to pre-historic ages, where many evils like Sati (where a woman is forced to jump into the burning pyre of her dead husband, thus immolating her and becoming a god – sati devi) which had been outlawed by the British, though it is still being practised (with the support of these fundamentalists) widely in north India. The police are only onlookers who can do nothing of any worth, as they are part of them. Visit a police station and you will certainly find hindu deities in them, which clearly shows the level of their indoctrination.
They have their hidden selfish agendas to continue oppress their people and label those who want to genuinely help these oppressed as evil…
Let us see how things unfold in Orissa (I believe a disaster waiting to happen – GOD is not dead, but very much Alive and Active).



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thonakarajoy

posted September 10, 2008 at 2:25 am


Persecution has never weakened Christianity. With every persecution it has grown. With Orissa killings a lot more Hindus will start respecting Christ and his great teachings. Our principles will be respected and honoured world wide. This will help the Hindus to realise the acctual hinduism and the original “Maryadapurushottam Ram”



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Ramesh

posted September 13, 2008 at 11:03 am


I apologize.



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Zeesh

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:13 pm


Unfortunately the hindu caste system is so deeply ingrained in the hindu mindset.. it’s difficult for them to comprehend a world with out it. Concepts like freedom to practice and follow once religion are also a very alien concept. It’s like teaching a Neanderthal the concepts of fourier integrals, no offense to the Neanderthal.
I work in IT in the US and in my large company with a very large Indian population, the caste system lives, breaths and thrives. “Educated” hindus defend their right to kill off anyone they don’t agree with. Read the comments here… and you will understand. This from “educated” hindus.. In my humble opinion.. they are semi literate thugs with the mind of a retarded cockroach.. monkeys would do better.



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Zeesh

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:35 pm


Not to mention.. the hindus justify the horrible treatment of the dalits / untouchables by comparing them atrocities of the early settlers in the Americas .. as if having a caste system is somehow allright because someone 4 centuries ago committed crimes against some other people in a far away land.
I compare hindus to the KKK or the Nazis.. most are fascists anyway. When you are so blind as to compare atrocities committed by people chasing profits to a dirty religious practice, i guess it shows the hindu shining intellect. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard this comparison.. it’s like all these brain dead cockroaches get their feed from a mother bug in some deep garbage pit. No individual thought at all.



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Zeesh

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:35 pm


Error : by comparing “them” atrocities
should read : by comparing “their” atrocities



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Zeesh

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:46 pm


@TalkCool
Do you even understand what denomination means? let me explain to you.. in Hinduism there are the harikishna’s the vaishnava’s and the shivaites etc… so also in Christianity there are different denominations…. now the caste system.. that’s like slavery for the dalits.. there is no free will and for centuries the hindus have and are continuing to exploit them. Their women are raped, men children killed and forced into hard labor.. all in the name of religion.
I guess asking you or any hindu to see the difference is too much… it takes too much effort to think doesn’t it? Like I said I work with a whole bunch of one dimensional morons like you, I know guys like you better than you think.



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ALok Benjamin

posted September 18, 2008 at 10:27 am


HI, Ramesh, I was overwhemled to read your apology. I think one should be free to choose which religon he wants to follow. There should be no lurement and no compulsion from anybody. Who is more free? I am more free to become a hindu than you to become a christian or muslim etc. Think about it. but we can all agree than noone has a right to take the law in his hands or kill people. SOmebody got to stop that.



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VKrips

posted September 24, 2008 at 5:16 am


I just want to say a few thing about the atrocities taking place in my nation, as an Indian, and as a Christian. No religion encourages killing in any way, let alone such brutal and senseless murder. To kill someone is to take their life, and no one on earth has that right. I pray everyday for those in Orissa, for those who have lost loved ones, for those who live in fear of being killed everyday. The media should be condemned for watching from afar the tragedy taking place in Orissa, and now, other states. This is the sort of news that requires attention! When one brings religion as a justification for their own, personal vendetta, it is a crime, not just against others, but against their own religion!
It saddens me to think that the police and the Govt. and some who have commented above believe that the missionaries have brought this curse upon themselves. The truth of the matter is- Orissa is one of the poorest regions in the world. It has experienced poverty and disease without any help for years. When the missionaries came to India, they realized this need for help in this state. So they selflessly delved into a world full of leprosy, impoverishment and condemnation. They swallowed their pride and worked amongst people, like lepers, who the rest of India refused to work with. And for this, they were killed? I do not blame Hindus as a religion, but I do blame these fanatics who believe they are doing an “ethnic cleansing” of India. The only thing that requires cleansing is their heart and mind!
I can only hope and pray for wisdom upon those who are killing mercilessly. Our God is a just God, and when He comes (and Ramesh- He will come, when I don’t know) He will compensate with long life and salvation.



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Chicago Revial

posted September 25, 2008 at 11:07 am


John 15:18-21
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you… If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… because they do not know Him who sent Me.”



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identifiers

posted October 20, 2008 at 8:17 am


Think about it. but we can all agree than noone has a right to take the law in his hands or kill people. SOmebody got to stop that.



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