Friday, September 05, 2008

The Carnage in Orissa, India

To show that terrorists aren't only bloodthirsty Muslims who kill in the name of their god, we have the current situation in Orissa, India where Hindus are on a bloody rampage, killing Christians in the name of their god, Rama.

A missionary friend of my parents sent us a chilling email. In it, he writes:

A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and "reconverting" people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend. Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up..."Kill the Christians!"

And the horror began....In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bear the name of Christ.

Night and day I have been in touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa... they are right in the middle of all this chaos.

In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home. They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and "finish the job." Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer.

More police have come to offer protection. In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace.

In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.

All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in a house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road.... even women and children.

At another orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one of our
GNI directors that I have spoken to said: "We stay with our kids.... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God has called us to do."

More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen. This will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down.

P.S. on 9/10/08

There is an excellent analysis of the ongoing carnage written by Prabhu Guptara here. I highly recommend it.


M@ said...

The sheer numbers killed over there when the British left last century is astounding.

There are a lot of stupid people in this world.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Terrible. I can't even imagine something like that happening.

but I wonder how the hard right evangelicals would feel if a Hindu group set up shop in their neighborhood, with the express purpose of converting people to the "true" religion. And then some preacher who was reconverting people back was killed.

What would all those people with all those guns do?

I understand the theory behind missionary work. Really. It is about more than just conversion.

BUT still, you are screwing with people's faith here. And the hard core crazies of the faith you are trying to convert people away from might not like it.

The violence is still uncalled for however. The Hindu dude was probably killed by his own, so that there would be a "reason" for the uprising.

Saur♥Kraut said...

M@, so very true.

Lazy, What's interesting here is that this news is NOT being reported in America, which shows, I believe, a decided bias in the press against Christians.

I don't think "hard right" evangelical Christians would have any real problem with a Hindu charity. I don't for a minute think that you could find even two Christians that would band together to go about slaughtering Hindus.

You're right the missionary work is not just conversion - they offer help and services for free. Now, there's no doubt that they HOPE in conversion and some unethical missionaries may strong arm people into conversion (I know of no specific instances of this, however).

I seem to believe that I read the original killing was by someone of another Indian faith entirely, but I can't recall where I read that. Perhaps it's in the news story I linked to.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Oh come on. The same people that can justify shooting abortion doctors could justify shooting people trying to convert Christians to a satanic religion (as in any other religion).

They would have a problem with another faith based charity if it was taking money from their faith based charity. Competition is competition after all.

Also, anyone who wears a towel on their head is a terrorist. Hindus wear a towel on their head. Therefore, Hindus are terrorists. Right?

I doubt that a Hindu missionary group would be very welcome in a Christian neighborhood.

And what would the preachers say if they noticed attendance dropping, and less money in the collection plate as a result - while attendance at the Hindu place increased? You think they would be happy?

And how would you feel if someone showed up, told you your religion was pure bullshit (using more words, but pretty much that message) and unless you converted to their religion you were going to suffer forever in a lake of fire you do not even believe in? How would that go over?

I also do not buy for a second that the media is ignoring it because they are anti-Christian. This is just propaganda spread by those whose agenda it is to totally control ALL the information in this Country. They want to tell you what books you can read, and which books should be burned. You know, for the good of your immortal soul and all. So what do you do? Attack the media for being anti-Christian. That way if the media ever reports anything the movement does not like, the leadership can just say "more anti Christian propaganda from the media".

And it works.

It is not getting any air time because it is over there. America does not care about over there unless there happens to be oil or a political agenda involved.

If I had to guess who will report, I would guess NPR and public TV. You know, the super ultra "liberal" part of the media that needs its public funding cut off because it is just leftist propaganda.

The big networks are too busy talking about the election and the hurricane getting ready to erase part of South Florida.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, which 'same people' are they? I haven't heard of an abortion clinic bombing in YEARS, and it's hardly done by groups of Christians running wildly through the streets.

You say they would have a problem with another faith based charity because it's competition? What examples do you have of this? I've never heard of it, and I've been in the charity biz in the past.

Why would you say anyone wearing a 'towel' on their head is a terrorist? Are you trying to say that we Christians believe this for a minute? Surely YOU don't believe it...

Hindu missionaries are as welcome as any other missionaries in the average American neighborhood: Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant, Catholic. Perhaps you're mixing up America with Russia.

I wouldn't care in the least if someone showed up to tell me my religion is B.S. I know better. And I, like most Christians, would try to explain my point of view but I would hardly get bent about it. What kind of person do you think I am? You've met me, we've hung out together... can you really see me showing up at the front door with a shotgun?

Nah - I think the media is very anti Christian, with excellent reason! After all, Christians say that certain behaviors are wrong, and the media tends to vote and lean very left. They would much rather believe that (as they said in the 60s) "if it feels good, do it." It's much easier to do whatever you want when your conscience isn't giving you those uncomfortable pangs.

Yeah, the hurricane is coming. We're all beginning to gear up for it (as I'm sure you are, since you're in Miami). We went for 2 relatively peaceful years, and now we're gearing up to a constant state of red alert again. :P

daveawayfromhome said...

"What's interesting here is that this news is NOT being reported in America, which shows, I believe, a decided bias in the press against Christians."

Are you kidding me? Saur, spit out the kool-aid! There may be a anti-fundamentalist bent to the news, if by anti-fundamentalist you mean that they'll report of them when they behave obnoxiously. But to say that there's an anti-christian bias because a story in India isnt being reported on actually shows your pro-christian bias.
This story isnt being reported in the U.S. media because the U.S. doesnt care what's going on in India. As a regular BBC listener, I can tell you that things that are amazing and tragic and frightening and big go on in India all the time, and none of it ever gets talked about here.
Do you think that just because this is happening to Christians that Americans need to hear about it? Unless American Christians are being killed (and they're not) the only people who'll care about it are Christians with persecution complexes, and those folks dont pay the bills of the mainstream media.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Saur - which people? They are still out there. Not all are as vocal as the Westboro people, but they are out there.

And do they have a problem with another faith? I don't know. Lets ask someone convinced Obama is a Muslim if they have a problem with that. I mean, we do have freedom of religion. And how about voting for a Presidential candidate who did not claim to be a member of any religion? Do you think that would be an issue?

Probably not. No way that not being a christian would make you a bad choice to be President.

And you would not have a problem with a missionary group telling your children that their religion (and yours) is wrong, and that they should convert to something else? Most people would. Because you are then screwing with thousands of years of tradition. You are screwing with culture. Suddenly some customary rituals and practices are "satanic" or whatever - and you should not do that anymore.

This can piss off the village elders.

In the USA we do not have missionaries. We have many faiths, but not really groups that set up shop in your neighborhood and then start to try to convert everyone living nearby.

The media is not any more anti-christian than it is pro-christian. Which is how it should be really.

The thing is that sometimes, not being pro something means you must be against it. I think this was done by some in the movement to prove the anti-christian bias in the media.

And of course, when they report things that the movement does not want reported (like the Ted Haggard story for example) then it proves the anti-christian bias.

If you want to see a monster in the closet, you will.

I just do not see anyone "attacking" Christianity. I see the reverse however. The media is not out there trying to close churches, but churches ARE out there trying to close the media. I do not see anyone advocating burning the bible, but there are people out there who pull their kids from public school because the English teacher requires reading "The Catcher In The Rye". And so on.

The newest storm track trends looks better for Miami-Dade, worse for the keys.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, actually, in the USA we DO have missionaries. There are Morman, Jehovah's Witness, Catholic and Protestant missionaries to begin with. Some go door to door, some do a year's missionary work (the Mormons) per person, some work in soup kitchens.

Of COURSE I wouldn't have any problems with someone challenging my child's or my faith! No self-respecting Christian would. If your belief is so shaky that you're threatened by that, then you have no belief to speak of. And look at me - I have friends of all faiths, on and off the internet, and have no problems discussing our differences. Look at us, for instance. ;o)

I think generally the media is far less liberal than it used to be, and I think that's a very good thing indeed. It's important to be unbiased toward all, and they're much better than they were in the 80s. So, it's not all that extreme by any means.

Most people have no problem voting for someone from another faith since JFK was elected in the 1960s (remember that was when many people questioned how smart it would be to let a Catholic run the country for fear that the Pope could take over).

I certainly agree that a President can be a great President without being a Christian. In fact, I may shock you by telling you that he would probably be a BETTER President because true Christians have moral compunctions that might keep them from making the necessary decisions at the right times.

As for "which people", vocal is one thing, violent is another.

Ike is really creeping us out over here. It's looking more and more as if it may be headed our way, too.

Dave, an excellent and true point. You're right - most of the time the press leaves international news alone is because we're too self-enamored.

daveawayfromhome said...

"I think generally the media is far less liberal than it used to be, and I think that's a very good thing indeed."

One of the qualities of liberalism is that it does not hold authority sacred, that it is willing to challenge the status quo. Does this sound familiar? Like maybe something that is vitally needed in our Fourth Estate? This is precisely the quality which has been missing from the press for the entire Bush Administration, and it's contributed to the deaths of over 4000 troops and the plunging of our nation into deeper debt than it has ever been in before - in just 6 short years.
When Republicans complain about the "liberal press", what they really mean is "the press that questions what I do as if my authority wasnt reason enough". Well, in America, where the people are soveriegn, not the ruler, the "authority" of our leaders (we hired them, we pay them, they're supposed to do what we say) is not enough, or at least it shouldnt be for anyone who calls themselves an American.

As for missionairies in India, let's not forget that India has at least two home-grown religions, is birth-place to Buddhism, has a large Muslim population, and that the bulk of the Christian missionairies probably came in during the English occupation, which was India's last, and cant have left a good taste in their mouths (and so suffer guilt by association).
This should never excuse any killings, but may make the hostility a bit more understandable (though I suppose understanding your enemy is another of those intolerable liberal ideas - all a Republicans seem to want from the enemy is submission or death)(an odd thing considering the GOP is supposed to the party of Christian ideals).

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, you wrote "One of the qualities of liberalism is that it does not hold authority sacred, that it is willing to challenge the status quo." That may be the classic definition (which I'm heartily in agreement with).

However, it hasn't been the modern definition for the last 40 years or so. The modern equation is liberal = abortion + reverse discrimination + welfare + head-in-the-sand-mentality + taxation-out-the-butt."

So if the press is returning to reality, I'm delighted - call it whatever you will.

I certainly agree that the press needs to be unbiased, but it never has before. It still isn't, but it's certainly less biased than it used to be.

And you know me - I am hardly a fan of the Bush administration. In fact, the press has been rather toadying toward it because Bush has made it rough on them if they report anything negative about him.

Remember how he banned reporters from the White House press conferences if he didn't like what they printed? He's the first President (at least in modern history) to do so and they let him get away with it. That's not liberal, that's not conservative, that's just plain stupid.

As for the Christians in India: They're doing good things for people. Doing things, may I add, that the Indians WON'T do for each other, or there wouldn't be a demand for it.

And that's a reason to kill them?

Let's not sugar coat this or look for a rationalization. Murdering people (no matter what their faith) is wrong. Christians are being massacred. There IS no good reason, let alone a good excuse.

And please, don't lump me in with other Republicans. I think by now you know I'm a breed of my own. Or didn't you read my post on why fighting the war is probably unChristian?

Non-thinkers often tend to want to pigeonhole people to keep from having to think about it. I know you're not a non-thinker.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

When we gonna quit this religion nonsense and get ourselves grown up?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, amen! ;o)

We'll never see it happen, though. People will always want to know where they'll go in the afterlife, and will always want to believe in SOME form of afterlife. And, religions are almost always mutually exclusive.

The question is HOW mutually exclusive should they be allowed to be? If their religion encourages them to KILL in the name of their god(s), then it should be banned because it is a sociopathic religion and cannot function normally in a societal setting.

daveawayfromhome said...

Saur, I know that you're a thinking conservative, that's why I hang out here, and why I always try to make the distinction between conservatives and Republicans. Conservatives we need, but there's precious little of that left in the Republican party. Sometimes, though, your towing to the party line distresses me, such as your definion of "liberal". The classical definition of liberal is the definition of liberal, just as the classic definition of conservative should still be the same, unless you let the propagandists of the Republican reframe it. I dont, and I see no reason why I should.

"liberal = abortion + reverse discrimination + welfare + head-in-the-sand-mentality + taxation-out-the-butt."

I'll accept this definition, but only if you accept that conservative = warmonger + screw-the-poor + corporate welfare + authoritarian + theocrat + service-free-government

Also, I never said that I thought anything required killing (less so than Lazy, who I dont think did either), but only that Christianity is a fourth banana religion in a nation where people still riot when they're unhappy about something that's going on.

And yes, the press does need to be unbiased, but if it's less so now it's because it's finally questioning Bush, not Republicans in general. What the press really needs to be non-partisan, which I really dont think it is. Still, maybe those who say that if the press makes everyone unhappy, then it must be in the middle after all are right (except FOX, which you really cant claim to be non-partisan).

The Lazy Iguana said...

liberal = abortion + reverse discrimination + welfare + head-in-the-sand-mentality + taxation-out-the-butt."

Really? And where did you hear this one at? Let me guess - some radio talk show.

"Non-thinkers often tend to want to pigeonhole people to keep from having to think about it."

Good point! Thus you just proved that various right wing radio and TV people do not think. This is exactly what they do to keep people from thinking. They even brag about it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, There is NO DOUBT that conservative has come to mean that over the last 30 years, just as liberal has come to mean what I said it has over the last 30, too. So, I'll go with that. But really, that definition applies to NEOcons, and not classic cons. ;o) Pun.

Good call - non partisan is a better term.

Lazy, nope - didn't have to hear it - I can actually think for myself! Yup! ;o) But you have to admit that this is what 'liberal' has come to mean. I like Hillary's term 'progressivists' much better.

I certainly agree that most radio and TV people and commentators don't think - that's a given. Look at Rush.

Jungle Mom said...

WOW, I can feel the love! yes, it is the conservative Christians spreading all the hate and terror around the globe these days. And we read of abortionists being shot or their buildings bombed almost weekly, do we not????

To be a missionary in most countries you have to have a religious workers visa which requires a request form an organization already in the country. You can not just walk into a village and start 'converting'.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jungle Mom, Thanks for the weigh-in. I was wondering when you'd pop in!

I didn't realize you needed a religious worker's visa. Isn't another alternative to simply go to that country, get a job, and then preach on the side? Because if they're regulating missionaries that way, it's pretty creepy.

Jungle Mom said...

It does depend on the country, In Venezuela, we were denied our RW Visa. That was after 20 years as residents and Venezuelan born children. Here in Paraguay we are immigrating as Religious Workers.

In some countries where they are considered 'closed', one may enter as an English teacher or some such and very cautiously gain confidence of people and hope to be a witness of God. Though usually through, good works, such as orphanages and such rather than evangelism per se.

These cultures are not so easily intimidated by a missionary and any one who knows of the true doctrine of the Christian church would understand that a 'forced' conversion is no conversion at all!

Deb said...

How awful...

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Golly. There are days when I wish you could forebear posting. Darn!

daveawayfromhome said...

One thing that will contribute to hostility towards Christian missionairies (and any other religion except Islam) in Muslim countries is that for Muslims, apostasy is pretty much universally considered to be punishable by death. I know some Christians like to claim that they're being persecuted in Islamic countries, but if apostasy is a crime punishable by death in those places, then what kind of crime is it to encourage and tempt someone towards such a "crime"? And, let's face it, is the whole pioint of missionary work?

Here's an interesting program from BBC by a British Muslim who's been accused of apostasy himself, merely for saying he's British first, Muslim second. While I dont like to add fuel to American paranoia about Muslims, it is rather chilling to listen to.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, an excellent question, actually, and not easily answered. Jesus is very clear in the Bible that you honor laws, but it's also equally clear that you only honor them if they don't go against Christianity itself.

However, Jesus also says that you go in, you witness, and if the gospel's not received, you should leave immediately 'shaking the dust off your sandals'. That means, have nothing more to do with that place.

But, how is a missionary to gauge such a thing? What if the town leaders reject them but the people don't? How do you handle such a problem?

Each missionary and/or mission boards must make their own choices here. I know of a very dynamic, appealing young 23 year old missionary who feels he is needed desperately in Muslim countries and there's no keeping him out. He also get excellent response, and has converted muslims to Christianity.

And look at it this way: If you are a true Christian believer, you believe that anyone not of the faith is going to hell, no matter how nice they are. And you want to help them avoid that at all costs. After all, you might live on earth for, at most, 100 years, but you face eternity elsewhere.

Thanks for the link, BTW. I'll check it out.

Old Hoss, I surely know what you mean, my friend.

Deb, yes.

Rita, Interesting, thanks!

daveawayfromhome said...

"If you are a true Christian believer, you believe that anyone not of the faith is going to hell, no matter how nice they are. And you want to help them avoid that at all costs. After all, you might live on earth for, at most, 100 years, but you face eternity elsewhere."

Agreed. But...

Dont complain when those who are being preached to get angry, because they feel the exact same way about their religion (excepting, of course, the ones who convert).

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, Oh certainly! A Christian should be open-minded and willing to discuss their faith and other's faith. They aren't always, I realize. But what a Christian should never be is violent toward someone over a question of faith. Such behavior is not acceptable for anyone, but Christianity is expressly against it, while Islam and Hinduism are apparently in favor of such behavior.

Please read the article I mentioned in my postscript. I find it is very valuable in understanding this aggression by these Hindu extremists.

daveawayfromhome said...

Interesting article, especially stuff about caste system - the Indian caste sytem is not something that most Americans can relate to directly. I'd also note that they are not being attacked because they are Christians, per se, but are being attacked because they are a small, non-violent minority of lowest-caste Indians. It sounds like it is much a control issue (if not more) than a religious one.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, I think it's both. It's very hard to separate that caste system from religion, as the two are intertwined.