Posts Tagged ‘India

07
Oct
09

persecution, flooding and North Korea

Extreme Flooding in India
   India is experiencing the worst flooding in 100 years. According to the Christian Post, 222 people have died and 2.5 million have been forced from thier homes.

Kidnapped Iraqi Christian Dead
   A 45 year old Iraqi Christian was killed and kidnapped and his body found on Sunday. Since 2003, half the Christian communicty has left Iraq and more continue to leave as violent incidents like this increase.

Christian Arrested for Distributing Tracts in Egypt
   I am continually learning about more and more countries that do not have lawes against Christianity, yet Christians are arrested and persecuted there. This story is one such example.

Justice Comes to Orissa
   Its a small step, but a step nonetheless. Six people were sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for their role in anti-Christian violence. For background information on Orissa check out this past post: Orissa Prayer Campaign

The Paradox of North Korea
   Very few journalists are allowed in North Korea , however, this BBC journalist was given teh unique opportunity to visit “one of the most effective systems of control ever envisaged.”lsdkjf  /zxx.v;p

05
Oct
09

prayer prevails

On September 25, Representatives Emmanuel Cleaver and Trent Franks  co-sponsored a letter to the Chief Minister of Orissa State, asking him to address the issue of violence and violation of religious freedom that has been taking place over the past year in Orissa. Prior to the letter being sent out, Open Doors hosted a campaign asking people to contact their congress representatives and ask them to sign the letter. Thanks to your efforts, 21 representatives signed the letter. Pray that the letter is well received by the Chief Minister of Orissa State and that effective, legal action is taken immediately to give justice to victims of the Orissa attacks.

The beautiful islands of Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean, are in need of our prayers. There are currently 100 short term missionaries there. Pray that God gives them wisdom when evangelizing and that their short stay is able to make a long term impact. Also pray that God calls long term missionaries to the island to plan churches and share the gospel. Also pray for seafarers from Maldives as they are often lonely and go up to 12 months isolated from friends and family.

the beautiful island of maldives, taken from nationalgeographic.com

the beautiful island of maldives, taken from nationalgeographic.com

This article is a bit old, but still worth mentioning. In early September the State Assembly “approved legislation that would allow courts to seize any property, such as house or automobile, used in the commission of human trafficking. In addition to the courts seizing property, SB 557 would add civil penalties of up to $25,000.”  Praise the Lord! Pray that more advancement is made to stop human trafficking in the U.S. as well as other countries.

Pray for the recent events of persecution in India.

My friend, Jaime, is pregnant with twins and should be delivering in three days, on the 8th. Pray that everything goes smoothly and her two baby girls are healthy.

Keep praying for all who are unemployed. My dad has a second interview this week with a well known publishing company. Please pray that all goes well.

Please say a special prayer for our troops in Afghanistan. I don’t have any details, but my friends fiancé is deployed there now and I know the past couple months the troops have had many brushes with death.  Pray for all their families…strength, love and comfort for the families of those who have already been killed and perseverance, strength and hope for families waiting for safe returns.

afghan troops. picture taken from www.dailymail.co.uk

25
Sep
09

Orissa Advocacy

To wrap up our week on India and Orissa I’d like to tell you about an easy way you can help bring justice to Orissa Christians.  Representative Trent Franks (R-CA) and Representative Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) have jointly sponsored a letter to the Chief Minister of Orissa, Navin Patnaik.  You can send a letter to your representative asking him or her to sign the letter to the Chief Minister of Orissa.  According to Open Doors, who is hosting this campaign, 11 U.S. Representatives have signed on to the letter so far. The more support the letter has, the greater the pressure is placed on the Chief Minister to take action on behalf of persecuted Christians in Orissa.

Just click on the link below. It will take you to a prewritten letter. You may change the wording or keep it. Fill in your name, click the send button and your done! It will only take five minutes of your time but it could have a long lasting impact on persecuted Christians in Orissa

https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=181

23
Sep
09

India Headlines

Keeping with the theme of the week so far, here are some links to articles concerning India, specifically the violence and political and religious turmoul in the country.

Orissa is not the only Indian state experiencing violence and persecution. This article from Compass Direct tells of increased violence in Karnataka.

“India successfully launches seven satellites in a single mission, reaffirming its growing capabilities in space.” I have a secret obsession with space and will often post links having to do with various space programs. The India space program is another example of how India is becoming a more prominent world power and, therefore, why we should be paying special attention to its religious rights violations.

This Compass Direct article tells of a Christian Indian official who died in a plane crash. Muslims are calling it divine retribution because he supposedly helped convert many hindus to Christianity.Remember the Maoists? They were responsible for killing the prominent Hindu leader, a killing that led to the violence and persecution in Orissa. This BBC article tells of more conflicts between Maoists and the government.

22
Sep
09

Honeymoon’s tragic end

Christian Martyr in Nepal
On June 3, 2009 Compass Direct News reported that a bomb had gone off at the Assumption Church in Kathmandu, Nepal. The explosion killed two women and injured at least 14 others.

Vikash Patrick could not help but smile—even though the congregation was in the middle of singing a serious hymn. At his side was his 19 year old bride, Deepe, dressed in a deep pink—almost red—sari. Although they were both from Patna, India, they had spent the last four days together in Kathmandu, Nepal on their honeymoon.

Bending down, Vikasha whispered in Deepe’s ear, “God gave me a wife more beautiful than all of the sites that we’ve seen.” Deepe blushed, mouthed the words “thank you,” and rested her head on his shoulder. Their trip had certainly been amazing. They saw colorful marketplaces, elaborate temples, and sophisticated palaces, but in Vikasha’s mind, none of them compared to breathtakingly beautiful woman at his side.

As they sang the last lines of the hymn, Vikasha watched a rather large lady enter the church and sit down in the row in front of them. He looked her over for a few seconds, and then turned his attention back to the church entrance to see if anyone else was entering. Right now, Nepal was not a safe place to worship. Only a few months earlier a priest had been murdered, and the current political elections made religious tensions even higher.

Yet in spite of the danger, Vikasha could think of no place that would rather be with his wife than worshiping God with other believers. Still, he was keeping a careful watch on the back door in order to assess everyone who entered the service.

What Vikasha did not notice, was that the lady who had sat in front of them was removing something from her purse. She slipped a small black object under her sleeve and then left the service through a side door, leaving her purse in the church pew—directly in front of where Deepe was sitting.

Five minutes later, a bomb exploded.

Burning shrapnel cut through the air. Vikasha was knocked to the floor and felt as though his whole body was engulfed in pain. Still conscious, he looked for his wife, but did not see her. He did see that the pew in front of him was on fire, and that giant burn blisters were beginning to swell on the side of his body that was nearest the pew. Gritting his teeth, he rolled away and almost passed out. Rolling had moved his body away from the flames, but it had also pressed his burned flesh and growing blisters into the hot stone floor.

Still unable to see his wife, Vikasha called out Deepe’s name, but could not hear the sound of his own voice. The explosion must have burst his ear drums. Feeling only pain and unable to hear anything, he was forced to rely on his eyes to make out what was happening in the smoke filled room. To his right he saw that those who were not injured were starting to carry people out of the building. To his left was the orange and red of the burning pew, only—

Vikasha closed his eyes and opened them again, hoping that he was seeing the wrong colors. The colors stayed the same. Mixed in among the oranges and reds of the embers was a deep pink color—the same color as the sari that Deepe had been wearing.

Salt water tears began to run down his face and literally boil away because of the heat in the room. They left behind vertical trails of raw flesh. Finally succumbing to the heat, smoke, and mental anguish, Vikasha lost consciousness just as a man picked him up and carried him out of the church.

At the time that this was written, Vikasha and many others are still in the hospital recovering from injuries and burns. Deepe did not survive.

The Nepal Defense Army (NDA) which claimed responsibility for the attack has threatened more violence if non-Hindusurhc do not leave the country within the month. *This story taken from www.opendoorsusa.org

As a recently married woman, this story struck a special chord within me. Honeymoons are amazing, and I cannot imagine the devastation of having your new spouse killed right in front of you at the end of that special vacation. Another thing about this story that struck me was that the couple went to church on their honeymoon. It wasn’t just any church, it was church in a country they knew was dangerous. A church where they knew thier lives were at risk. I’m embarrased to say this, but my husband and I were too busy eating at buffets and sight seeing to even think about going to a safe American church on our honeymoon, much less one where we ran the risk of getting killed. I pray that couples who read this story, my husband and I included, will be inspired by this couple’s devotion to the Lord.

22
Sep
09

Orissa Prayer Campaign

One year ago on August 23, 2008, a leading Hindu activist was murdered. A Maoist guerilla group claimed responsibility, but the assassination was exploited by Hindu extremist forces and violence soon erupted against Christians. According to reports, more than 50,000 Christians were rendered homeless, 315 villages were completely destroyed, 120 were murdered and hundreds more injured. By government estimates, 250 churches were destroyed. The violence continued unabated for more than two-and-a half months. There is only one way to describe what has happened in Orissa; it is not ethnic cleansing but religious cleansing.
Today, on the one year anniversary, more than 4,000 people are still living in relief camps and thousands have been unable to return to the villages for fear of death or of forcible conversion to Hinduism. Churches are being replaced by the building of new Hindu temples, and on the gutted remains of churches it is written “India is for Hindus.” But the Christians of Orissa will not renounce their faith.

Federal soldiers are maintaining a fragile peace. Unable to till their fields, unable to regain their houses and restart life, cut off from schooling and the markets, living in constant fear, the victims of the Orissa violence are caught in a trap and are dependent on the little help they receive. As the months pass, and the tents begin to rot in the 100 heat and the monsoon rain, it’s important that we do not forget them.
Our brothers and sisters in Orissa face challenges and persecution on a daily basis that we cannot even begin to imagine. On this one-year anniversary please join in prayer for an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in the state of Orissa. Pray each day for seven days…then again…and again, blanketing them with an outpouring of our love letting them know that they are not suffering alone. The following prayer requests have come directly from the field.

Day One – Church
Pray that the Lord will keep the Church steadfast and strong in faith during these testing times. Pray for the bishops and leadership of the various churches and Christian organizations that they will continue to experience the presence of God and His vitality so that they can continue to lead His people.

Day Two – Holy Spirit
Pray against the spirit of fear that threatens to dominate the minds of the Christians in Orissa and in India in general. Pray that the God-given spirit of love, power may keep them from growing fearful.

Day Three – Justice/Healing
Pray for the Christians who have been falsely accused or are held without trial. Pray for justice and for the truth to prevail. Pray also for the sick and injured due to the violence; may they experience the healing hand of the Lord and the loving touch of His people. Pray for the families who have lost their loved ones, in some cases, their breadwinners. Pray for sustenance for them and for the peace of the Lord to guard their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus.

Day Four – Rebuilding/Relief Organizations
Pray for the various organizations and churches that reach out and provide aid in Orissa. Pray that the Lord would bless the rebuilding efforts and that the lives of the people may be impacted for good. Pray that the victims may sense the Lord’s love for them through these efforts. Please also pray for the efforts of Open Doors in all of this.

Day Five – Peace in the Region/Forgiveness
Pray for peace and harmony in the area which is still very tense. Years of anti-Christian propaganda carried out by Hindu extremists has brought hatred against Christians to the area. Pray that the government, other agencies and especially the church may be successful in fostering peace and reconciliation. Pray that Christians will forgive their oppressors and that this would lead to a witness of Jesus and His love.

Day Six – Government
Pray for the authorities in the state of Orissa, especially the newly elected government. Pray that the government will not forget the plight of the people but will do all it can to alleviate their pain and suffering. Please pray for the various commissions that have been set up to investigate the violence, that they may provide impartial reports so that proper action can be taken. Pray for the Panigrahi and Mohapatra commissions of enquiry.

Day Seven – Evangelism
Please pray for an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in the state of Orissa. Pray that many, who do not yet know the Lord, will come to knowledge of His saving grace. Pray that the suffering of His people may result in a greater harvest of souls for the Lord’s kingdom.

02
Sep
09

Orissa: Yesterday and Today

Today’s persecution in Orissa stems from seeds of violence sown in December of 2007. An argument between Christians and the VHP (World Hindu Counsel) over the pitching of a tent in a local village to celebrate Christmas led to the destruction of Christian shops and beating those who choose to continue with Christmas celebrations. (source: Compass Direct News).

Eight months later, a prominent leader of the VHP, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, was killed. Hindu extremists immediately blamed local Christians, although a few days after the killing extreme communist groups publically took responsibility. Still, a year later, Christians continue to be persecuted. (source: Compass Direct News).

In the months immediately following the death of Saraswati, 100 Christians were killed. Buildings, 4,500 homes, 250 churches and 13 educational facilities, were also destroyed. 50,000 people had to flee to refugee camps and only half have been able to return home. . Those who have returned must start from scratch rebuilding homes and businesses. Some have been forced to deny their faith, while others must live out their faith in secret. (source: Compass Direct News).

Even more disturbing than the violence is the inability of Christians to receive justice from the government. In police reports related to the incident, 11,000 were named as attackers. A mere 679 have been arrested. There were over 750 police reports filed and only 1 has resulted in a conviction.  One major reason for the hold up is that Hindu extremists continually threaten witness and those who file complaints. In July, a key witness in a case agreed to testify against the extremists. Twenty four hours later when he was brought to trial, he denied any knowledge of the case. It was later confirmed that three extremists and threatened to kill him if he testified. (source: Compass Direct News).

This is a small corner of the world that desperately needs our prayer and support. These Christians need to be protected and the government is not intervening strongly or quickly enough. Check back for more information as Open Doors launches its Orissa Campaign on September 8.




The purpose of the blog

To EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN and ENCOURAGE. To be a voice to those who have none, a voice that is LOUDER than their persecution, oppression and pain. A righteous voice that is LOUDER than the enemy.

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