Christians attacked in Maharashtra posted by John Sorensen on Oct 30, 2011
It’s hard to believe that persecution exists against Christians in today’s world. You would think that people would have reached a point where tolerance is granted to all people, regardless of their faith. But, the truth is that tolerance is not something that everyone holds to. In fact, the truth is that tolerance is a Christian ideal. You rarely, if ever, find it as a core value of other faiths. Case in point is an email I received this morning from India:
Oct 24 2011:
Christians attacked in Maharashtra
Maharashtra police registered a case against three people after they have repeatedly launched an attack against the Christians in Virla , Sirja, Dhule district , Maharashtra.
According to information reaching EFI, alleged Hindu extremist Gupsingh Raya Paurane, Dev Das and Sai Singh have launched a series of attacks against the Christians. The first incident took place on July where the extremists verbally abused the Christians for their faith in Christ, accusing them of having more money than them after they have decided to follow Christ.
Again on Sept 2, the same extremist group barged into the Christian prayer meeting, verbally abused the Christians for their faith in Christ and hit one Christian, Raju Narayan, causing severe injury to his head. A compromise was reached between the two parties after the intervention of the village head with the Christians, subsequently, not filing any complaint against the assailants.
However, on Sept 7, the village head summoned the Christians for a meeting where the Christians were forced to kneel down before the idols and worship them. They were also told in clear terms that they cannot continue to follow Christ.
“The extremists continued to attack us whenever they found opportunities”, reported area Christian, Ram Balli. Again on Oct 8, at about 9:30, while the Christians were getting ready to sleep, the extremists stormed on them and started throwing stones at their houses, where one Christian woman, Meena Raju received severe injury on her head. She was admitted in a local hospital the next day.
Later that night, all the Christians in fear left the area and walked all the way to Shirpur police station which is 35 kms away from the village and filed a police complaint against the attackers.
On Oct 10, the enraged extremists, after learning that the Christians filed a police complaint against them went to houses of Balli and other Christians and started verbally abusing them. Gupsingh Paurane threatened the Christians that he will kill all of them and cut them off from the society if they continue to believe in Christ.
Balli ran to the police station for his life and other Christians family members also ran to hide themselves in the field. In the meantime, the extremists destroyed the houses of the Christians, destroying the roots, the doors and the windows.
The EFI submitted a letter of complaint to the the National Commission for Minorities, (NCM) Government of India requesting them to look into the matter. The Vice President of the NCM, Dr. H.T Sangliana requested the Special Inspector General of Police, Maharastra State Police HQs to conduct an enquiry on the complaint immediately.
Subsequently, On Oct 19, Shirpur Police in charge P.R Gulate and his team went to the spot and investigated the matter. A case has been registered against Dev Das, Gupsingh Paurane and Sai Singh under Sections 323, 504,506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
What a shame that this kind of behavior is practiced and applauded. As Christians, we believe that all humans are created in the image of God and are endowed with certain inalienable rights (the grandest of these is the freedom of religion). They are free to worship whomever or whatever they like. While we desire greatly to share with all what we believe (because we care and genuinely believe that this knowledge of truth is beneficial to all), we do not force anyone to believe.
Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in India. And let us pray for the illumination of the minds of those that persecute them, so that their eyes can be opened to the truth of the hand that they play in promoting evil in this world.