India’s vengeful Christians turn to murder as Hindus step up their killing campaign

Christians have to blame only their own machineries (missionaries) who are intent on destroying Hinduism and replacing it imperial Christianity. This genocidal practice is a finely crafted art through centuries of destruction of olden cultures and civilizations from Europe, to Africa to  the Americas. In the  21st century Asia is the last bastion and India the focus of Christian genociders.

September 27, 2008
India’s vengeful Christians turn to murder as Hindus step up their killing campaign

Rhys Blakely in Bombay
In the remote Indian state of Orissa your religion can cost you your life. Now a Christian mob has resorted to murder. Wielding knives and axes they have stabbed a Hindu man to death.

The killing followed a month-long campaign of murder, gang rape and arson by Hindu fanatics that drove Christians to take up arms to defend themselves, church officials in the area said yesterday. As many as 50,000 members of the minority Christian community have been forced into hiding in the jungle.

The Hindu man was killed near the town of Raikia in the Kandahmal district, which in the past month has featured some of the worst anti-Christian violence in India since partition.

“Christians have defended themselves after their houses were burnt down by Hindus. The two groups clashed,” Father Ajay Singh said from the office of the Archbishop in Bhubaneshwar, the state capital. Praveen Kumar, a senior local policeman, confirmed the account.

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The Home Ministry in Delhi, which faces international criticism for failing to stamp out the violence, admitted that a situation of apparent lawlessness now reigns in the state.

Police are investigating unconfirmed reports of Christian militias being formed, with some attempting to make bombs. The reports have been denied by Christian leaders.

Similar tensions are simmering across India, where at least 45 Christians have died at the hands of Hindu fanatics in recent weeks, according to the Roman Catholic Church. Government officials, who in some areas have been accused of being complicit in the tragedy, have put the death toll at 27.

An estimated 4,000 homes have been razed, crops have been spoilt, livestock slaughtered and possessions looted. Witnesses have described Christians being forcibly converted to Hinduism while axes were held to their throats.

David Griffiths, of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a campaign group, said: “Christians going back to their homes are facing violence or coercive conversion to Hinduism. And yet the state government continues to claim that everything is normal.”

The Rev Harish Arisalya, the regional secretary of the All India Christian Council in Orissa, said: “Perhaps Christians should have defended themselves since the beginning of the attacks, but they chose to avoid conflict. Now Christians are being killed every day. The situation is going from bad to worse.”

There were further reports of trees being felled across roads to prevent security forces from reaching remote regions.

The unrest is thought to have been spearheaded by the Bajrang Dal, an influential extremist Hindu youth organisation. “They are highly communal and fascist in their approach.

The Government must move strongly against them,” a spokesman for Congress, the leading party in India’s coalition Government, said. Amid signs that the violence was spreading across the country, President Bush was urged this week to exert pressure on the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to take firmer action.

Felice D. Gaer, the chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, said: “If India is to exercise global leadership, Prime Minister Singh should demonstrate his Government’s commitment to uphold the basic human rights obligations to which it has agreed.”

The criticism followed condemnation from the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Government has promised to send thousands of troops to Orissa and the Home Ministry in Delhi has rebuked the regional state government — but itself faces widespread criticism for failing to act effectively.

Concerns are now mounting that, without international pressure, attacks against religious minorities will increase as Hindu extremists seek to mobilise voters before general elections in India, which must be held before May.

In the past two weeks more than 20 churches have been attacked in and around the southern city of Bangalore, the centre of India’s flagship IT industry. Anti-Christian violence has also erupted in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Kerala.

The violence was prompted by the murder on August 23 of Laxmanananda Saraswati, a figurehead of the extremist Vishwa Hindu Parishad — VHP, or World Hindu Council — in Orissa, who had campaigned against the alleged forced conversion of Hindus to Christianity by foreign-backed missionaries.

India’s Naxalite movement, a faction of armed Maoist militants that holds sway over large parts of eastern and central India, claimed responsibility.

The VHP, which is closely linked to the Bajrang Dal, blamed Christians.

The anti-Christian violence now threatens to feed into wider religious clashes across India.

A series of bomb blasts that killed 22 people and injured 100 in Delhi earlier this month stoked fears that the country faces a newly emboldened faction of home-grown Muslim militants.

Several major cities have been hit by elaborate bombing campaigns that have claimed more than 150 lives over the past five months. The Indian Mujahideen, a previously unknown Islamist group, has claimed responsibility.

In one e-mail purportedly sent by the Indian Mujahideen, the terror cell warned its “Christian brothers” to stay away from rallies held by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s main opposition. “Our main objective is to blow LK Advani [the BJP leader] into pieces,” it read.

Conversion of the lower castes

— Christians make up 2.3 per cent of India’s population after colonisers spread the religion largely among the poverty-stricken lower castes

— Hindus allege that conversions by the Christian missions are forcible conversions, which are illegal under the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act of 1967

— According to the 2001 Census, there are 897,861 Christians, compared with more than 34 million Hindus in Orissa

— Hindus burnt to death Graham Staines, an Australian missionary, and his two sons in their car in 1999

— Violence broke out between Hindus and Christians in December 2007 over Christmas decorations, resulting in an attack on the property of a Hindu leader and the burning of 19 churches

— Further violence occurred during the last week of 2007, driving 1,200 people into camps

Sources: Human Rights Watch, Times of India, Indian Census


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