Yesterday an Indian friend of mine’s Facebook status read “Orissa is burning . . . and nobody cares.”
Orissa is a state in eastern India that has seen a large amount of Hindu-Christian violence in the past decade. Most notably in the past week—since the murder of World Hindu Council leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23.
This has had little to no mention in U.S. News and I think it’s sad but that’s probably because most Americans really don’t care. I would hope that that’s not true of most Christians and not true of most of you.
Another of my friends wrote:
In the city last night, a bunch of drunk teenagers were loudly making fun of the concepts of “God”, “freedom”, and “life” in general. As they obnoxiously sang our national anthem in off-pitch, mocking tones (with 4-letter words strewn throughout), I was struck by how much is taken for granted in this country.
We have no idea what we have; we have no idea what it’s like on the other side.
Here in America, we make fun of God, and we make fun of freedom. There, they die because they believe in God, they die because they ask for freedom.
Below is an official update from EFI, INDIA. EFI is an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Some of these accounts are gruesome and it’s easy to get upset or feel afraid. The answer is not to be afraid but to pray, to speak out, and to tell others.
Thanks for praying with me.
EFI NEWS: Orissa Christian Persecution Update —- 8.27.2008, India
1) Baptist Churches are being targeted in the continued spate of violence that has spread its tentacles across the state.
2) Gajapati district today has witnessed torching of one independent Baptist Church. Local sources report of a church in Baliguda and six in Phulbani district being burnt by the errant mob.
3) According to reports three persons were burnt after their houses were torched at midnight of August 25th 2008. One each in Kandhamal and Bargarh were burnt to death during the 12 hour statewide bandh (strike).
4) Compassion East India office (NGO) in Bhubaneswar was ransacked. While in gruesome act a man named Ramesh Digal was brutally cut into pieces.
5) Three adults and one child were reportedly killed in fresh violence in Barakhama, Kandhamal.
6) Kandhamal district has already witnessed the death of 15 Christians so far. Two in Mutungia village, 1 in Petaponga village, 1 in Borimunda village, 3 in Katinga village, 3 in Tianga village, 3 in Adikuppa village and 1 in Bakingia village were hacked to death by the rampaging Hindu mob.
7) Mission Compound in Sunapanga in Baliguda is also set on fire. Terrified Christians from Padapara, Marlova and other places have fled to the jungles.
8) There have been already over fifty eight instances of violence in which more that 400 Christian houses are gutted down by fire in Kandhamal including 150 houses in Rupagaon alone.
The authorities are mere helpless spectators watching Christians being lynched before their eyes.
EFI requests prayers for the safety of our brothers and sisters in the State of Orissa and appeal to Christian community to write to the addresses mentioned below.
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Room No. 152,
New Delhi, 110001
(O) Tel : +91-11-23012312
(O) Fax: +91-11-23016857
Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa
(O) Tel: +91-0674-2531100, 2535100, 2531500
(O) Fax: +91-0674-2400100
(R) Tel: +91-0674-2590299, 2591099,2590844,2591100,2590833
Shri Amarananda Pattanayak, IPS
Director General of Police
(O) Tel: +91-0671-2304451, 2306501
(O) Fax: +91-0671-2304033