India: How far is Jaipur from Malatya?

General es 04/05/07


By: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal


In modern, progressive, secular Turkey, anti-Christian hatred has been
whipped up by Islamist and nationalist forces and cultivated and
perpetuated in the media, often by men and women of influence seeking
political mileage. Unfortunately the hate insurgency has not been
neutralised by a truth counterinsurgency, and so hate - a highly
destructive force - has been permitted to advance. And we have seen the
consequences.

In Turkey expatriate Catholic, Turkish-Armenian Orthodox, and expatriate
and Turkish Protestants have been victims of fatal hate crimes over the
past 15 months. Christians and Christianity have been so thoroughly
demonised that zealous, patriotic religious youths have been deluded
into believing that if they do their country a favour and slay a
Christian then they will be able to literally get away with murder.

The brutality of the 18 April torture and murder of three Christians in
Malatya, Turkey (link 1) has left many Turks shocked and ashamed.
Finally there is now some will for a decisive (albeit difficult and
possibly costly) truth, tolerance, secularism and religious liberty
counterinsurgency.

Modern, progressive, secular India, which is treading virtually the
exact same path, is only a step away from having its own "Malatya"
experience (that is: an act of hate-fueled anti-Christian violence so
disgusting and horrific it sends shockwaves through the nation).

ANTI-CHRISTIAN HATE CAMPAIGN PERSISTS UNCHALLENGED
and JAIPUR PASTOR BASHED FOR THE TV CAMERAS

On 24 April, Compass Direct published a report by Vishal Arora, entitled
"Hate Campaign Adds Fuel to Persecution in India". (Link 2)

This report details some of the anti-Christian hate that India is being
submerged in as Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) forces continue to spew
forth anti-Christian propaganda, lies, disinformation, incitement and
hatred, all for political gain.

Arora mentions the CD produced by the organisers of the Shabri Kumbh
Mela, held in Dangs, Gujarat, in February 2006. The CD titled "Shri
Shabri Kumbh 2006: Spirituality along with the Wave of Patriotism" has
been widely circulated, distributed and openly sold in the states of
Gujarat and Maharashtra and in the north-eastern states.

Anhad (link 3), a non-profit organisation that has admitted a petition
to the Supreme Court of India seeking action against the Hindutva forces
that distributed the CDs, claims: "In the CD, the narrator, while
talking about Hindu tradition and culture, makes constant references to
the evil forces and foreign powers that are out to destroy the Hindu
religion whilst simultaneously flashing pictures of churches and Cross
on the screen as if to insinuate that the Christian community is the
evil force and the foreign power that the Hindu community has to reckon
with."

Arora notes that on the CD cover there is a caricature of a headless
Christian priest wearing a cassock and holding a cross. Anhad comments,
"In place of the head is a question mark symbol. The caption on the top
of this picture literally translates into 'Church: in the name of
service.'" As Arora notes, the Hindutva slogan, 'Hindu Jago, Christi
Bhagao' (Arise Hindus, throw out the Christians) represents the overall
sentiment of the Hindutva anti-Christian hate campaign.

According to Arora, Hindutva hate material typically brands Christianity
and Islam as alien religions and a threat to India. "It alleges that
Indian Christians use foreign funds to convert Hindus by force and
fraudulent means.

"The hate material casts doubts on the patriotism and loyalty of
Christians to the country, questions the roots of Christianity, attacks
the tenets of the faith and targets priests, nuns and Christian
institutions and social work.

"Hindu extremists use many means to spread hate against Christians on a
regular basis. Media used include hate speeches at rallies, distribution
of pamphlets and CDs, publication of reports in local newspapers in
vernacular languages, publication of books, e-mail campaigns using
e-groups, uploading of videos on the Web, and websites.

"The RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] is said to spew hatred through
its wide network of 'shakhas' or daily gatherings. According to the RSS,
there were about 50,000 'shakhas' in 34,732 locations across the country
as of March 2005.

"Additionally, the RSS has more than 17,500 'one-teacher schools' known
as 'Ekal Vidyalayas', in 20 states. These schools allegedly teach hate
against Christians in the guise of providing education and preventing
'conversion' of tribal people to Christianity. The children of these
schools are exposed to Hindu symbols and deities, saints and patriots
apart from the regular syllabus.

"The Hindu extremist 'Dharma Raksha Samiti' (Association for Protection
of Religion) has posted an anti-conversion documentary in English on the
Web, which can be seen online at:
http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=3c13e5d869a1ccff0620b77daf703c92.703761

"Another extremist group, the Kashmiri Hindu Liberation Army, says on
its website http://www.hindurashtra.org
that Hindus should 'militarize' and 'industrialize' themselves to
'survive'. 'Hinduize the politics and militarize the Hindus. . . Change
of religion means change of nation,' the website states, advocating
establishment of a single-party, militarized government based on the
divine laws of Hindu Dharma(Religion), and Hindutva nationalist
ideology." (Compass Direct, India archives: link 2)

JAIPUR PASTOR BASHED FOR TV CAMERAS

Violent persecution of Christians in India has been escalating in both
frequency and intensity as the Hindutva forces claw back their lost
political territory, as a read through the Compass Direct's India
Archives will demonstrate.

On Sunday 29 April, a mob of some twenty militant Hindu youths (Bajrang
dal activists) attacked Pastor Walter Masih (or Massey) in his home in
Jaipur, Rajasthan, where he leads a small home fellowship. The attack
took place in front of Pastor Masih's wife and child and what appears to
be an invited television crew.

According to The Hindu, Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot
described the incident as a "very serious matter" and demanded the
immediate arrest of the culprits. "Vishwa Hindu Parishad workers have
once again taken law into their own hands in the name of stopping
religious conversions in the State and this is condemnable," he said.
(Link 4)

The following news report from CNN-IBN contains a video of the IBN news
broadcast which features excerpts of the filmed attack:
"Pastor attack: Media under scanner"
CNN-IBN, 30 April 2007
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/04_2007/pastor-attack-cops-probe-media-role-39465.html

As noted in the above report, Indian authorities are looking into the
role the media played in the attack. Christians in Rajasthan are calling
for a full CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) investigation into the
incident.

Another CNN-IBN report poses the question, "Indian media intolerant?"
This news broadcast contains two videos from the CNN-IBN program, "India
360".
"Indian media intolerant?" 1 May 2007
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india-360-indian-media-intolerant/39536-3.html

Surely the question at the heart of this issue is: What is it that makes
youths not only so hateful and violent, but so convinced that their
violence is acceptable, justifiable and even heroic, that they would
proudly and confidently commit their criminal assault upon a peaceful
family before a TV crew for national broadcast?

How far is Jaipur from Malatya? Not far at all.

Elizabeth Kendal
[email protected]

Links

1) Turkey: German Seminary investigates Malatya murders
by Elizabeth Kendal WEA RLC, 1 May 2007.
http://www.worldevangelicalalliance.com/news/view.htm?id=1084

2) Compass Direct India archives
http://www.compassdirect.org/content/index.php?id=25

3) Anhad (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy)
http://www.anhadindia.org/

4) Christian preacher attacked in Jaipur
The Hindu. Monday 30 May 2007
http://www.hindu.com/2007/04/30/stories/2007043005341200.htm
See also: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=9129&size=A

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