A holy war in India has left tens of thousands of Christians crammed into relief camps, too scared to return home following weeks of clashes with Hindu mobs in which at least 35 people have died.
More than 40,000 Christians have had to flee their homes in Kandhamal district, one of India’s poorest, in the eastern state of Orissa. Their homes have been systematically attacked, looted and burned down by Hindu mobs since the end of August as the local police have looked on helplessly.
“Villagers have threatened to kill me because I am a Christian. They have said I will be welcome back only if I change my religion and become a Hindu,” said Jibit Kumar Digal, 30, who has spent over a month in a relief camp at Baliguda, 200 south west of the provincial capital Bhubaneswar.
Aligned to the radical Hindu Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the marauding mobs supported by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council, are alleged to have killed Christians by burnign them alive, gang-raped a nun and destroyed over 140 churches and orphanages across Kandhamal.
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Tags: Christian, Crime, Hindu, India, Politics, Society, Violence
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) — Three weeks after an apparent misunderstanding sparked a confrontation, deadly Hindu-Christian riots continue unabated in the remote east Indian state of Orissa.
Police officers chase away a protester in Mangalore, India, Monday.
By Tuesday, about 20 deaths had been reported, said Praveen Kumar, the superintendent of police in the worst-affected Kandhamal district.
The latest casualty is a police officer who died after an armed mob of about 400 to 500 mostly Hindus torched a police station in the district on Monday, Orissa state police said.
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Tags: Christian, Government, Hindu, India, Police, Politics, Religion, Riots
Namrata, a young Christian villager who was injured in an attack by a Hindu mob
The mob appeared an hour after sunset, armed with axes, clubs and paraffin. The carnage that followed would have been much worse if the Christians of Gadragaon, a remote village in northeast India, had not been warned by text message: “The Hindus are coming to kill you.”
The alert gave most enough time to flee to the jungle, where 114 of them would hide for a week, drinking rainwater and foraging for food.
But the warning did not come early enough for those unable to run. “They doused him with petrol and taunted him; we could hear him screaming,” said Ravindra Nath Prahan, 45, of his paralysed brother, Rasananda, 35, who was burnt alive by Hindu fanatics. “I could have tried to save him. But we had to save ourselves.”
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Tags: Catholic Church, Christian, Crime, Government, Hindu, India, Religion, Society
WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) — A 23-year-old U.S. soldier says he’s suing the Department of Defense for allegedly discriminating against him because he’s an atheist.
Army Spc. Jeremy Hall, now serving in Iraq, says he lost his Christian faith while serving two tours of duty in Iraq, causing him to be ostracized, denied promotions and almost getting him killed, CNN reported Wednesday.
Hall contends there is a pattern of discrimination against non-Christians in the military, saying, “I think it’s utterly and totally wrong. Unconstitutional.”
He told CNN that other troops threatened his life and the military assigned a full-time bodyguard to protect him, fearing for his safety.
CNN said Hall filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense in March, claiming his rights to religious freedom under the First Amendment were violated. Some former military men agree, saying the Pentagon is tacitly encouraging evangelical Christian proselytizing within its ranks to create a “godly army.”
But Deputy Undersecretary Bill Carr told the broadcaster that complaints of evangelizing are “relatively rare” and that the Pentagon isn’t pushing one faith among troops.
Published: July 9, 2008
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Tags: Christ, Christian, Department of Defense, Iraq, Jesus, Pentagon, Soldiers
Televangelist Rod Parsley, a key McCain ally in Ohio and his spiritual adviser, has called for eradicating Islam as a ‘false religion’.
Senator John McCain hailed Parsley, as the Ohio megachurch pastor called upon Christians to wage a “war” against Islam to destroy it. Continue reading »
Tags: Christian, George Bush, Islam, John McCain, Rod Parsley