Connect with us
Slider

Media

India: Axe-wielding tribal animists attack Christians during worship service, destroy church

Published

on

Six Christian families worshiping in India’s Odisha state were attacked by axe-wielding tribal animists who destroyed the believers’ church structure amid escalating religious persecution in the country.

Morning Star News reports that in December, the Christians, who had converted from tribal animism to Christianity, were worshiping in a wood-and-hay structure in Odisha state’s Chichima village when they were approached by a mob of about 20 to 25 men, led by an “influential man of wealth.”

When the leader of the mob asked the Christians why they had abandoned their tribal religion, Elder Burjo Tadinji answered: “We have known the true living God; we will not leave him. We used to indulge in fights and speak lies, but we do not do all that now. We like this faith, and that is why we follow it.”

Angered by the response, the mob began destroying the church building and manhandling the Christians, Pastor Bibudhan Pradhan told Morning Star News. The church was reduced to rubble, and Tadinji’s adjoining home was also damaged. The mob tore the clothes of one Christian and with a stone broke the mobile phone of another Christian who was recording the attack.

“They threatened to chase them out of their homes and the village if they reported the matter to the police,” the pastor told Morning Star News.

The mob’s leader, whose name was withheld to protect area Christians, then warned them not to report the attack to police.

“If the police come, we will not let you live in the village and we will chase you away,” he said, according to Tadinji.

As a result of the attack, the Christians are afraid to meet: “Fear has gripped their minds, and they need much prayer,” Pradha said, adding that he’s unsure when church services might resume.

Animists worship gods based on ancestors, spirits, and nature. Pradhan said all the villagers are told to sacrifice a chicken to the Hindu deity Shiva every year. In Odisha state, Christians make up less than 2.8% of the population.

“It is in the tribal culture to offer a sacrifice of a chicken while buying land, planting seed, harvesting the land, and other occasions,” he said. “When someone in their homes has fever or illness, they sacrifice a chicken to please the god of nature. They seldomly visit hospitals — only in emergencies. They often visit the witch doctor, who again demands them to perform sacrifice.”

Sukanta Naik, a volunteer for the Evangelical Fellowship of India, told the outlet that Hindu nationalist groups have become active in indoctrinating tribal people, seeking to “drive a wedge” between tribal peoples and Christians. The Hindu nationalists often persuade villagers that those who have left their beliefs and other rituals have betrayed their ancestors, gods, and the country of India.

A recent report from the Evangelical Fellowship of India found that Indian Christians endured at least 327 incidents of persecution in 2020 despite COVID-19 lockdowns.

At least five Christians were murdered and six churches were burned or demolished in religiously motivated attacks. In addition, EFI noted 26 incidents of social boycotts where Christian communities were shunned by their non-Christian neighbors due to their religious identity.

A recent Persecution Trends survey from Release International predicted that in India, intolerance toward Christians and other religious minorities will continue to grow during 2021, largely due to growing Hindu nationalism.

India is ranked No. 10 on Christian support organization Open Doors USA’s 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it’s most difficult to be a Christian.

In India, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has encouraged persecution of Christians by sanctioning Hindu extremism, Open Doors research found. The party has told its nation that only Hindus are truly Indian, Open Doors CEO David Curry told The Christian Post. Political leaders have discouraged police from responding to attacks on Christians.

“I put the responsibility at the feet of the ruling party, the BJP, which is very nationalistic,” he said, adding that their message to the population has been, “we want India to be a Hindu nation.”

“I have a strong belief that if most Indian citizens knew what was happening in these Christian communities they would vote for different people,” he said.
Sources:Christian Post

Media

Indian Pastor Bound and Beaten for Refusal to Contribute to Tribal Rituals

Published

on

India – According to Morning Star News, a pastor in India’s Jharkhand state was bound and publicly beaten by fellow villagers after he refused to contribute funds to the ritual worship of tribal deities. Despite this intense persecution, the pastor remained steadfast in his faith.

On January 24, Pastor Lakshman Oraon was called before the elders of Jungur village, located in the Latehar District of Jharkhand. The elders of the village demanded he contribute funds to the ritual worship of the village’s tribal deities. When he refused, his arms were tired behind his back and he was beaten.

“When they tied me and started kicking me, I was not at all angry,” Pastor Oraon told Morning Star News. “The Lord reminded me of the verses in Matthew 5:11-12. I received great strength from these words. There was a smile on my face all through.”

After the beating, village elders threatened to excommunicate Pastor Oraon and the other Christians of the village if they continued to refuse to contribute to the tribal rituals.

Facing expulsion, Pastor Oraon reached out to the Alliance Defending Freedom India (ADF). ADF contacted the local police station. Officers called Pastor Oraon and the village elders to the station to work out the situation.

“At the police station, we were asked to give the money, and we gave it,” Pastor Oraon told Morning Star News. “We are praying for the salvation of village leaders and the devotees of tribal deities. The police assured us that they will be a phone call away if any problem arises, and that we will not face any troubles from the villagers after giving the money.”
Sources:persecution

Continue Reading

Media

Overseas Indians need permission for missionary, tabligh activities

Published

on

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card-holders will need special permission if they want to take up any missionary, Tabligh or journalistic activities, the Home Ministry has said in rules for overseas Indians seeking visas.

Those with OCI cards who want to take up these activities will need special permission from the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

Overseas Indians will also need permission to take up any research work, an internship with foreign missions or if they need to visit areas designated as restricted or protected.

The OCI cardholders have to inform the FRRO if there is a change in address.

According to sources in the Home Ministry, all the rules were part of the ‘brochure’ published by it on November 15, 2019, and have now been consolidated and notified.

What has raised questions in the new rules are that activities like Tabligh – a religious sect – and journalism have been mentioned in the same breath.

The Tablighi Jamaat was in sharp scrutiny after multiple coronavirus cases across the country were traced to their religious gathering in Delhi in March last year when the pandemic was spreading across the world.

In December, a Delhi court acquitted 36 foreigners charge-sheeted over the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The passports of these visitors had been seized.

Amid a huge controversy as allegations of the gathering becoming a Covid super-spreader took on religious tones, petitions asked the Supreme Court to act against the media for “spreading hatred” over the Tablighi meet at Markaz Nizamuddin.
Sources:Inquest News

Continue Reading

Subscribe

Enter your email address

Featured

us news14 hours ago

Nigerian pastor freed by Boko Haram hours before execution: ‘I thank God’

Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria freed a Christian pastor on Wednesday evening who had been held captive since Christmas Eve,...

us news15 hours ago

കൊറോണ വൈറസ് റിലീഫ് ബില്ല് ചര്‍ച്ച ചെയ്യുന്നതിന് സെനറ്റിന്റെ അനുമതി

വാഷിംഗ്ടൺ ഡിസി: വലിയ വിവാദങ്ങൾക്കും നീണ്ട കാത്തിരിപ്പിനും ശേഷം പ്രസിഡന്‍റ് ബൈഡൻ കൊണ്ടുവന്ന 1.9 ട്രില്യൻ ഡോളറിന്‍റെ കൊറോണ വൈറസ് റിലീഫ് ബില്ല് സെനറ്റിൽ ചർച്ച തുടരുന്നതിന്...

Media15 hours ago

Indian Pastor Bound and Beaten for Refusal to Contribute to Tribal Rituals

India – According to Morning Star News, a pastor in India’s Jharkhand state was bound and publicly beaten by fellow...

Media15 hours ago

Overseas Indians need permission for missionary, tabligh activities

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card-holders will need special permission if they want to take up any missionary, Tabligh or...

us news16 hours ago

അമേരിക്കയിലും ഗ്യാസിന്റെ വിലയില്‍ വന്‍ കുതിപ്പ്, ഒരു ഗ്യാലന്‍ ഗ്യാസിന്റെ വില (റഗുലര്‍) 2.745 ഡോളര്‍

ഡാളസ്സ്: ആഗോള വിപണിയില്‍ ക്രൂഡോയിലിന്റെ വില കുതിച്ചുയര്‍ന്നതോടെ ഗ്യാസിന്റെ വിലയില്‍ വന്‍ കുതിപ്പ്. 2021 വര്‍ഷാരംഭത്തില്‍ 51.22 ഡോളറായിരുന്നു ക്രൂഡോയലിന്റെ വില മാര്‍ച്ച്‌ 4 ബുധനാഴ്ച 66...

Media2 days ago

Historical visit; Pope Francis is in Iraq today

Pope Francis begins a historic visit to Iraq on Friday, the first by a pontiff to the birthplace of the...

Trending