Friday, September 19, 2008

Email from Pastor Chandra

David's mom has been staying in touch and helping support Pastor Chandra and his wife, Manjula, in India for a few years now. We've been doing the same, since David's mom started sending us his messages quite a while ago. They have an orphanage and home for widows. Here is Chandra's latest email - I know it's long, but it's well worth reading - if anything, skip to the list at the bottom.

My dear brother David
I am so sorry. Last few days I am unable to write any letters to you. As I told you in the last letter, I am visiting some villages where there is no Gospel.
I visited some houses and share Gospel to them. I saw the thirst in their faces about salvation. and I arranged one pastor and his wife at one village. They are interested to go the villages and share gospel to them. The pastors name is Johnson. 2 years back he married one of our church girl. her name is Salomi. We gave Baptism to her. She is very prayerful girl. So please pray for them. I am praying for their financial support.I have the belief. He will help them.
I read your loving concerned letters. I am very thank full to you for your loving concern about us. On 21 Sunday we are going to celebrate our birthday function. We are going to give good dinner to our church members and some poor widow women. And manjula and me are planning to give some series to widow women, and some dresses to orphan children.
Certainly He is with you always. Certainly will bless your ministry among children.
"Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and Grace"
Please pray for INDIA
In Karnataka State in some district Christians are suffering a lot.
Some non christian groups are beating Christians and demolishing Churches.
Udipi, Kolor, Mangulore, and some places Christians are facing lot of trubles.
Please. Almost all christians are afraid, when the groups attack and do wrong to them.
So I am humbly asking you please pray for us.
Orissa Simmering: Persecution Continues

1. On 24th of August Pastor Jeebaratna Lima from Khurda District, was attacked and beaten up mercilessly. The miscreants doused petrol on him and about to set him on fire but timely arrival of Police saved his life. He was in Police custody but later was released on bail next day.
2. Pastor Bahumulya Paik of Bamandei, Patpur Police Station. Ganjam District was beaten to a point of death by a mob of around 100 people. He vomited blood and later gained conciousness and managed to flee from the place while the group was engaged in attacking the local believers. Since the hospitals were closed no medical help was available. On August 26, the police escorted him to some distance by their vehicle and left him on the way to take a bus and go away.
3. Pastor Bishnu Kumbhar and his pregnant wife of village Dutta, under Madan Rampur Police Station of Kalahandi district, were chased out. To save their lives, they ran away in the darkness and hid themselves from the attackers.
4. Pastor Susanjit Beero of Tengada Pathar under Tikabali Police Station of Phulabani, was attacked by a group of Hindutva miscreants. Along with few believers he is still reported to be taking shelter in the forest though without food and clothes from the last 48 hours.
5. Pastor Dillip Koshla of Tiangia village, under Raikia Police Station was attacked by the mob. His house and property are burned and looted by the unruly mob.
6. Pastor Birendra Harijan, of Nakapolo Church under Dharmasala Police Station of Jajpur District was beaten up badly. As the miscreants were about to set his house on fire the timely arrival of police saved the disaster.
7. Pastor Amit Pani of Ampani village, Koksora Police Station(PS) under Kalahandi district was chased out and locked in a house but they manage to escape.
8. Pastor Lebiyo Raito of Kanjamendi, Nuagam PS, Phulbani, was attacked and chased away from his house. He is still hiding in the jungle.
9. Pastor Jatan Nayak, of Bhadrak district was attacked and his house ransacked. He is in the Police protection at the moment.
10. Pastor Abinash Garjang, of Tattaguda, Malkangiriis attacked and the Church building was ransacked.
11. Pastor Aurobindo Sahu of Tumgurpada Church, Bargarh District is threatened to leave the place with dire consequences.
12. District pastor Anant Benya of Badibahal church, Luisingha PS, in Bolangir District was issued threat to attack the church on 26th August.
13. Pastor Pabitra Digal and Pastor Dharmendra Digal, of Sundargarh district have received threats to their life burning the church.
14. Pastor Thomas Bhoi of Petapanga church Raikia, Kandhamal district was attacked by the mob and their household items were damaged.
15. Pastor Ramakant Pradhan of Dotta Church and Pastor Sulaisng Barik of Hatibandh Church under Sinapali PS of Nuapada District was chased away from the village. Their whereabouts are not known.
16. Pastor Bijaya Surya of Penkam Church, Gunapur PS, Rayagada District is threatened and asked to leave the place.
17. Pastor Mothilal Sagar and his family, also along with 5 Sisters and two brothers in Madekela, Godphila block were attacked but they managed to flee and hid themselves. The miscreants are searching for them.
18. More than 15 church buildings of Believers Church alone and several churches of other denomination are damaged. The rampage is still going on unabated.
19. Church building and 60 houses in Tiangia village, Raikia, Kandhamal burnt. Two Christians named Dasarath Pradhan, Bikram Naik killed.
20. Church building was bombed and destroyed. 30 houses burnt in Tengdapathar, Tikabali, Kandhamal.
21. Church and parsonage damaged, 20 houses burnt, Two believers killed in Pettapanga, Saranggada, Kandhmal.
22. Chandrasekaharpur, BDA Church, Bhubaneswar damaged.
23. Tangupada, Bargarh District, the anti-Christians have threatened the pastor Arobindo Sahu to leave and they have a plan to destroy the newly built Church.
24. Audio Visual Team are hiding in the jungle in Chandragiri, Gajapati District because of the threats.
25. BOH (Education centre for Children) in Kuttenpalli, Bolangir District having 120 students was threatened to close down.
26. Tattaguda Church of Pastor Abinash Garjang in Baipariguda, Malkangiri demolished.
27. Bhatta Palla Church of Pastor John Naik in Madanpur, Rampur, in Kalahandi demoslished.
28. Tujung Church of Pastor Basant Digal in M. Rampur Kalahandi damaged.
29. Ladapanga Church of Pastor Rajanikanth Nayak in Daringbadi damaged.
30. The residences of Pastor Bijaya Kumar Surya, Pastor Susil Lima of Miraguda, Gunupur ransacked and looted. No police protection given.
31. The Church of Pastor Junus Digal destroyed and 180 houses of Christians burnt in Balkidadi, Kandhmal. Without food and drinking water the Christians are in the jungle from last three days.
32. The church building and all the houses of the Christians in Kurmingia of Kandhamal burnt. The Christians have fled to nearby jungles.
33. Church building and houses ransacked and later burnt in Tattaguda of Malkangiri District.
34. Churches destroyed and houses burnt along with 4 believers killed in Dadingia of Raikia, Kandhamal.
35. The church of Pastor Alif Nayak alongwith 12 houses in Ranipada, Kandhamal burnt. Pastor killed.
36. Houses burnt and Christians attacked in Madkela, Tusura in Bolangir.
37. Pastors Dandapani and Junus Diagal chased out of their place but they managed to flee to safety in nearby jungle.
38. Four incidents of attacks reported in Koraput. 39. Carmel English Medium School in Khurda threatened to close down by Hindu fundamentalists.
40. Houses in Khariapada, Udaigari were bombed by petrol bombs.
41. Unconfirmed reports suggests around 10-11 Christians were killed in jungles by angry and unruly mob.
42. Church in Balangir demolished.
43. Complete failure of Law and Order in violence affected areas. Police and Para-millitary forces are mere spectators.
44. 300-400 attackers burnt houses of Christians in Kurmanga, Raikia.
45. Nuagaon village dominated by around 50 Christian families completely burnt down.
46. Church in Nuagaon village burnt.
47. Grace Girls Hostel having 60-70 students in Kotagarh, Phulbani attacked by more than 1000 people. Just 10 Police personnel posted for protection were not sufficient to protect the Hostel.
The fundamentalist group are going from village to village destroying Churches, burning houses, attacking and killing Christians. It is reported that thousands of extremists have been brought from Gujarat and Chhattisgarh to perpetrate this violence which has spread to all the districts of Orissa. Their agenda is to wipe out Chrisitians and Christianity from India starting from Orissa.
Christian community is saddened by the response of the Government so far to tackle the situation in Orissa that has become the boiling pot of crooked political agendas of the Sangh Parivar.
we need your's and all the Christians prayer protection. Please pray for us.

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Here is where Orissa is located. If you google Orissa, the first item that comes up is an article about the Hindu/Christian riots. It's a terrible thing. Please pray. They're literally burning people and bombing orphanages.

4 comments:

David Buckmaster said...

Here is a good article for some background info. Basically, India has a caste system, which puts people into different classes based on their socioeconomic conditions. Combine that with a belief in reincarnation, and you get a cultural status quo that those in the lower classes deserve to be treated less than human because of indiscretions in their previous lives. While the caste system hasn't officially been a part of Indian law for years, I can tell you from my three months there that it is still going strong. It's not surprising then that some use these classes as a tool for corruption and oppression of the poor. Well, Jesus' message that all humans are created in God's image and are equal upsets this exploitative power structure. Who would have thought that some people ignore the tenets of their faith to pursue power? Unbelievable, right?

Please pray for India and all those who are oppressed that God loves and values each and every one of them, even the oppressors.

Anonymous said...

Being from Orissa I feel as though you have a notion that people are backward. Some people use the caste system as a part of their history as some would say they have a Scottish background.

Please understand that I am not saying what some Hindu people are doing in this province is right. But know that these are group of extremists. As there are groups of extremists in other religions in the Islamic faith, Christian faith and so on.

David Buckmaster said...

I agree with you 100%, and would really appreciate any additional insight you may have. I'm a Christian, and I've certainly seen people hijack my faith and use it to promote things completely contrary to it (the war in Iraq is a quick example). They do it not because they are following Jesus, but because they are threatened by change and fearful of those not like them. In short, they believe in a very small God, one that can't see beyond their own worldview.

Hinduism is a peaceful religion, no doubt about it. I've never met a more patriotic or welcoming people than I did when I went to India. I love their culture, and I apologize for not making that clear. I'm of the opinion that at its root this is a political problem, not a religious one. I just hope the two groups can find a peaceful resolution to this, and that my friend can survive through it.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful letter, your pastor must be such a blessing.!

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