Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Pray for Peace in India, September 7

Mark Koenig of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program has posted the following on his blog, Swords Into Plowshares:

The National United Christian Forum in India has called churches to observe September 7 as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace and Goodwill in response to the violence against Christians in the state of Orissa. The Forum invites all Christians to “kindly join us in this special prayer to pray for the families who have lost their dear ones and the survivors who are still hiding in the forest and those who are in the relief camps striving for food and shelter.”

This is from the website of The Church of North India:

The killing of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmanananda Saraswati by the Maoists in the tribal dominated Kandhamal district in Orissa on 23rd August 2008 has provoked Hindus to attack Christians in retaliation killing at least 30 people out of which at least 8 were burnt alive. Although the Maoist have claimed the responsibility of killing the VHP leader in an interview to an Oriya Daily, the Hindus are adamant in their claim that the killing is schemed by Christians as the slain VHP leader was very active in the area for reconverting the Christians into Hindu and he violently opposed the missionary activities by churches.

And from The Times of India:

PHULBANI/RAIKIA: A week after Orissa's top VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was gunned down during Janmashtami celebrations, Maoists have claimed to have killed him for his "fascist activities".

Laxmanananda's killing sent several parts of the state into a spiral of violence in which at least 12 people have been killed with several villages and prayer halls attacked by Hindu fundamentalists in retaliatory action. "We killed Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati to avenge his villainous role in Kandhmal," said Azad, a leader of Maoist outfit, People's Liberation Guerrilla Army, in an interview to a leading Oriya daily on Friday.

Commentary: The one thing all religions seem to agree upon is the duty to kill for your god.
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