Mental shift

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Attacks on Churches and Christians in India – Violence in Mangalore

Posted by jytmkh on September 15, 2008


Section 144 has just been clamped on Mangalore city.

Police resorted to lathi charge and throwing tear gas grenades at peaceful protesters where a number of nuns and women were injured and had to be taken to hospital.

What the hell is wrong with our country and its people? (I would not normally use such strong language in print, but it doesn’t even begin to demonstrate how strongly I feel)

Today morning between 9am and 10am, Bajrang Dal activists attacked and destroyed 4 churches in Mangalore City.

Why? Because New Life members distributed pamphlets which said “Do not Worship Hindu Gods”
While I admit that this could be an incendiary statement, does this justify attacking people and churches who do not even agree with the methods used by the New Life preachers?
Does this justify attacking members of a church, who have not had anything to do with conversions or preaching and just listen?

Let’s look at the issues here:
1. The Bajrang Dal resorts to violence because of something that is printed that they do not agree with.
2. When the Bajrang Dal says that conversions are illegal, (and all the other things they do with tis as their cause) aren’t they infact enforcing that “you cannot worship any God other than a Hindu God”
3. The New Life Church is a relative newcomer, known to be more hardline than most other churches which distance themselves from them. Shouldn’t the Bajrang Dal have at least distinguished that?
4. Even if they did not agree with what was printed by the New Life church in India, couldn’t they try having a dialog with them first, before resorting to violence.
Looks like the hooligans behind these attacks are only interested in breaking bones and getting their adrenaline pumping rather than really trying to sort out any kinds of problems or misunderstandings.

The ruffians broke all the religious statues in the Sisters of Poor Clare’s Adoration Monastery. They threw the Holy Eucharist on the ground and desecrated it.

Is this OK, just because it is being done against Catholics/Christians in India who have historically been as non-violent as the Jains and buddhists (other minorities) in India?

Concerned members of the churches gathered in the church grounds during and after evening mass in a peaceful way to seek assurance and guidance from the priests and other religious. Wasn’t this a peaceful gahtering compared to mobs rampaging and torching buses because of some mud smeared on Meenatai’s statue? or The countrywide riots following a desecration of an Ambedkar statue in Kanpur? The second incident was also of smeared mud. Both the desecrations happened on public roads. This does not make it right, but compare this to religious statues being broken on private property, the Holy Eucharist (which Christians believe is the body of Christ once it is blessed) thrown on the ground. Do not Christians have a right to congregate to discuss their fears following such incidents.

Remember the Christians were gathering in peace outside their place of worship (since the insides of the church were full) not going out and torching buses or hurting other innocent people.

To add fuel to the fire, the police arrived. No issues with their arriving where crowds had gathered, but they started lathi charging the gathered people and seriously injured nuns and women among the crowd and threw tear bombs inside the church where Sunday evening mass was being held. A religious ceremony, a peaceful ceremony, held everyday inside these churches.

Was this responsible on the part of the police to use force and violence against unarmed, peaceful members of the public?

People present at the scene said that the police themselves were pelting stones at the crowd and caning them, hurting both people and damaging property in the vicinity.

The news channels started to broadcast about this and then completely hushed up. I turned on my India feed of NDTV which promised for 15 minutes to show an update and news about Mangalore city and suddenly it stopped showing those banners without showing any news about what had happened. Looks like someone high in the political chain, got to them and yanked the news off the air.

Now take 2-3 other incidents into perspective.
On 29th August over 40,000 Christian Educational Institutions across India stayed closed to register a peaceful protest against the continuing violence against Christians in Orissa which has now spread to 13 out of 30 districts.

On the same day, the government of Karnataka announced its decision to take action against Christian schools in the state for closing without prior permission.

This same government has yet to take action against the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishat and RSS workers, who had launched violent protests when the JD (S) failed to hand over the state reins to the BJP last year.

Is it any surprise that both Karnataka and Orissa currently have the BJP in power?

The VHP held violent protests in Madhya Pradesh and other places asking why the Christians had killed Saraswati? (by shutting educational institutions for a day) What about all the occasions when the BJP/VHP/Bajrang Dal/Shiv Sena and other Hindu organisations force schools, colleges and business to shut shutter for their own bundhs which destroy all normalcy in the cities?

Why are these double standards in play? Why are Christians being given the short end of the stick? Religious Christian institutions have a large role to play in education, medicine, caring for the orphans, abandoned, old and dying in India. Christians have been one of the most tolerant minorities in India (imagine what would have happened by now if by chance the Bajrang Dal hooligans had desecrated a mosque this morning) who have contributed immensely to the growth of the country. Why this treatment? Do they deserve it?

Do they deserve a government that is apathetic to their religious sensibilities being trampled upon?

Christians have always believed in being peace loving, patient and tolerant. Will the Christian youth of today continue to be as tolerant when they see the atrocities being committed against their brethren in Orissa and the North East?

Why are these atrocities against Christians being downplayed in the media? (Try googling for the attack against Christians in India and see how many Indian media links pop up) Why aren’t they being given coverage? Is it because the powers-that-be know that they aren’t doing a thing to control, controllable situations and the miscreants in their party? Is it because the powers-that-be know that the Christians haven’t ever retaliated with violence? How long will the Christians community be able to react with tolerance and peace? (2 values that a lot of Indians in the news seem to have completely forgotten about)

Final note of irony: Union minister of labour and employment Oscar Fernandes (a Christian) was in Mangalore today to inaugurate the opening of a (Hindu) temple.

And so we debate endlessly in the media about terrorism coming in from across the border while we burn our own own citizens in their homes and places of worship.


17 Responses to “Attacks on Churches and Christians in India – Violence in Mangalore”

  1. Ragni said

    Well, the problem lies everywhere. First, in the name of God we are segregating ourselves into miniscule particles. We have stopped respecting other religions. Christians claim that their God is the only God, Islam says the same and Hindus retaliate on what others claim. Why cannot we live just as human being? Jesus never said that “Go and condemn all the other Gods”. Yes Christians are showing their tolerance and which is good and due to this aggravated violence are not taking place but they should also remember that they should start reliving the way they used to live earlier in harmony. One should understand that there are fanatics in all the religions who see that they are the only right and others are always wring and in the name of God they can do anything. I would suggest Christians remain focused on preaching the message of LOVE, PEACE, Harmony instead of preaching JESUS CHRIST which every denominations have created on their own.

  2. Immanuel Prince said

    1. Christians doesn’t come under a single governing body to show our unity against since there are lot of different denomintions among christians. So that ever work done such as village preaching can be done carefully with out affecting other religious people.

    2. Secular parties like BJP/VHP/Bajrang Dal/Shiv Sena for the purpose of acquring the forth coming electoral seats doesn’t require to destroy other religious people who are all unicast as a single nationality.
    They are using the name of religion Hindu and destroying the principles of the hindu religion which doesnt teach violence to anyone. For their own purpose to get a electrol seat we cannot a country or religion to get exploied by others.

    3. On what basis we can trust news media what ever news they are publishing is worth and right if they are being controlled by politicans for their own purpose.

  3. Binoy said

    This is a very clear case of provocation against the entire Christian Community, they want the Christians to behave like these animals themselves, but to their amazement, the gathering of the Christians was peaceful! So they brought in the police to provoke the crowd, it still didn’t work.

    They obviously do not want the media to show this, that Christians are doing what JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF had asked to do, to love the enemies.

    It is best left to GOD, do not for a moment imagine that GOD is sleeping somewhere and does not see this. For the kind information of Bajrang Dal/ VHP and the likes, if they think that their gods require human help to sustain them (whenever somebody says something against them, the gods expect their human followers to take up arms and commit unthinkable atrocities), pls do not expect JESUS to do the same. No HE will take matters into HIS own hands – Vengence is left with GOD, it is mentioned in the Bible. So the Christians leave it with GOD.

    We pray for those who committed these atrocities, in fact for the desecration of the Holy Eucharist (the Body and the Blood of JESUS HIMSELF), the Christians have to make reparation (amends) for this sin, else this alone is sufficient for the whole of India to burn. For those who have any doubts – wait and see.

    Everyday that goes by, without any vengence from GOD, is a day extended by HIS infinite mercy, do not test GOD, for the moment HE decides to extract vengence, Orissa and Karnataka will face disasters such as were never seen in their history (I hope there has been sufficient earth quakes and floods and tsunamis in places where Christians were attacked, but it seems that Orissa has not learnt its lesson, Karnataka will learn). A word of caution to those who instigate these crimes against Christians, they will not be spared, whereever they are,unless they repent and turn to GOD for forgiveness.

    As Christians, we reiterate, our prayer to GOD will be not just for protection, but that HE will show mercy and forgive the perpetrators of these crimes, because as CHRIST prayed for those who crucified HIM, they do not know what they are doing!

  4. Ragni said

    Dear Binoy,
    God of Bible is not God of fear and vengeance. Bible teaches us about love of enemy and here you are threatening people of God’s wrath? It could be your individual interpretation of Christian way of revenge but God of New testament do not talk about the vengence of God neither God’s punishment.
    What kind of Indian citizen you are who is waiting for hazard to take place in your own country.
    I too am a Christian but before that I am an Indian. I would never dream India to be tormented with God’s vengeance and destruction as you are forcasting or are a prophet?

  5. chetanachaitanya said

    But Please,
    Come to our places and see what’s actually happening.
    What Christians are doing in the name of Jesus and did in the name of Christianity.

    How long you people wish a hindu to tolerate all these? How long….?

    Sarwe bhavantu Sukhinah sarve santu niraamayaah
    sarve bhadraaNi pashyantu
    maa kashcid duHkha bhagbhavEt
    Om Shanti shAnti shAntiH

  6. KEVIN said

    Dear Ragni,
    YOU SAY-
    “God of Bible is not God of fear and vengeance.First, in the name of God we are segregating ourselves into miniscule particles. We have stopped respecting other religions. Christians claim that their God is the only God.”

    after saying all these things you say that you are a christian??????????? go and peep into ur heart and asks yourself what kind of christian you are????? what do you want to say we as christians should’nt have protested???????? i think u pretend like a christian, go open bible and read MATTHEW 21:12-13 and understand what it means.jesus himelf has overturned temple when something was wrong in the church. then when someone comes inside the church to destroy it when people are praying peacefully u talk about “we have stoped respecting other religion”. i think u have stoped it ,no others christians have done it.when u do not understand what christanity is ,then stop commenting just for the sake of commenting or come out and try to stop when something is wrong.
    its easier to comment just to pass time,right???? its okey!! but dont say that “Christians claim that their God is the only God” yes he is he true god, if being a christian u dont understand it ,then its better for you to go to those temples and worship idols.
    i respect all those hindus who got converted to christianity because they realised jesus is the only god. they are actual christians.just think for a moment why a person changes his/her religion??? because they are not like you,who being a christian never understood who is true god!!!!
    its true that jesus said” everyone who calls me master ,is not mine”” i think it suits you.

  7. KEVIN said

    chetanachaitanya Says:

    But Please,
    Come to our places and see what’s actually happening.
    What Christians are doing in the name of Jesus and did in the name of Christianity.

    How long you people wish a hindu to tolerate all these? How long….?

    can u pls give the address and name of place let me come and see what christians have done???


  8. helen said

    Hey guys….I have read the debate. I am a christian who lives outside India in a country with diverse religions, cultures,classes and who is tolerant and respectful of all religions. It is a wealthy country and need not necessarily be tolerant of other religions. Yet all religions live in peace and harmony. We should not forget that we are Indians first and then belong to a religion. Our aim should be to work shoulder to shoulder to build our country and contribute towards its progress in the face of growing competition from other countries. Our leaders like Mahatma Gandhi have taught us by example to uphold the tenets of all religions and live like brothers to build a strong nation. The deeds of the Bajrang Dal/VHP are atrocious and should be condemned by all Christians, Hindus, Muslims and other minorities. I do not agree with the New Life preachers either who provoke these intense emotions. Live and let live should be the motto. Let us all combine our intellect and energies into building a new and wonderful INDIA.

  9. Paul said

    These are the last days thats why christians are being persecuted, but God will one day hold all those guilty and then hey will bow down to the Son of the living God and every eye will see him, lets endure these hard times the warriors in the heavens are there to protect us so be of good cheer.This govt will fall soon i pray, cause there is no justice, we only have offered good schools and hospitals orphangesto all.GOd see’s the hear of man He laughs for the day of the wicked is comming close Amen to Jesus who lives forever He will rescue us yet a little more time this gospel will be preached to all .

  10. Roshan said

    Today i saw Police hitting innocent people including women who were inside the holy place, what kind of police force we have and in what authority they do this, and what the Government is doing. This is a Republic country and every community, Caste has theier rights to worship their Religion. But yesterday Bajaranga dal and today police itself attacking on innocent people is not tollerated. Government should take action against Bajaranga dal because it is local Terrorism. This is really a serious matter and if it is taken lightly then Mangalore would be a dangerous place to live in. This problem has only one solution Take strict action against Bajaranga dal anyone doing crime, terror or damage to the public property in these sangha names should be arrested and punished according to the Law and Police must be warned against hitting to the innocent people. One more thing there are incident of crimes (6 today) and this is seriously enquired and the criminals must be punished. I just want to quote the section 144, the people who attacked by police were not doing anything against the law.
    “Central Government Act Section 144 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860
    Joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon. Whoever, being armed with any deadly weapon, or with anything which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

  11. Lydia Pais said

    I read about the attack on It was horrible. first time in Mangalore such a thing is happening. This is a peaceful place, hindus christians, muslims have lived together in peace for many years until the bajrang dal raised their head here. The bjp which has come to pwoer in Karnataka is encouraging this violence. They dont understand that conversions were not done by catholics but by the new life group which is hated by the catholic themselves. they did not convert but distributed pamplets i believe which spoke against hindu gods. they should have put them in prison insted of destroyed holy sacrament and breaking cross which is most holy to the christians.

  12. Ragni said

    The point I am trying to focus is this that India is a multi religious, multi cultural country. People worship different gods which they have been worshipping prior to arrival of Christianity in India. Yes we (Christian) believe that Jesus is the only true God and there are no other gods but the Big question is how we project this truth? Jesus said “I am the Truth, Way and Life” but how true it is when non christians see us? By condemnining their gods, by proclaiming their gods as false gods are we witnessing what Jesus asked us to do?
    Dear Kevin, what you have quoted above about my saying is like quoting irrelated Bible verse to suit one’s idea. This is how we are selling Jesus in the market place. We have moulded HIM as per our whims and wishes and forgot His true identity.
    If Jesus is Truth, Way and Life then it is the duty of every Christian to prove it. If this can be witnessed in every Christian life no matter whether it is Bajrang dal, VHP, RSS no one will touch any Christian because instead of hating their gods we are disseminating love that our Lord has given to us. Secondly, non-chrostians know Christian by Christian not by the name of denomination, so it is equally important that all denominations be responsible in preaching Christ to non-christians. Do not hurt others faith but let us fill others life with love, peace instead of condemning their faith and God.
    Please do not misquote other people.

  13. RC said

    India is going to HELL. we have let the British win and our forefathers fail in their efforts to establish a united country. Its pitiful and pathetic.

  14. VARAD said

    dear christian brothers,
    i have a few doubts which i felt are best cleared with you people as you know the most about the incidents…

    Does the Diocese of Mangalore support conversions?

    If yes ,why does its archbishop lie in a press conference that they are against it?

    If no,why do they condemn the attacks on a non catholic goup called NEWLIFE,which has a sole purpose of converting hindus into christanity,by giving money and other inducements?

    Why do the christians react, eventhough, hindu leaders make it clear in a press conference that the the attack was not on churches or christians ,but only those who derogate hindu gods and undermine the integrity of hinduism?

    Why do the gongs of churches sound the whole day,and provoke christians to block roads,stone vehicles and damage properties of hindus?Is the church bell not supposed to be used for the sole purpose of prayer?Or is it outsourced as emrgency alarms in times of crisis?

  15. varad said

    guys chek this out

  16. Roshni said

    Though my parents are from India and have great admiration towards the mother country and its culture, I lost all the confidence and the respect towards my parental country. Looks like same experience my peer groups and also the younger generation will be having towards this country. India lost the reputation through out the world when Grahams were killed. Our last admonition, if any, to the authorities of India save the reputation if any left and the future Bharat so that we migrated Indians can be proud of our country.

    University of Toronto

  17. Bro. Alex Dhanvate said

    Praise The Lord
    LORD I pray open the eyes of these people, that they may know the Truth,
    “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. John 8:32
    LORD You Said “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”. Hosea 4:6
    So Father in Heaven I pray reveal the TRUTH that they may know who You are. Amen!!
    I want to ask two questions to all who have taken the responsibility for all the damages, destruction
    to the Christians?
    1) If you die where will you go? (Heaven/hell)
    If you think, what you have been taught in this world that if you do good you will receive good,
    Presume what you have been doing (called good), will it lead you to heaven?
    and if so, at the gate of Heaven you see God standing, and asks you,
    “Why should I let you in to My Heaven”?
    2) What will you answer?
    Will you tell Him
    1) “Lord for You I have stopped people from preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
    2) “Lord for You I have stoned people who were preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
    3) “Lord for You I have Burned the Churches, for they were preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
    4) “Lord for You I have Burned people alive for they were preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
    5) “Lord for You I have Killed people for they were preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
    “Lord because this is the teaching they were giving from the BIBLE to the people …..

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
    Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men. 1Timothy2:5
    Jesus said “I am The Way, The Truth and The Life.” John 14:6
    Jesus said “No one comes to the Father except through Me”. John 14:6
    Jesus Said “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, They follow me, I give them eternal life and no one can snatch them from My hand”. John 10:27
    “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:13 – Jesus Christ himself.
    Jesus said “So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time”. Mark 13:23
    God Said “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”. Hosea 4:6
    “Believe in Lord Jesus Christ and be Saved – you and your household”. Acts 16:31

    What do you think; will GOD say to you? so called Religious people.
    I want you to ask a question to your self, will this Killings and Destruction be accepted by God?
    Did God tell you to do this Killing people, Destroying Churches?

    My Bible says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” John 10:10

    This is what our LORD Jesus taught us “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

    My Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
    Love and peace be with you forever,
    We give Glory to GOD
    We worship true and living GOD
    “Believe in Lord Jesus Christ and be Saved – you and your household”. Acts 16:31
    The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.
    We Still Bless You in the Matchless name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    God Bless You,
    Bro. Alex Dhanvate.

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