Hatred of other religions is Normal - Why?
Radicals threaten to burn Christian pastor
Church congregation ejected, building vandalized with 'Om' symbol
September 8, 2007 © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
The wall of a Christian church in India vandalized by Hindus who object to the presence of Christians. Religious radicals have threatened to burn a Christian church's pastor and his family, and the church building was vandalized with a Hindu "Om" symbol, according to the Voice of the Martyrs, the worldwide ministry to persecuted Christians.
It's just the latest attack by Hindus on Christians around the world that Voice of the Martyrs has documented. In this latest attack, VOM sources within India reported that the attackers were members of the Hindu organization Hindu Ikyavedi.
Before the attack, Pastor Koshy Thomas and members of his family had been warned to stop holding worship services in their facility in Bangalore. A short time later the warnings turned into threats. "Two members of the Hindu radical organization Hindu Ikyavedi threatened to burn Pastor Thomas and his family to death if they did not vacate their home and stop worship services," VOM sources reported. Only a day later the radicals "barged into a prayer meeting, abused the believers using filthy language and assaulted the pastor's wife and another believer. They snatched a Bible from another man's hand and threw it out of the building," VOM's sources reported.
The Christians were ejected from the building, and then the building itself was vandalized. "The radicals vandalized the church building by drawing Hindu symbols, the trishul, swastika, Sanskritic Om and slogans such as 'Jai Shri Ram and Hindu Dharma is ours, who is Yesu?'" VOM reported. "They also conducted a Hindu religious rite inside the church and locked it."
Thomas has been pastoring the church, which includes about 50 members, for about a year, VOM said. "Pray God protects and provides for the pastor and believers in this area. Ask God to use the testimonies of Christians in India to draw non-believers into fellowship with Him," VOM said.
VOM said an earlier attack involved Pastor Pabitra Kata who was hospitalized with his injuries. Voice of the Martyrs said about three dozen Hindus attacked the pastor while he was returning from the home of a convert he'd been ministering to. "He was beaten with thick sticks, kicked on his jaw and face and dragged on the road," according to statements obtained by VOM from witnesses. "He was screaming because of the pain and praying out loud, asking God to forgive the attackers.
"He was bleeding profusely from his jaw and ear, and was unable to see. In spite of his painful cries, the attackers continued striking him until the police arrived and stopped the beating," the sources reported. He remains alive only because of that reluctant intervention, because VOM sources reported that after the attack it was discovered the extremists planned to murder him, then make a false report claiming he had died in an automobile accident.
Even within the United States, there have been attacks, although verbal instead of phsycial. As WND reported, the Hindu American Foundation has attacked Christians organizations ranging from the Southern Baptists' missions board and Gospel for Asia to Olive Tree Ministries, which aims to teach Christians about their beliefs.
"The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the Internet," said Vinay Vallabh, the lead author of a report that attacked the Christian groups for their expression of their beliefs.
"We must vigorously identify, condemn and counter those who use the Internet to espouse chauvinism and bigotry over the principles of pluralism and tolerance," Vallabh said.
Vallabh's report, called "Hyperlink to Hinduphobia: Online Hatred, Extremism and Bigotry Against Hindus," expresses his hope that Internet Service Providers will start censoring Christian postings of their beliefs, "a necessary step as we continue our balancing act between free speech and licentious speech that leads to violence in the electronic age."
WND also has reported on a "Christian college," St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., where officials recently appointed a Hindu activist to head the school's religion department.
That professor, Anantanand Rambachan, in an interview with Hinduism Today, condemned one of the principal tenets of Christianity – sharing one's faith, calling that an "obsession."
WND also reported when a prominent Hindu leader in the United States led the California state Senate in a prayer to "the transcendental."
VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.
It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.
He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.
The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.
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