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Missionaries Face Opposition in India

on 2001/6/19 9:42:02 ( 1434 reads )


ONTARIO, CANADA, June 7, 2001: Two reports appeared recently on the evangelical site, "" The first states, "National and expatriate Christians in India continue to face threats and false accusations, as the Gospel continues to spread throughout the subcontinent. Gladys Staines, widow of Graham Staines, an Australian missionary slain in 1999 along with his two sons, is facing a visa expiration in August and Indian officials have made it clear they do not intend to renew it. The state government is also attempting to repossess the leprosy hospital that Mrs. Staines has been raising funds for, in memory of her husband. Another missionary in the southern state of Karnataka is facing imminent deportation. 79-year-old Francois Marie Godest has served in India since 1948 and has indicated that he wishes to stay in India until he dies. The government, however, is refusing to renew his residence permit." The second says, "On Friday, VOM's Finnish mission, Stephanus-Lahetys Ry, reported that in the last week of May in the village of Funda, Kalahanda area, in Orissa, a Hindu temple was burnt down by an unknown person/persons. The police are investigating the case, but with no results to the present time. Unfortunately, Hindus are accusing Christians of the crime. There are about 100 Christian families living in the area. Shortly after the arson, groups of Hindus began going from one Christian house to another, asking about the incident and threatening the inhabitants. Joseph Senapati, an evangelist who lived in Funda was beaten when, on Monday, June 4th, a Hindu mob came into his house to threaten him. The situation became so dangerous that he had to flee with his family. Four other Christian families have also fled to a safer place, leaving behind their homes, cows and other possessions. There are still nearly a hundred families in the area facing the hatred and violence of Hindu gangs. The Hindus have blocked the roads to prevent Christians from escaping. The police are proving to be of no help to the Christians. Two Christian families have been forced to convert to the Hindu religion."

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