• Magazine Web Edition
  • July/August/September 2019
  • Let's Talk about Christian Persecution
  • Let's Talk about Christian Persecution

    OPINION



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    Missionaries charge Hindus with persecution; the reality is the opposite


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    BY MARIA WIRTH




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    LIES ARE OFTEN DISGUISED AS SURVEYS. OPEN Doors, a Christian organization with a global reach, recently issued its yearly ranking of the persecution by nations of Christians worldwide. People reading this list will now “know” that the level of persecution of Christians is extremely high in India, higher than in Syria or Nigeria. The British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, endorsed the list with a statement in January, 2019: “People of all faiths and none should have the freedom to believe what they choose, but that is clearly not the case across too much of the world.”


    But there is no other country where members of other religions are as safe as in India! Jews gratefully acknowledge that India is the one country where they were never persecuted. Syrian Christians, under their leader Thomas of Cana, were given refuge in the 4th century. Parsis came in the 10th century to escape the Muslim invaders in Persia. And in 1959, some 100,000 Tibetan Buddhists fled over high Himalayan mountains and found shelter in India. Yet now the British Foreign Secretary has endorsed the ranking of India in the “extreme level,” at number 10 among 50 countries.


    Of course, nobody should be persecuted for their faith. Yet why is there persecution? Who would persecute others for their faith? Only those whose ideology considers other faiths unacceptable. Three main ideologies—communism, Christianity and Islam—are known for not only persecuting, but killing dissenting voices in the millions. Communism wants to stamp out religion, as it considers it as a disease. Radical Islam wants to obliterate all other faiths except itself, and evangelical Christianity has the same goal. Open Door’s list clearly propagates falsehood in the name of this agenda.


    Most of the countries which top Open Door’s World Watch 2019 list may indeed deserve their rank of persecuting Christians. Communist North Korea ranks number one. Of the next 16, all are Muslim-majority countries, with one exception: Hindu-majority India, which ranks number ten.


    Why is India ranked as a country where Christians are persecuted? Is there an agenda to obfuscate and muddle the issue? Hinduism does not condemn other faiths as wrong and does not persecute others. It has the most liberal world view possible. Everyone can seek their own connection to the source of their being.


    But was there not a young American missionary killed by tribals in the Andaman Islands recently? Is this not persecution? Yes, he was killed. The Sentinelese tribe is cut off from civilization and hostile, and nobody is allowed to go to their island. Yet he went nevertheless, feeling called to bring the Gospel to them, as if they were in need of it. He was warned of the danger, but apparently felt possible martyrdom was worth the risk.


    This cannot possibly be called persecution of Christians. It was a defense against an unwanted intruder by tribals who earlier had bad experiences under the British colonial rule. These villagers have every right to protest against their Gods being called devils and being pestered to leave their ancient tradition. He crossed decent human behavior by not respecting others’ views—views that are not harmful to anyone. Unfortunately, Christian missionaries are notorious for crossing decent human behavior and for putting out misleading reports about what actually happened.


    The tactic can encompass even outright fake news. For example, alarmed friends sent me this message they received in November, 2018, and asked if there was any truth to it:


    “SAD NEWS: Pray for the Church in India. Last night 20 churches were burnt down. And tonight more than 200 churches in the Olisabang province are meant to be destroyed. They want to kill 200 missionaries in the next 24 hours. All Christians hide in villages… Send this message to all Christians whom you know the world over. Pray to God that He has mercy for our brothers and sisters in India. Please pray for the 22 Christian missionary families who have been condemned to be executed. When you receive this message, pass it on urgently to other people! With love. Joyce Meyer”


    A Google search shows this message has circulated since 2010 and is a hoax. Even the province doesn’t exist. Would a persecuted religious group dare to spread such blatant, outrageous lies? Would it dare to have a detailed plan like the Joshua Project does to convert the maximum number of Hindus? Who is actually persecuting whom? Yet instead of condemning the devious agenda of the missionaries, the world accuses India of persecuting Christians.


    Why? The West knows they cannot bully Islamic countries. But Western-oriented Indians willingly and falsely accuse Hindus of persecuting Christians. In this way, Hindus and India get a bad image and meanwhile generate media sympathy plus monetary support.


    The mainstream media has tremendous power to shape opinions. Churches have tremendous financial and political clout. Both cooperate to portray India and Hindus as intolerant of other religions—contrary to facts. Incidentally, Pakistan (number five on the list) benefits from the global lack of global good will toward India.


    No European or American country is listed among the 50 top countries where Christians are persecuted. But was there not a shooting in a church in the USA? Were Christian refugees in Europe not attacked by Muslim migrants? Are those French, German and English citizens, who were randomly stabbed or blown up in terror attacks, not targeted for their faith—for not being Muslim? Does this not count as persecution?


    In a tweet, I suggested to the British foreign secretary a slight change in his comment. Instead of “Nobody should be persecuted FOR his faith,” I suggested, “Nobody should be persecuted BY a faith.” Will he understand?


    MARIA WIRTH, 68, a freelance writer, has lived in India for the past 38 years. mariawirthblog.wordpress.com. And get her book: Thank You India, (search at) GarudaBooks.Com, Amazon.in, FlipKart.com


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