Pak: Three Hindu women forced to convert have to go back to their Muslim husbands *Pak: Hindus say judiciary has failed them

April 20, 2012 by  
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Pakistan, April 19, 2012: Pakistan’s Supreme Court rules against all three. Abducted back in February in Sindh province, they were forced to marry Muslim men. Families complain about pressure from powerful Muslim groups. All three received death threats.

Three young Hindu women abducted in February and forced to convert to Islam and marry three Muslim men must return to their husbands, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled. For the justices, the three women freely chose their fate. Their families object that they were placed under huge pressure from Muslim religious groups.

On 26 March, one of the three women, Rinkle Kumari (pictured), told the judges that she wanted to go back to her family. In her statement to the court, she said, “there is justice only for Muslims; there is no justice for Hindus. Kill me here in court, but don’t send me to Darul-Aman (Qur’anic school). All these people are hand in glove, they will kill us”.

The other two women expressed a similar desire to go back to their family.

“This is a great injustice,” said Hindu activist Dilip Kumar. “Three weeks ago, the three women said they wanted to go back to their parents, but the judges chose to send them to prison to put pressure on them.” If they had not returned to their husbands, he believes, Muslims would have killed them.

For Fr Anwar Patras, a priest from the diocese of Rawalpindi, the court bent to the will of Muslim groups who kidnap young Hindu and Christian women to force them to convert and become prostitutes.

“The government must adopt a law against forced conversions,” he said. “It is clear that the young women were put under pressure to convert. The Supreme Court was their last hope and it let them down.”

Rinkel Kumari, a 19-year-old Hindu student was abducted on 24 February in Mirpur Mathelo, a small village in Sindh (southeastern Pakistan), by a thugs hired by a rich Muslim scholar.

The two other women, Lata and Asha, were abducted in Jacobabad and Larkana.

In order to get their daughters back, the parents filed a petition with the Supreme Court to avoid the local Islamic court.

On 26 March, the three women appeared before the court, testifying that they had been forced to convert and that they wanted to go back to their families.

The justices incarcerated them to allow them “to reflect” on their choice without the possibility of meeting their parents.

Each month, 25 to 30 young women are abducted for a total of about 300 forced conversions and marriages a year.

Young Hindu but also Christian women and teenage girls are taken away from their families and handed over to their would-be husbands and torturers.

– asianews

Pak: Hindus say judiciary has failed them


Pakistan, April 19, 2012: Hindus say they have lost their faith in the judiciary after the Supreme Court yesterday opted to allow three young girls at the center of a tug of war case to decide their own futures.

Their families say they were kidnapped, married off to Muslim men and forced to convert to Islam.

The three girls yesterday chose to live with their husbands, after the top court ruled in Islamabad that they were old enough to decide for themselves.

One of them included Rinkle Kumari, whose family had accused a Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker of involvement in her alleged abduction and forced conversion.

The distraught parents of the girls however disputed the court’s decision yesterday, saying they were denied the right to speak to their daughters and that they didn’t make their choice from their own free will.

“They kept pleading but were not allowed to meet the girls. We were denied justice,” said Ramesh Kumar who brought the case to court.

“The country is becoming a land only for Muslims,” the patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council added.

The court sent the girls to a shelter last month to make a decision after one told the chief justice she wanted go back to her parents.

Rights workers criticized the move saying it gave the chance for clerics or police to threaten the girls who they say would have been under immense social and psychological pressure.

– ucan

Daniel’s Repentant Heart !!!

April 19, 2012 by  
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Daniel, a righteous man, had such devotion that you would not expect to find him repenting.

Daniel’s heart, however, was sensitive to sin and also he identified with the people’s sins.

“O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. . . . We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled. . . . Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land” (Daniel 9:8, 5-6).

Daniel repeatedly used the words we, us, our.

He was saying, in essence: “Every one of us is affected!”

The key to it all is found in this verse:

“And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God” (Daniel9:20).

Daniel said,

“God, deal with me while You are dealing with Your people. If there is any iniquity in my heart, bring it out.”

Daniel was given new lips that had been touched by God’s purging hand:

“And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake” (Daniel 10:16). Whenever Daniel spoke, he spoke “as unto the Lord.”

Isaiah was a godly man who had issued mighty prophecies, but when he stood before the Lord in all His holiness, this prophet could only say,

“I am a man of unclean lips . . .” (Isaiah 6:5).

God took coals of fire from the altar, put the tongs on Isaiah’s lips, and burned out all self and flesh—everything that was unlike Him. And then He gave Isaiah a new pair of lips!

I believe the prophet never again had to have his lips purged.

God does this for every person who repents!

Once your tongue and lips are purged, you will never again want to speak anything that is unlike Jesus.

The words that flow from you will be pure!

– david wilkerson

Hungary: “Discriminatory” new law criticised: Euro body

April 19, 2012 by  
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Hungary, April 18, 2012: Legislative reforms in Hungary that restrict religious freedom have been deemed “excessive” and “discriminatory” by the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional affairs.

Following widespread opposition to the country’s new constitution and associated laws, the Venice Commission was asked to examine the code, which came into effect on 1 January, to assess whether it complied with Hungary’s obligations under international human rights law.

Barnabas Fund was among those to raise concerns about restrictions to certain rights and freedoms, particularly for religious groups. A new law on religion granted state recognition to 14 religious groups and decertified the rest, meaning that over 300, including a number of major Protestant denominations and many small Catholic orders, lost their official status.

In its assessment published on 19 March, the Venice Commission confirmed our fears, identifying a number of sections of the act that fail to comply with internationally-recognised minimum standards, including aspects of religious freedom, freedom of association, access to effective remedies, and non-discrimination amongst religious beliefs and denominations.

It said:

The Act sets a range of requirements that are excessive and based on arbitrary criteria with regard to the recognition of a church.

The Act has led to a deregistration process of hundreds of previously lawfully recognised churches that can hardly be considered in line with international standards … The act induces, to some extent, an unequal and even discriminatory treatment of religious beliefs and communities, depending on whether they are recognised or not.

The Hungarian government has argued that one of the main justifications for the law is to prevent certain organisations that are masquerading as bone fide religious groups, while operating for illicit and harmful purposes or personal gain, from receiving public funding. The Venice Commission accepted that this was a “legitimate concern”.

In response to the Commission’s report, the Hungarian government has said that it intends to introduce amendments, but the details of these have not yet been made public. 

Other concerns about the constitution, chiefly restrictions on media freedom and the independence of the judiciary and central bank, have also been criticised by the EU and Council of Europe. The European Commission started legal action, known as “infringement proceedings”, against Hungary on 17 January. It is now considering the country’s response.   

– barnabas team

Vietnam: Orphanage raided & destroyed

April 19, 2012 by  
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Vietnam, April 18, 2012: A group of thugs stormed a Christian orphanage in a late night raid in Vietnam, beat the children and, with help from the police, destroyed the building.

The attack on the Agape Family Centre in the capital, Hanoi, started shortly after midnight on 14 April. The offenders cut the electricity before throwing stones and other objects at the building to frighten the children.

They stormed the building and beat the children; the thugs carried one child away, and as he tried to resist, they repeatedly slapped him round the face.

Around 200 policemen arrived, but rather than protect the children and round up the offenders, they helped the mob to destroy the centre. Witnesses said that it was the police and local authorities who sent the thugs to carry out the initial attack; it appears to be part of their ongoing campaign to harass and intimidate the country’s Christians.   

When Nguyen Van Binh, a local church leader who has been heavily involved in the orphanage, heard about the raid, he rushed to the scene but was blocked by police. They beat him with batons, and he received such severe blows to the head that he lost consciousness. He was taken to hospital, where his condition was described as life-threatening. Other Christians were also wounded during the attack.  

Local Christians denounced this latest act of state-sponsored persecution. One man expressed his dismay that, rather than respecting and encouraging the Church’s charitable activities, the authorities had destroyed the orphanage. 

– barnabas team

South Asia: Extremists attacking Christians & Sikhs

April 19, 2012 by  
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South Asia, April 17, 2012: Reports of Islamic extremists attacking people of others faiths in India and Pakistan have been growing in recent years, resulting in beatings and even beheadings.

On March 30, at a Christian church in the West Bengal state of India, a 65-year-old woman widow was beaten after Islamist extremists forced their way into the church, Compass Direct News reported. The 11 or so members of the church were attacked simply for gathering and worshipping Christ, and the Islamists called them “pagans” as they continuously kicked and beat them.

In the same area of Nutangram earlier in March, a 22-year old woman was driven from her predominantly Muslim village after she thanked Christ for being healed from an illness – apparently, even her Muslim parents joined in the subsequent attack by Islamists who wanted her and her beliefs out of the village.

The religious persecution is reportedly just as bad in neighboring Pakistan, where Christians are targeted even by government authorities. Currently, a Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, is on death row for allegedly blaspheming the name of the prophet Muhammad two years ago, an accusation filed by co-workers at a field she was working on.

Bibi insists all she was doing was defending her Christian faith, but has been jailed nonetheless – and even if the Pakistani court finds her not guilty and releases her, many Islamic leaders have placed a bounty on her head, The New American reported.

Islamic militants have also targeted Sikhs in the same region – according to The Associated Press, atrocities by Muslim extremists against religious minorities in the area are so common that they are at most only condemnation by officials, but rarely punished.

Militants captured three Sikhs returning from Afghanistan to their homes in Pakistan in 2010, demanding a ransom for the victims. Although two of the captives were rescued, 30-year-old Jaspal Singh was beheaded after his family was unable to provide the money for his release.

“That news pierced my heart,” said 62-year old Muhammed Khurshid Khan. “How could Muslims do such harm to such a peaceful community?” he added.

Khan, a Muslim and former government lawyer, took on “seva,” or selfless service, after the news of the beheading and began serving Sikh communities in Pakistan by polishing shoes and cooking meals in efforts to atone for the atrocities of the extremist members of his faith – but violence from militant Islamists against Christians and members of other religions continues to spread throughout the region.

– christian post

Andhra Pradesh: Pastor attacked in Dharmapuri

April 19, 2012 by  
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Andhra Pradesh, April 18, 2012: Pastor Ahron from Dharmapuri along with a believer Promod was attacked by RSS activists for distributing pocket calendars on Monday 16th April 11 am. While, the pastor was waiting to meet the local MLA Kople Easwar for some personal reason, the Hindu radicals noticed that the pastor was carrying the small pocket calendar. They asked pastor and forced him to part with the calendar. After receiving the small pocket calendar, they abused the pastor stating that he is converting people to Christianity in the temple town.

The RSS activists then took the pastor to Dharmapuri police station circle Inspector Mahender and registered a complaint on the basis of G.O. 746 & GO 747.

Further, on 17th April they called for a Dharmapuri local strike, demanding the pastors to be arrested & FIR to be filed, As of today they are planning to meet the circle Inspector. But the appointment is postponed for 19th April in the police station for further investigation & action on the basis of GO 746 & GO 747.(GO 746 and GO 747 issued on June 2, 2007 and the ‘Andhra Pradesh Propagation of Other Religions in the Places of Worship or Prayer (Prohibition) Act, 2007 passed by the Assembly on July 23, 2007. GO 746 has accorded a special status and dispensation to Tirumala by changing its nomenclature to ‘Tirumala Divya Kshetram’, GO 747 was issued notifying 19 Hindu temples for prohibiting propagation of other religions. They said these GOs “sidetrack and violate the fundamental rights of non-Hindu citizens and are bound to encourage more attacks by Sangh Parivar on Christians.


TN: Prayer meeting disrupted & believer attacked with a sword

April 19, 2012 by  
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Tamil Nadu, April 13, 2012: Pastor Y S John belongs to the Indian Pentecostal Church at Dalmiya Puram. He has about 100 believers in his church. On 12th April, Ms. Juli Dhanpaul, a member of his church, invited the pastor for a prayer at her house located in Venkatachalapuram village in Trichy city. About 30 believers were present at the prayer meeting.

At about 7 o’clock in the evening, a local rowdy, came and disrupted the prayer meeting and asked them to stop their prayer meeting immediately. Pastor’s nephew, Mr. John Britto (38), came out and tried to pacify the intruder and requested him not to interrupt and disturb the meeting as it was a regular prayer meeting. Instead of heeding to his request, the enraged rowdy took out his sword and attacked Mr. John Britto and almost cut off his left hand.

On learning about the tragic incident, the GCIC’s Trichy co-ordinator, Pastor Dhanpaul Daniel, rushed to the spot and got in touch with the family and immediately sent for an ambulance and made necessary arrangements for the hospitalization of Mr. Britto. Mr. Britto is currently undergoing treatment in the Government Hospital at Trichy. A complaint about the tragic attack has been lodged at the Dalmiya Puram Police Station, and the investigations are on.


Cardinal Oswald on the Benedict XVI’s 7 years & the Indian Church

April 19, 2012 by  
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India, April 19, 2012: Before with John Paul II, and especially today with Pope Ratzinger, the Church in India has changed from being a “needy” Church to one that “goes” on mission. The Archbishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias traces the path of the Indian Church in the years of the papacy of Benedict XVI: New Evangelization, the World Youth Days, religious freedom, schools and service among the poor and needy.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. For the occasion, the Church in India and its 18 million Catholics offer special prayers and liturgies in all the monasteries, chapels and religious institutions of the country. In New Delhi, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), presides over a solemn Eucharistic celebration at the Apostolic Nuncio. Concelebrating with him Msgr. Salvatore Pennacchio, Nuncio in India. Below is a reflection by Cardinal Gracias on the pontificate of Benedict XVI, and how the Church in India has taken on his mandate:

 The Indian Church is grateful to our beloved Holy Father and are expressing our joys and gratitude to His Holiness for these seven years of his Papacy, additionally, we also take this opportunity to greet the Holy Father on his 85th birthday. This momentous occasion gives us the happy opportunity to put into perspective, Pope Benedict XVI papacy and his message.

Our Pope Benedict XVI is truly in every way the Vicar of Christ, and central to His Papacy is Continuity and Change. Continuity both from our beloved John Paul II, and also means the Church must remain in living touch with tradition. Change signifies adaptation in response to new needs.

The Holy Father  has certainly continued in the traditions of JP2 of fearlessly proclaiming the gospel of .. and not to fear and to make Christ the centre of his life it s a message to all Christians and also to the whole world that’s what we appreciate much and want to follow much.

New Evangelization

The Indian Church is much enthused by the New Evangelization, which seeks a resurgence of faith in regions where faith is threatened by secularism .  For this we place at the Service of the Universal Church presence of Indian missionaries in 166 countries around the world. India, long considered as mission receiving Church, has become the prominent mission sending Church.

214 religious congregations are sending Indian members to the missions outside and some of them are taking full responsibilities of developing their mission areas.  And this is our gift to the Holy Father for the New Evangelization

Year of Faith

Benedict designated October’11 as the start of the Year of Faith. Not coincidentally, that’s the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Promoting the correct understanding of Vatican II as embodied in the Catechism is another key element of the Pope’s program.

For us here in India, Pope Benedict’s message for the 44th  World Peace Day Religious freedom – the path to peace:’ strengthen our commitment to the people of India to strive and defend Religious Freedom in our beloved multi cultural multi religious India.  

Besides Religious Freedom, the Holy Father’s ardent defense in favour of Democracy is a tool for defending human dignity, not for defining it Our Youth love Benedict XVI, and this is evident from the thousands who enthusiastically follow the Vicar of Christ to the World Youth Days.

The Indian Church continues to make significant progress to Nation Building through Education, Health and Welfare Ministires.  The Church in India serves the most unreached places, and selflessly serves the poorest of the poor and the marginalized, largely of the majority community.

In spite of being not even 3 percent of the population, the Catholic Church  reflects the Luminous Light of the Risen Christ through our works of charity and service to the people of India.  The Church in India, is a missionary Church is a strong community of faithful sharing their faith and life far and wide in the remotest arrears

In the field of Education, the church has made the tremendous  contribution to nation building. In Health Care, our tens of thousands of Religious are serving in rural remote underserved and unserved areas medically so this is again its contributions the church to nation building.

Thirdly, the social work the pastoral building of people church is doing so very much this is really the churches contribution to nation building. 

Hence, with great humility, I can offer to the Holy Father, on behalf of the Indian Church, that the Hope, His Holiness reposed in me for India, can be returned ‘fulfilled, beyond measure”

– asianews

A Beautiful Parable

April 14, 2012 by  
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We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.
May LOVE and all that goes with it be yours.

– fwd: vathan shettigar

MP: Mission India faces challenges

April 14, 2012 by  
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Madhya Pradesh, April 12, 2012: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) placed India on a “Watch List” for 2012, citing concerns that justice for past communal violence continues to be “slow and ineffective.”

The report also cites intimidation, harassment, and small-scale violence against members of religious minority groups. This is particularly true against Christians in states with anti-conversion laws.

Don Edwards, spokesman for Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India, says that’s no surprise. In fact, their teams have experienced just that kind of violence twice within the last couple of weeks.  

Edwards explains, “Conversions can’t be forced on somebody, or a person cannot be allured falsely to accept another religion. Those things are not happening. However, that’s what the Christian community is being accused of.”

Accusations usually begin with violence. The incidents he describes took place in Madhya Pradesh state, one of five states in India with an anti-conversion law on the books. 

One partner who was attacked works with the Children’s Bible Club program as an outreach to the community. He is also a pastor of a church. “While a church service was going on, a group of Hindu fundamentalists show up and attacked the pastor.” Then, Edwards says, “They ended up dragging the pastor and any other leaders to the police station and making the accusation that these people that they beat up are guilty of forcibly converting people to Christianity.”

Police jailed not the aggressors, but the victims. That’s good and bad, notes Edwards. The good, he says, is that the beaten Christians are protected for a little while. The bad? Justice is either meted slowly, or not at all.

However, Edwards goes on to say that does not stop the Gospel. The other partner that was attacked was also a church pastor. Two months ago, “He was conducting a worship service, and a group of RSS activists–Hindu fundamentalists–came in and beat the pastor and told him that if he returns to that place, they will harm everybody in the village and kill his family.”

The family moved to Rajasthan, at the urging of the congregation. Then,Edwards says, “After about a month, he came back to the same village and was conducting a worship service. Again, he was arrested by the police for conducting a worship service.”

While the USCIRF report recommended that the U.S. government urge India to increase training on human rights and religious freedom standards, Edwards says that will have little bearing on the spread of the Gospel.

In fact, the harassment and oppression has created not a weaker Church, but a bolder one. “When Christians are persecuted, at first, they need to be protected; but then God gives them courage to go back into the same place He’s called them to serve, and they continue to serve in that community.”

Aside from prayer and raising awareness, there are more ways you can help. Check our Featured Links Section.

– mnnonline

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