An illustration of Jesus holding a can of beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other has sparked outrage among India’s Christian community.
What’s worse is that the image was published in a textbook for primary school children. The beer-drinking Jesus illustration was found under the letter “I,” for idol, in a textbook teaching children how to write cursive.
“Jesus Christ, who we, along with other Christians across the world, consider as the Son of God, was demeaned,” expressed the Indian Catholic Youth Movement of the Shillong Archdiocese in a statement. “The publication of the despicable picture has deeply hurt our religious sentiments, and its publisher has manifestly breached the provisions of the Constitution of India.” more >>
Police in the southern Indian state of Karnataka arrested and tortured 11 tribal Christians for allegedly forcefully converting Hindus, a Christian persecution watchdog reported Monday.
Washington-based International Christian Concern recently learned that the group of tribal Christians, which included four women, was jailed on Feb. 2. They were all released on bond two days later after local Christian leaders intervened.
“We condemn the Indian police for arresting and torturing the eleven tribal Christians,” said Jonathan Racho, regional manager for Africa and South Asia at ICC, in a statement Monday. “We urge India to stop targeting the victims of persecution and protect them against attacks by Hindu radicals.” more >>
North east India has a high concentration of Christians, but there are fears that this fact is being exploited by criminals disguising themselves as missionaries and evangelists in order to traffic children.
Last month, over 70 such malnourished children from Manipur, Nagaland, and other north eastern states were rescued from a home at Kuzhithurai in Kanyakumari district.
Families, particularly in Manipur, are reportedly sending their children off into the hands of traffickers who promise to give them an education or employment, as highlighted recently by the Times of India. more >>
There were protests by Hindu groups on Tuesday as an EU delegation arrived in India’s Orissa state to visit areas where dozens of Christians were killed in 2008.
Five members of the radical Hindu Banjrang Dal group were arrested during protests at the airport of state capital Bhubaneshwar as the 11-member delegation touched down, according to the Indo-Asian News Service.
The delegation, led by deputy chief of mission in the Spanish embassy Ramon Moreno, will meet victims of the attacks and government officials to discuss efforts to restore security in the area and resettle the thousands who lost their homes in the violence. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – Weary of international scrutiny of troubled Kandhamal district in Orissa state, officials yesterday finally allowed delegates from the European Union (EU) to visit affected areas – as long as they do no fact-finding.
A team of 13 diplomats from the EU was to begin its four-day tour of Kandhamal district yesterday, but the federal government had refused to give the required clearance to visit the area, which was wracked by anti-Christian violence in 2008. A facilitator of the delegation said that authorities then reversed themselves and yesterday gave approval to the team.
The team plans to visit Kandhamal early next month to assess the state government’s efforts in rehabilitating victims and prosecuting attackers in the district, where a spate of anti-Christian violence in August-September 2008 killed over 100 people and burned 4,640 houses, 252 churches and 13 educational institutions. more >>
An evangelistic festival headlined by Franklin Graham ended Sunday in southeast India with an overflow crowd of nearly 85,000 people.
On the final night of the Chennai Hope Festival, held in the southeast coastal city of Chennai, more than 1,600 people came forward to accept Jesus Christ as their savior, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Volunteers quickly mobilized to connect those who came forward with a new church home.
Graham on Sunday preached about the story of the prodigal son and how only Jesus Christ can fill the emptiness of our souls. The crowd responded to the message with prayer and by coming forward to accept Jesus. more >>