Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Violence against Christians in India

Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs has posted two important articles about recent anti-Christian violence in India (Here & Here).

One particularly moving passage is Johnson's retelling of the martyrdom of Graham Staines and his two sons in 1999.

"Jungle Camp" was an annual event in Manoharpur; Staines had been organizing them there for fourteen years. Graham and his sons were well known and well loved by the villagers there, and he would teach them every year on a broad range of subjects ranging from public health and hygiene to the gospel, which he proclaimed
unapologetically, but without pressuring villagers for conversions. Nevertheless, some 22 low-caste families had reportedly converted to Christianity over the years, and Hindu radicals in the surrounding district used the charge of "forced conversions" to incite hostility against Staines's work.

Sometime in the early-morning hours of January 23, a mob of more than 100 angry Hindu radicals approached the vehicle where Graham Staines, nine-year-old Philip, and seven-year-old Timothy were sleeping. The group surrounded the automobile,
trapping Staines and his sons inside. They doused it with gasoline and then torched it, burning Staines and his two young sons alive. According to a short news item featured in Christianity Today a couple of months later, "As the flames engulfed the vehicle, the mob danced and some shouted, 'Justice has been done; the Christians have been cremated in Hindu fashion.' The mob kept would-be rescuers at bay for more than an hour until making sure the missionary and his sons had died."

Please remember and pray for our brothers and sisters in India and the other places around the world where it is not always "safe" to labor for the Gospel.

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