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Are Hindus Persecuting Christians? Yes

 

JANE S. writes:

Priya writes in the discussion on Hindu patriarchy:

“I am not distorting any fact. There is no Christian persecution by Hindu society in general.”

Here is the Wikipedia entry on violence against Christians in India, which includes arson of churches, burning of Bibles, raping of nuns, murder of priests, desecration of Christian cemeteries, among other pleasantries. If this is what you call “no” persecution “in general,” what would they have to do for you to call it “real” persecution?

Priya writes:

“Whatever clashes that are occurring are in the tribal belts,”

According to Wikipedia, violence against Christians has occurred in nearly all parts of India, though mostly in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and the capital area of New Delhi.

Since when are Gujarat, Karnataka and New Delhi “tribal belts”?

Priya writes:

“… where the missionaries are involved in wholesale conversion activities.”

As I understand it, most of the converts to Christianity are dalits, the untouchables in Hindu society. Caste Hindus believe they can pollute themselves just by passing through a dalit’s shadow. Dalits can defile a temple just by looking at it. Small wonder Christianity appeals to them. Under Christianity, they are beloved by God the same as any of his children. Under Hinduism, they are not even considered human.

Why wouldn’t there be repercussions?

Well, I don’t know, Priya, why should there be? Christian missionaries are there spreading the message of Christ’s love to the social garbage of India. Following Christ is completely voluntary, but Hindus don’t like it, and so they use violence, because they really do not think choices like that should be voluntary.

It goes back to the beginning of this discussion, in which Priya claimed the fact that there were people who tried to prevent widows from committing sati proved that it was completely voluntary. Nuttiest logic I have ever heard.

Jane adds:

Let’s imagine, for example, that Hindus come to the United States and begin converting large numbers of dopey New-Age hippies to Hinduism, in tribal outposts like Berkeley, California. (This could never really happen, but let’s pretend it does.) Say Christians don’t like it, so they retaliate with arson, looting, rape, murder and other acts of violence. Now here’s me: “There is no persecution of Hindus in general {yawn}. And if there is, it’s no biggie. Why wouldn’t there be repercussions?”

That’s Priya’s response in a nutshell. Boy, am I glad when people with that attitude come here. That’s exactly what we need more of.

                             — Comments —

Priya writes:

Jane S. writes ” Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and the capital area of New Delhi”

I hope she understands these are “states”.

“Christian missionaries are there spreading the message of Christ’s love to the social garbage of India. Following Christ is completely voluntary, but Hindus don’t like it, and so they use violence, because they really do not think choices like that should be voluntary.”

There is no problem if people convert voluntary, when they are truly transformed by the Christian faith. In fact the constitution, society allows it.

The problem begins when foreigners and their Indian representatives involve in denigration of the Hindu faith and use that as a stepping stone to conversion.

 Laura writes:

If one is Hindu, one rejects Christianity. And if one is Christian, one rejects Hinduism. All conversion involves denigration of a former worldview.

Priya continues:

I had already pointed out, how Indian government was advised as far back in 1955, to ban foreigners and locals who are involved in these activities.

The most heinous act: Murder of 87 year old Swami Laxmananda committed by Maoists, who are collaborating with the Church. Why? Because he was engaged in reconversion activities.

 Is spreading the message of Christ, of peace and love, worth the murder of 87-year-old monk and four others including a four-year-old boy?

Jane needs to read what a Christian reporter said regarding the supposed Christian persecution in the state of Karnataka.

Jane should also watch these videos, here and here, before commenting.

 If Hindus were involved in conversion and encountered resistance here in U.S., of course, the U.S. society is going to retaliate, maybe even violently. [Laura writes: That's not how conversion activities are viewed here.] Depends on whether Christian faith was denigrated during these conversion activities. [Again, acceptance of one worldview involves rejection and denigration of another worldview.] Only the elite liberals would be jumping up and down “Christians are persecuting Hindus” without going into the details on how Hindus are denigrating the majority faith. [There isn't the slightest interest in violently retaliating against Hindus here.] But people like me, would look at the root cause and not go by what the liberals say. Jane is commenting exactly like a liberal, when it comes to Hindu-Christian relatons in India.

Just like in U.S., the rapists and murderers of Christians are being tried and convicted. But there is one exception, the murderers of Swami Laxmananda are not yet caught.

 Jane should be glad that people like me who while in U.S. support the rights of the majority culture of their host country and have a traditional perspective and not work against the majority. [Jane was not objecting to the presence of Hindus in this country. She was pointing to the absence of hostility toward them and the lack of resentment regarding the rise of Hinduism here.]

Aditya B. writes:

Perhaps Priya can comment comment on the Gujarat government’s Freedom of Religion Act, 2003.

How will she defend such a brazen attempt to interfere with the Christian faith and community?

Priya’s disingenuous views are risible. There is anti Christian persecution and its undeniable. Such denial is impossible when a state government enacts an anti-conversion law, more or less, targeted at Christian missionaries and converts.

MAY 27

Jane writes:

Recall that this discussion started out about sati, a practice thousands of years old, involving millions of women, including women who were tied down, women who were drugged, and women who tried to run away, but were caught and forced back into the flames. Also child widows, not old enough to decide what to have for breakfast, who were nevertheless given the option to burn themselves alive.

For her part, Priya offers one inscription, citing people who tried to dissuade women from committing sati, as proof that it was voluntary. Not just voluntary, but completely voluntary. She won’t give a reason as to why women no longer voluntarily participate in this ritual. If they chose to do it then, it stands to reason they would choose to do it now. But she won’t explain that either.

Then, with the same daft pomposity, Priya goes on to assert that there is no persecution of Christians in India, but even if there is, it is justified, as far as she is concerned.

Priya, you really like giving reading assignments, you should try sometime reading them yourself. According to Wikipedia, members of Christian groups were accused of murdering Swami Lakshmanananda and the others. It also says that a Communist Party leader claimed responsibility for the killings and that a Maoist couple admitted to being involved and surrendered to police. People don’t normally confess to murders they did not commit. Moreover, Maoists are the arch nemesis of Christians; they are not known for joining together in a common cause against Hindus. I know it doesn’t do any good to point things like that out. A mountain of evidence won’t make a dent with you.

Putting this incident on a par with the attacks against Christians in India is absurd on its face, and Priya you have been very consistent in that regard. Christians in the U.S. do not attack Hindus but I am fully confident that discerning that is beyond your reach. Here, murdering someone is a serious crime; the suspect is put on trial and, if found guilty, faces prison, maybe even execution. Are people who attack Christians in India punished with the same severity? This is doubtful, considering the fact that, in India, the thugs, the police and the lawmakers are all part of the same group.

A while back, I was trying to get Aditya to cut Hindus some slack, and persuade him that they aren’t as pigheaded and intractable as he makes them out to be. Are you trying to prove him right deliberately, or do you do it without being aware?

Putting down other people’s religion is not nice. No doubt many Christians have done it. In the case of Hindu belief, to turn people off you really only have to describe it the way it is. What’s there to like about it? Aside from the fact that your goddess gets to stomp around wearing a necklace of severed heads, I can’t think of one thing. Under Hinduism, being born is a punishment. Being born female is a curse. There is no guarantee you’ll even be human in your next life. You could come back as an animal or an inanimate object. This discussion with you makes me think there are people who aspire to reincarnate as a brick wall.

India is full of people who would rip out and sell their kidneys to come to here. But not vice versa. Nevertheless, Priya advises me that I should be glad she has come to the U.S. and drops around this site. Typical, typical. Who are you to tell me how to feel, Priya? You made the choice to leave your country, and you think I’m the one who should feel grateful. For crying out loud, you’ve forgotten to mention that Hindus are better treated by Americans in the U.S. than they are in India, by other Hindus, which has everything to do with why you came.

At this point, I see no reason—absolutely none—for being glad when someone immigrates here, just because they feel good about themselves for doing so. We are in a desperate struggle to conserve our way of life, one which is coveted by people all over the world. You are not part of the help. You are much closer to being the hindrance.

You think you can win encounters by showing off how much you know about Hinduism. Let’s see how much you know about American culture, American traditions, American values, American history or American exceptionalism. The answer is “none of the above,” though it’s likely you plan to make your stay here permanent. Feel free to prove it by neglecting to say anything that shows a glimmer of insight into any of those things. Be my guest.

Mathew writes from India:

Jane. S has asserted that Christians are persecuted by Hindus. Does she live in India and what does she base this on ? As a Christian who has lived most of his life in India this is news to me. Personally I havent experienced a single incident in my years here that has hinted at persecution. The most powerful politician in India today is a Roman Catholic woman. PM Singh is just a puppet in her hands and is widely ridiculed as being too meek.The current Indian defence minister is also a Christian and so are several Chief minsters of the state(analogous to your Governor).The next Indian president who is to be elected in July, will in good likelihood be a Roman Catholic (PA Sangma).Can a persecuted community have so many national leaders?

There have been some scattered but prominent incidents especially the Orissa riots of 2007-2008 and Graham Staines which was horrible. But these are brought about by  small pockets of Hindu extremists and iliiterate locals spread thinly across the country who believe in a strict version of their faith called Hindutva.There is a reason they are in the minority- many Hindus reject their certitude; the actions of a few are not reflective of the larger population.

I believe Hinduism is just myth and silly superstition but accusing them of intolerance as a whole is unfair and irresponsible.

A large number of Hindus have a subconscious strand of atheism or spiritual open-mindedness , which is probably why the Muslim dynasties and later the British were quick to overrun them! As for the anti-conversion sentiment in Gujarat  a large part of it has to do with the anti-Islamic and anti-colonial resentment that still lingers even 60 years after independance. Still the 2003 act deals specifically with coercion or fraudulent conversion ; the fraudulent part isn’t  entirely unjustified. Recently there have been accusations of some form of organised conversion although I am not sure of the level of the truth in it. It is called Love Jihad on Wikipedia.

MAY 28th

Jane S. writes:

Mathew writes from India:

“Jane. S has asserted that Christians are persecuted by Hindus. Does she live in India and what does she base this on ?”

No, but I’ve lived in a neighboring Hindu country where Christianity is, in fact, illegal.

“As a Christian who has lived most of his life in India this is news to me. Personally I havent experienced a single incident in my years here that has hinted at persecution.”

Once again, here’s the Wikipedia entry entitled “Anti-Christian Violence in India,” which includes “arson of churches, re-conversion of Christians to Hinduism by force and threats of physical violence, distribution of threatening literature, burning of Bibles, raping of nuns, murder of Christian priests and destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries.”

Some of these incidents have made international headlines, such as the Australian missionary and his two boys who were burned alive in their car. Are you claiming that these incidents did not happen, or that they are not correctly referred to as persecution?

“There have been some scattered but prominent incidents especially the Orissa riots of 2007-2008 and Graham Staines which was horrible. But these are brought about by small pockets of Hindu extremists and iliiterate locals spread thinly across the country who believe in a strict version of their faith called Hindutva. There is a reason they are in the minority- many Hindus reject their certitude; the actions of a few are not reflective of the larger population.”

I did not say that violence against Christians is reflective of the larger population. But I did not make my point clearly, so let me try again.

Violence against Christians happens in India because Hindus are the majority. Violence against Hindus in the United States is virtually non-existent, save for an incident here and there, because Christians are the majority.

The United States is a better society and a better place to live for people of all faiths because it was created based on Christian morality. Did I say that plain enough? Hindus, like everyone else on God’s earth, immigrate here because they know they will be better treated than they are, by their own people, in their own country. But they will deny that it has anything to do with the United States’ Christian foundation.

Now, because I’m fairly sure that someone who reads this will misunderstand me, let me reiterate that I am not claiming that there are no bad Christians, or that Christians don’t do bad things. Christians are sinners, perpetually in need of God’s redemption, just like everyone else. But they created the United States, the best kind of society ever known to man, where all different kinds of people can live together in peace. There has never been a place like this, where ordinary people live in a manner the pharaohs of Egypt might have envied.

“I believe Hinduism is just myth and silly superstition but accusing them of intolerance as a whole is unfair and irresponsible.”

Saying that India is a violent place is not unfair and irresponsible. It is a fact.

If I had to use one word to describe Hindus, it would not be intolerant; it would be controlling. If there’s one thing I can say about almost every Hindu I’ve met, they can’t lay off telling people what to do.

“A large number of Hindus have a subconscious strand of atheism or spiritual open-mindedness , which is probably why the Muslim dynasties and later the British were quick to overrun them!”

I never thought about Hinduism having a subconscious strand of atheism, but that is a very interesting point. I’ve heard it said that you can believe in many gods, one god, or no god at all and still be a good Hindu. So what you’re saying makes sense.

As for the British being “quick to overrun” India, the British began trading in India 1600. Then the various Indian princely states invited the British military to mix in with their neighborly squabbles. The British crown took over in the mid-19th century. How is that properly described “quickly overrunning” India?

Again, just to make myself clear, I’m not defending British imperialism. The British ruled us, too, but we didn’t like having a king, so we kicked them out, after a prolonged and violent struggle. Two and a half centuries later, we aren’t still simmering with “anti-colonial resentment.” We are better off for having been colonized by the British. India is, too.

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