Tag Archives: Christians

Attacks On Christians In Asia

Hundreds of years ago, European colonists entered southeast Asia in search of trade and commerce, but also bringing with them priests and missionaries to spread the words of Jesus Christ. For centuries, Christians enjoyed the protection of colonial guns, but with the advent of independence for Asian nations, the status of Christianity within predominantly Muslim nations has always been open to the prospect of violence. Over the past weekend, there were riots in Pakistan in which Christians were killed and dozens witnessed the burning of their homes.

Police are now investigating whether violence was planned or did it arise from spontaneous anger deriving from rumors that Christians somehow had desecrated a Koran. Perhaps, the Christians of the city of Gojira got caught in the path of Taliban militants fleeing their defeat in the Swat Valley which led to spreading rumors against Christians in order to cover up their tracks. There is no doubt, when in trouble in many Muslim nations, just find some Christians and initiate violence.

A failure of nations such as Pakistan is to have even the semblance of multicultural education that enables Muslims to learn something about their Christian neighbors. In the absence of knowledge, the virulence of ignorance can result in death and destruction.

Obama Urges Turkey To Be Bridge

President Barack Obama continued his voyage of diplomacy in Europe and the Middle East. On his visit to Turkey, the American leader urged Turkey to become an important bridge between Christian nations and the Muslim world. He emphasized as an American, “we don’t consider ourselves Christian, Jewish, Muslim. We consider ourselves a nation bound by a set of ideals and values.” He made clear his nation and Turkey could develop a new partnership which can bring together Muslims and Christians. The goal according to Obama is creation of a modern international community in which nations respect one another despite differences.

He also refused to back down on earlier statements that Armenians were murdered during the Ottoman Empire. Obama said it was time for both Armenians and Turks to move on and cease fighting old battles. No truer words could be spoken. The past is dead, we live in the present and if Turks disagree with the view that Armenians were murdered, so be it.

G.I. Atheist Sues Army Over Forced Religion

An American soldier, together with the Military Religion Freedom Foundation, is suing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates over the issue of forcing member of the military to attend sessions at which the Christian religion is propogated. Spc. Dustin Chalker argues he has been compelled to attend mandatory military formations where Christian prayer groups do their work of telling soldiers about the benefits of being a Christian. The Foundation recently uncovered videos which depict missionaries who were embedded with the American military urging the assembled soldiers to do their work of spreading Christianity among Muslims. They videos also show missionaries handing out Darsi-language bibles to Muslims.

In itself, this may not be the most grievous error of the Bush administration during the Iraq war, but it is symptomatic of the ineptness of those in charge of the American armed forces. To actually believe an American armed force is helping to deal with terrorists by handing out Bibles speaks volumes of the ignorance of Bush and the other fools around him. The Muslim world has been complaining since day one of the Iraq invasion that America is simply another “Crusader” sent to spread Christianity. The videos prove this view has a foundation in fact.

Christian Missionaries Invade North Africa

A new band of undercover Christian missionary is making an appearance in Muslim North Africa as the search for new converts extends to unexplored areas of humanity. The number of Moroccan Christians has supposedly grown this decade from 100 to about 1,500 which certainly should cause alarm to the millions of Muslims in the region. It is estimated there are about several thousand Algerian Muslims which should not be surprising given the extended French presence in that country. Christians are using television and the Internet to spread word of their religion. Amin, a young convert to Christianity, was told by his father to leave the house and seek help from Christians because he was no longer a member of the family.

Most new Christian missionaries do not have the extended knowledge of local cultures which was more common among earlier mission efforts. The new missionary is more likely to establish a business like a language school and use it as base to convert individuals. It is most likely that anyone who converts to Christianity while remaining in a Muslim area must pray and engage secretly in religious activities.

It always amazes this writer why people of religion become so upset if an individual decides to pray elsewhere. Isn’t the object to get a person in a connection with God? Oh well, I guess that is very naive since for some religions the real issue is how many join your group.

Religious Conflict Continues in India

During the past few weeks, India has witnessed virulent anti-Christian riots led by Hindu fundamentalists who have burned Christian villages, beat up people and forced others to convert to the Hindu religion. Rioters in southern India killed six members of a Muslim family by setting fire to their home. The deaths followed earlier riots in which four were killed and 15 wounded. A Muslim member of Parliament, Asaduddin Owaisi, bluntly said: “Despite our repeated pleas and appeals, the government has failed to provide protection to the Muslims who live in remote areas and who have a very small population those places.”

Ironically, after the initial religious wars which occurred when both nations were formed, there has been basically a fairly calm situation until in recent years, Hindu fundamentalists have become aggressive in rioting against Muslims and Christians.

Hindu Nationalists Against Conversions-Except Theirs

The 21st century has dawned with the amazing news that the old religious wars are once again alive and well in the world. Jews and Muslims fight in Israel and Hindus and Christians are engaged in a serious conflict in India. Hindu fundamentalists are furious at what they claim is an attempt by Christians to convert poor Hindus so they did the only thing one who is against forced conversions can do–use force to convert people to Hinduism. Siman Nayak was one of the Christians in the state of Orissa who was forced by Hindu nationalists to become a Hindu or face the consequences. “They told us if you do not become a Hindu we will hack you to death.” He was one of thirteen villagers who were surrounded by Hindu thugs waving axes and shouting for revenge after the death a few days earlier of a Hindu leader they claim was killed by Christians. Actually, a Maoist leader last week said he ordered the killing in protest against forced conversions by Hindus.

There are deep seated religious fears and ignorance at play in the riots that swept Orissa during the past month. Hindus are the majority in India but they refuse to exam why Hindus convert to Christianity. Perhaps, Christians are offering people something that is not present in the current Hindu approach to religion.

Serb Riot In Kosovo Against UN Forces

Serbs living in northern areas of Kosovo rioted against western peacekeepers in the worst unrest since the Muslim dominated government of Kosovo declared its independence. UN riot police backed by NATO helicopters and armored vehicles used stun grenades and teargas to restore control of a court-building occpied by Serb activists in the Serb controlled town of Mitrovica. Dozens of people were hurt in explosions and clashes after riot police stormed the building at dawn. Most of Mitrovica’s 40,000 people are Serbs who oppose the Muslim decision to make Kosovo an independent nation and break away from control by Serbia.

There is little question the 300 Serbs who took over the court house were being supported by Serbian officials. The protestors raised Serbian flags over the building and indicated they want to remain part of Serbia. Milan Ivanovie, the Serbian leader claimed the Kosovo govenment had ordered NATO forces to drive out the protestors. There is fear Serbia wants to create a separate Serbian led government in northern Kosovo which would run the area, and, in effect, declare its independence from the govenment of Kosovo.

As always, ethnic conflicts divide and separate people in Europe and other parts of the world. The tangled web of anger and hate will not soon disappear from Kosovo until its government and Serbia can create the semblance of peaceful relations.

Religious Intolerance In Indonesia

Human Rights activists blamed the Indonesian government for failing to halt attacks against followers of the Ahmadiyah sect in west Java. Chairman Hendardi of the Setara Institute said the government was not adhering to provisions of the Indonesian constitution which protects freedom of religion. On Tuesday, the Ahmadiyah worship complex in Kuningan was attacked by Muslims who want the entire religious center closed down because of their belief it fosters incorrect attitudes toward the Muslim religion. In Kuningan, local officials are ignoring insistence from the Vice President of Indonesia to reopen the religious complex. The head of the Kuningan local authority claims he has yet to receive a firm order from the government to end the closure of the center.

As of this point, no one who used violence against members of the Ahmadiyah sect have been charged with any crime. The nation of Indonesia allows free worship for members of many faiths, but it sometimes becomes derelict in protecting rights when fundamentalist Muslim groups display their anger. This Christmas it will be necessary in many parts of Indonesia for Christians to require police protection in order to worship due to fears of being attacked by the small number of Muslim fundamentalists who resort to violence in opposing those who differ.