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Reply to Amitabh Tripathi

Reader comment on item: Christianity Dying in Its Birthplace
in response to reader comment: Two sides of coin

Submitted by Rick (Canada), Sep 21, 2005 at 05:11

Mr. Tripathi,... I did not paint the entire Hindu community with the same brush, I only identified the fringe and fanatical elements among them, which is growing at an alarming rate. However, your blatant and flat denials sound much like a Moslem defending the Koran and saying that Islam is a religion of peace in spite of all the carnage caused by them everywhere. You say that there is not a single instance where Churches or Christians have been attacked? ... I am a member of an organization in the U.S and Canada that keeps tabs on Christian persecution around the world and hence my allegations are not baseless or unfounded.

The Center of religious freedom in Washington DC which is a division of freedom house founded by Eleanor Roosevelt compiled a scathing 148 page report on religious freedom in India. Here is a quote from the center's director Ms Nina Shea "Despite the continued integrity of some of India's proud democratic institutions, the hate-filled, often violent, Hindu nationalist trend, with key BJP support, is threatening India's tradition of tolerance and its reputation as a liberal, pluralistic democracy, A country once personified by Mahatma Gandhi is becoming known for religious hatred and violence," The Barnabas fund, International Christian concern and Christian solidarity worldwide are just some of the other organizations, which will give you an inkling of what Christians are also facing in India.

Without doubt Christians are on the receiving end of this hateful violence as they are considered a foreign religion. I could narrate a list of attacks on Christians as well as Churches and Bibles being desecrated and burnt in the last ten years, which would take volumes to fill. Even nuns from mother Teresa's sisters of Charity whose compassion and selfless devotion to humanity are known worldwide are beaten and looted on their way to provide aid to the poor. (Christian Solidarity worldwide) Do you remember the cowardly murder of Graham Staines and his two little sons Mr. Tripathi?? Why were they murdered?? Even though they were helping the lepers and not proselytizing as you claim.

Talking about proselytizing, tribes and other oppressed sections of Hindu society are voluntarily converting to Christianity and not because of any monetary enticements or coercion under threat of death. They are leaving Hinduism because they are considered subhuman and unequal in a caste and class ridden society. They are doing it to break away from the shackles of Hinduism that has suppressed them for centuries and because Christianity believes that all men are equal. Even the aborigines of Australia and the Native Americans were not treated in this inhuman way. Besides, if they are making this choice to convert of their own free will I do not see why anyone should have a problem... I also beg to differ on your claim that Christians are given equal voice in politics. Sonia Gandhi who would have been Prime minister had to step down in the face of massive Hindu opposition on the grounds that she was a Christian.

As I said before, I did not paint the entire community with the same brush, my attack is against the fanatics, but if the cap fits you then wear it. I know that the majority of Hindus are tolerant and peace loving and unlike Islamic countries Christians enjoy much more freedom. But there is this dark side of Hinduism, which is surfacing, and if tolerant Hindus (if you are one) do not take concrete action to nip this in the bud then your religion will also be tarnished. Do not be like lip service Moslems who blow hot air and do nothing although they say their religion is peaceful. Hindus have up to now shown to be more civilized and I hope you try to keep it that way.
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