I’ve saved up a few newspaper articles from papers here in Bangalore, and would like to share them with you.
The first shows that Christians are not the only targets of Muslims, from the Deccan Herald, Monday Sept. 27:
BANGALORE: Six persons sustained injuries, two seriously, and more than six vehicles were damaged when violence broke out between two communities in Chikka Bettahalli in Yelahanka police limits on Sunday evening.
Trouble started around 6pm when Lord Ganesha’s idol was being taken in procession past a mosque off Chikka Bettahalli Main Road on the way to the Veerasagara tank for immersion. Some miscreants hurled stones at the procession triggering the violence. Both sides started throwing stones at each other and at the vehicles.
I’ll admit, the idol worship around here is very, very prominent. Parades with idols (messing up the already bad traffic) seem impromptu and very pagan. The need is so obvious that I have often prayed for the deceived here in India.
The second article shows the very depth of poverty here. Please note that the comma splices are in the original article. The grammar in the newspapers here is rather poor in general. From The Hindu, Saturday, Sept. 25:
BANGALORE: Sakamma(48), a resident of Chikkarasanahalli in Tumkur district, now has a place to call her own. From being a poor widow, who could not afford one square meal a day, she is now economically independent.
She owes all this to a team of students from National public School, Indiranagar, who trained her to make manure by composting dry leaves.
Over 15 other women in Chikannanahalli, Sheebinayanapalya, and Chikkarasanahalli have follwed Sakamma. Like her, they have also taken up vermicomposting in their respective villages and earn over Rs. 600 a month now.
Folks, 600 Rupees is about $13.50USD. Per month. With this, she has a “place to call her own” and also enough meals to get by. This makes her annual income $162USD.
I’ve read a couple articles about the concern of sex ratios here. Here is an except from one of them that was in the Deccan Herald on Saturday, Oct. 2:
AHMEDABAD: …R Nanda told … that if efforts were not made to educate the parents going in for pre-birth elimination of females, then Gujarat could well become Punjab and Haryana in the next 10 years and brides would have to be brought from other states paying a heavy price. … In Gujarat the sex ratio had come down to 883 in 2001 from 928 in 1991. In Mehsana, in north Gujarat, the sex ratio was 801 girls to 1000 boys. Ideally, the ratio should be around 950.
This article bothers me, because in humans in general, almost 50% of births should be females, so saying the ratio “should be around 950″ is still terrible (101 male to 100 female is the worldwide average). In another article I read last week, they grouped the sex ratios by religion. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, and others present in India, all were well below 1000, most in the 850-900 girls per 1000 boys range. All except one: Among Christians, the ratio was over 1000. Praise be to God.
Another article from the Deccan Herald that you would never see in one of our papers in the US — at least, not without some heavily sceptical analysis. From Tuesday, Sept 30:
Nature-worship being elbowed out
ITANAGAR: In mid-1970s, at Lap Tap, a remote village of Arunachal Pradesh, Tana Sukia and his wife Tana Opu, were anxiously hoping for a miracle to save their second son, Tag, who had been suffering from multiple chronic ailments since birth. The farmer couple trekked down to a faraway dispensary month after month to save their ailing child.
The medicines did not work. Sukia and Opu, who worshipped Donyi Polo (the Sun-Moon God), went to the local priest and sacrificed a number of animals. “But nothing worked. My parents then sought help from a neo-Christian who was excommunicated by villagers for not worshipping Donyi Polo. They took me to him late at night. They did not have to spend a penny. Some prayers were performed, and by next morning, I was fine,” Tagi, now in his mid-30s recalls.
Sukia and Opu left Donyi Polo and embraced Christianity soon after the miracle. …
Of all the north-eastern states, Arunachal Pradesh, according to the latest census report on religions, recorded the highest growth in the number of Christians — from 10.29% in 1991 to 18.7% in 2001. The state also reported a steep decline — from 36.22% in 1991 to 30.7% in 2001 — in the number of “nature worshippers” or people who believe in indigenous faiths.
Pray for those who come to know Christ here in India. It can be difficult here. Especially with the publication of nonsense like this in the papers (Deccan Herald, Sept. 30, 2004 Comment page) from Rabbi Tony Bayfield (head of the Movement for Reform of Judaism):
…What I do argue is that all faiths, particularly the embarrassingly dysfunctional Abrahamic family, have to acknowledge that no faith tradition is supreme, that no one has a monopoly on God or truth, and that the reality of pluralism discloses a theological obligation to be humble and self-critical, to pool resources, to work together for the good of humanity, and the globe rather than fuel its blight and destruction
The usual post-modern mumbo jumbo. This attitude has also infected the progressive Hindu — I was talking with a tea-tasting executive from Assam (in the business 35 years), and he asserted that the religions were all basically the same, all about doing good, etc. He quoted to me from the Bhagavad Gita regarding something that Lord Shiva said about how everything was really a part of him, and that the other gods were just a crutch for those who couldn’t handle that knowledge. His implication was to include Christ and Mohammed in that assertion. But it also revealed a great ignorance — the first commandment itself repudiates his belief. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that Christians should all work to help the downtrodden and the redemption of those in the world who seem unredeemable. (I include myself in this, for my sin is no less than anyone). But this pluralistic panentheistic view of the world is completely counter to all revealed about the God of the Bible, and His Word Christ.
I hope you enjoyed this sampler of articles!