God is using Hindus to help orphans at a Christian orphanage in India

By March 13, 2006

India (MNN) — While the crisis continues in Rajasthan, India, sympathetic Hindu citizens of Kota are delivering aid to children in the Emmanuel Hope Center Orphanage. This is just one orphanage that lost its license in what Hopegivers International is calling an illegal seizing of their bank accounts, facilities and licenses.

However, the radical Hindus are being met with a surprise. According to an eyewitness account from inside the Orphanage, sympathetic Hindu citizens of Kota are still risking beatings to deliver aid to children held under siege by anti-Christian terrorists.

By telephone interview, staff members inside the besieged compound say they have been encouraged by calls and visits from the U.S. Embassy and unofficial representatives of the central government in New Delhi.

These sources say there’s food for another week, but it’s risky for people to help the children because the radicals are intent on using food shortages to force the Christians to abandon the orphanage and hospital.

Emergency food money for the children and legal expenses for the orphanage staff are being collected at the Hopegivers International website, www.hopegivers.org.

The national inspection team from the ruling Congress Party listened to crying children tell stories of the terror they have experienced being surrounded by radical mobs of demonstrators and police for the last 18 days. They also interviewed doctors and nurses who are continuing to care for critically ill patients in the closed hospital.

The siege began on February 20 when local bureaucrats and police, who have been politicized by anti-Christian radicals, revoked without cause all the licenses and operating permits for the institutions operated by the Emmanuel Fellowship in Kota.

The state government of Rajasthan, headed by the opposition BJP party, has refused to curb human rights violations against Christians and other minority groups in Kota.

Not everyone is supportive of the radicals. Many Kota residents have responded by giving cash donations, delivering food themselves and volunteering to help the “Hope Center” in any way they can. One man volunteered to cook for the 2,500 children.

Two senior administrators of the Emmanuel Fellowship staff continue to be held in jail without charge by local police. Bail hearings for them have been rescheduled until Wednesday, March 22. A total of four Christian and Hindu staff are believed to be now held by the police in Kota.

Meanwhile, at the High Court in Jaipur, Rajasthan a bond hearing has also been set for March 22 to hear the cases of Hopegivers President Dr. Samuel Thomas and Founder Bishop M.A. Thomas. The refusal of the High Court in Rajasthan to protect the Thomases leaves them vulnerable to being kidnapped or murdered by the terrorists.

Local newspapers continue to print the threats of a reputed Shiv Sena leader, Mr. Agrawal, who has offered $26,000 each for the heads of the Thomases. The Hindi language newspaper reports say that if either of the Thomases appear in Kota they will be killed before they are safely in police custody. Similar death threats are being made daily to pastors and church leaders in various parts of India who are linked with Emmanuel Fellowship.

Eight American volunteers continue to work at the Kota orphanage and hospital although all the senior administrative staff of both institutions have been forced to carry their work on an underground basis.

“We have no plans to leave,” says American volunteer Frank Gilbert. “We are virtually being held prisoner here by the radicals. It’s not safe to go outside of the compound.”

Emmanuel Fellowship is an indigenous church movement with about 21,000 congregations in India. Many of the movement’s humanitarian outreaches receive aid from Hopegivers International, based in Columbus, Georgia.

Those who wish to write American and Indian leaders asking for emergency intervention to save the children and staff caught in the Rajasthan situation can write [email protected] and ask for a letter writing kit.

Leave a Reply