Indian believers concerned about driving force behind religious clashes

By October 8, 2008

India (MNN) — Paramilitary
troops are still trying to quell the deadly sectarian clashes in India's
troubled northeast.

A string of attacks on Christians
since August has spread to three states, killed at least 34 people and forced
thousands to flee to government camps or hide in forests.

Even while the attacks continue,
a Maoist leader
has come forth to claim responsibility for the death of a Hindu holy man whose
murder sparked savage anti-Christian riots in India.  The Maoists
said they killed (Swami Laxamananda )Saraswati because he was forcing tribal people
to convert to Hinduism.

That murder sparked an outrage
from the Hindu community and lead to reprisal violence. 

Worldwide Christian Schools was not
spared.  WWCS' Gypsy Meadows asked their
partner in Orissa about the status on their work. "Houses there have been
burnt, even though the district is more than 300 kilometers from the place
where Swami Laxamananda was killed. New Life church and New Life Child
Development center have been destroyed completely, so that school is shut down
right now. The other school that we work with in the area has gone back to
sessions, and everyone is claiming to be safe right now."

Ironically, the situation is
creating new confidence in their mission. "The very people that are
causing the violence are probably uneducated and illiterate.  While we can't necessarily change their
thinking, if we can help the children to be educated and understand the world
more and to know Jesus Himself and the love, then we can affect the next
generation."

Their teacher writes, "God's
people are under much fear, hiding in the jungle. Please pray that all the
persecution will be stopped and peace will be restored in Orissa."

Meadows says their staff is
asking believers to: "Pray for protection. They need to have peace in the
midst of all of this, not to be afraid, and give them courage to pray for their
enemies." 

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