They Cry in Silence Mar/Apr 2010

Compass Direct News reports that Christians in India were battered last year by radical Hindu extremists. A partial listing of the violent attacks confirmed that Christians were assaulted more than three times each week. As in many areas dominated by radical Muslims, Hindu militants employ the spurious accusation of “forcible conversions” against believers marked for attacks. The situation boils down to the question, “Who will the courts believe?” Most often they side against Christians falsely accused of forcing people to convert to Christianity.

Dr. John Dayal, a member of the government’s National Integration Council, said, “If 2007 and 2008 went down in history as the most blood-soaked ones in the history of modern Christianity in India, 2009 surely rates as the year of frustrating confrontations with the law and tardy governance and on justice for the victims of communal violence.”

In the state of Orissa, reported Compass Direct, where a violent rampage against Christians took place in 2008, there was little reason for believers to be encouraged. “The courts in Kandhamal make a mockery of the judicial process, and the murderers lord it over the witnesses and victims while judges and law look on,” Dayal said. “The church remains helpless.”

Christians in the Orissa district are still shaken from Christmas-week attacks in 2007 when at least four Christians were killed, 730 houses burned, and 95 churches destroyed. Few of those charged with violent crimes were brought to justice; and of those who were taken to court, few were punished.

Compass Direct reported, “Dr. Sajan K. George, national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, said the growing number of acquittals was producing a culture of impunity, ‘where those who commit crimes against the Christian minority do not fear punishment by law.’”

A prime example is the violence in Kandhamal in August 2008 after right-wing Hindus falsely accused Christians of an assassination. Consequent violence resulted in 100 people killed, 4,640 houses burned, and 252 churches and 13 educational institutions destroyed, wrote Compass Direct.

A huge problem for believers in these countries is the success of their persecutors in leveling false charges of “forced conversions” that are too often taken by courts as justification for hostile action against Christians and their institutions. Complicating the problem is the Western world’s silence in refusing to protest the process that is leaving a bloody trail across countries where Western leaders could make a difference if they chose.

Buoyed by their successes, militant Hindus and Islamists will certainly increase the use of false charges to ramp up their campaign of carnage against those who share a common faith in Jesus Christ. There can be no doubt that a genocidal, all-out war is being waged against Christians.

All of this has happened before, but countenancing reruns are of little comfort to the families and communities bearing the brunt of the suffering. The fact is that, after the reign of terror against the innocent by the Nazis, Russian Communists, and the Communist Chinese under Mao Zedong, people everywhere should see red flags when persecution is permitted or ignored. Such situations should be regarded as a threat to the stability of every country where the rule of law is taken seriously.

But will there be a wake-up call? The jury is out on this one.

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