Pray For Orissa
- By Dr. J.N. Manokaran
- Published 09/16/2008
Dr. J.N. Manokaran
Rev. Dr. J.N. Manokaran is a civil engineer by profession. God has called Rev. Dr. J.N. Manokaran to be a missional leader serving with his family in Haryana as cross cultural missionaries for eleven years. Since 1997 they have returned to Tamil Nadu to help missionaries and pastors to build their capacities by teaching, training and writing. He has authored these books: “Christ and Cities” and “Christ and Missional Leaders”. He has completed his B.D. from Immanuel Theological Seminary, Georgia as an external student, did his M.Th. at Hindustan Bible Institute, Chennai and earned his Ph.D. from International Institute of Church Management. Rev. Dr. J.N. Manokaran's wife Rosy is a constant encourager in the ministry and counsels many people. His daughter Hosanna is a student missionary in Belarus pursuing her Medical studies to become a missionary doctor and son Thambos is in high school. Presently, Rev. Dr. J.N. Manokaran serves as the Managing Director of Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC) – India and provides consultancy services to several organizations, mentor several leaders and contributes to several magazines and journals.
Orissa is small state in the Eastern part of India. The people of the State have a great history. The people of Orissa were known to be tough people. They resisted Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC, where 110000 people were killed. Ashoka converted to Buddhism after that.
Today Orissa is one of the poorest States in India. But it has lot of natural resources. The tribals in the state do not see any progress in their lives. The percentage of Christians in this state are just 2.1% of the population.
In the recent three weeks, there have been well planned, orchestrated attacks directed against Christian homes, institutions and churches. It left 20 to 40 people dead, thousands fleeing to jungles and thousands in refugee camps. Even there were attempts to poison the water in the refugee camps.
Christians are Soft targets
Christians have been always soft targets. In South Gujarat and now in Orissa, Christians are easy prey to anti-national elements. Attacking Muslims have created adverse reaction. They organize themselves to seek revenge and many times they are successful.
With elections round the corner, there is a need for a slogan “Hinduism is in Danger”. Muslims were the hate objects in previous campaigns. Hindus were mobilized with the negative evil that should be defeated by closing ranks together. A similar campaign is being organized to target Christians, as Sonia Gandhi the leader of the Congress party is a Christian. There is campaign in the media stating that 5 Chief Ministers in the States are Christians.
The Axis of persecution evil
Persecution does not happen in a vacuum. There are various puzzles pieces that has to be put together to see the whole picture. Persecution is not spontaneous as made out by the anti-Christian leaders and the media. If spontaneous, why only for destructive purpose like rioting, looting and muder? Is there any spontaneous response for a positive cause? That means the persecution is instigated with some kind of motivation. In a poor economy, greatest motivation is money. The unemployed young people are wooed to indulge in violence for a price. In Gujarat, it was reported the pricing was something like this: Burn a church for Rs. 20000. Beat up a congregation Rs. 10000. Harm a missionary Rs. 5000. From where does this money come from? It is raised in US and other affluent countries from among the Non-Resident Indians (NRI) in the name of charity and also from corporate world in Western nations. The NRIs are approached with the challenge of protecting the Indian culture, by providing funds for charity. This they do with guilt conscience. This money is used to fund persecution.
But, there is a need for conducive environment for persecution. That is created by the local vernacular media. Rumours, half-truths, cock and bull stories, false propaganda and hate news are published daily.
Orissa also has lot of natural resources. The mining industry wanted to take over the land belonging to the poor people. People protested – especially the tribals. Religion is used to divide the tribals and deprive of them their land. Riots are one way to intimidate them to subjugation.
Police and Bureaucracy
The police did not implement the rule of the law, but let lawlessness prevail. May be they were instructed to turn a blind eye by the bureaucracy
Pray for Orissa:
I Pray for Christians
Safety and security of lives and properties of Christians
Those who are hiding may return to their own homes
The villagers may not indulge in revenge, discrimination and vendetta
Resources to rebuild homes and lives
God may comfort them and give them peace
II Church leaders
Boldness in the times of chaos.
Wisdom and Clarity in communication
Intensify the good works
Partner with Civil right activists to bring guilty to book
Interact with media
Vishwa Hindu Parishad has equated the death of its leader to Death of Christ and claimed that there would be reconversion throughout Orissa. Pray that this plan may not succeed.
The ideologue of the Sangh Parivar that provides intellectual inputs may become foolishness similar to that of Ahithopel’s advice against David.
Media may be taken to task by Press Council of India. Public Interest Litigation may be filed against errant media.
Police should be neutral
Many Christian young people are jobless. Church may begin holistic training that would make these young people employable.
The Government and NGOs focus on livelihood issues
The Church may starts schools, colleges, community colleges and other institutions that would break the cycle of poverty.
Politicians may do righteous deed instead of getting involving in riots against people.
IV Need for help
There is a need for providing health care for several victims. Some of them need long term treatment in orthopedics or other specialized treatments. This has to be done by shifting these people to cities little far away.
Rebuilding of homes destroyed in riots.
A kit of vessel, stove and some food needed for all Christians
Books and notes for children who are attending school.
Re-building churches that were burnt or razed.
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