Sunday, October 05, 2008

Inside Our Church, This Morning!

Writer poet John P Matthew church
The faithfuls having holy communion

The faithfuls (of which we are one) have the Holy Communion which is a holy sacrament. Picture above shows our parish priest administering the body and blood of Christ, which we believe renews us in the faith and gives us release from our feeling of sin and guilt because we have asked for forgiveness. Christianity is a religion which believes in forgiveness of one’s sins if we forgive those who have sinned against us. We, too, forgive people who have said or done wrong things to us, because as a Christian it keeps us free from overt feeling of guilt and a pervasive consciousness of sin, which can be a heavy burden on anyone’s shoulder. We don’t miss church whenever we can, and the above picture has been taken during today’s worship.

When we hear of the atrocities in Kandhamal in Orissa (nun raped, woman raped and killed, houses looted and pillaged, churches destroyed), our heads lower in shame, is that all we could make of our freedom of religion guaranteed by the constitution. And speaking of the violence where are all the policing authorities who are supposed to bring law and order to the people, even minorities?

Particularly alarming is the way the states of India are turning into theocratic states that sponsor violence against minorities. It happened in Gujarat under Narendra Modi, and now it is happening in Orissa, ruled by Naveen Patnaik, who has the support of BJP. It happened again in Karnataka which reported incidents of violence against Christians, which is again a BJP ruled state under Yeddyurappa.

The verdict is all clear as daylight for everyone to see, i.e., that the BJP-ruled states are encouraging atrocities against minorities and not restraining elements within their party who are out to foment trouble and deny minorities their right to freedom of religion.

Three states are guilty of this crime against humanity and the verdict is clear enough. There is no doubt about which party is guilty of inciting trouble. Why isn’t the moderate centrist central government led by the UPA acting against them? Manmohan Singh says “Orissa Tarred India [sic] Image,” but, forget the bad language, will he ever do something? Even that outburst came because the French Prime Minister pulled him up recently.

Religious extremism and terrorism are linked, yes, they are. One begets the other. A sense of insecurity prevails in us; we are constantly on the lookout for terrorist attacks at railway stations, for we are dependent on it for commuting. And when going to church we are again beset by fears, which we weren’t earlier.

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