Thursday, October 29, 2009

"This life I have received will not be lost even if I die."

Any casual reader of this blog will know of my affinity for the Jesuits of the Jamshedpur Province in India. Part of the Jamshedpur province (and soon to be its own vice-province) is Orissa -- the site of Christian persecutions last year.

My friend, Fr. S. Tony Raj, SJ, was in Kandhamal, Orissa last year, and posed as a doctor so he could stay and protect his people. He is the producer and narrator of this three part film. While many people would wisely run from the site of persecutions -- already 70 Jamshedpur Jesuits have volunteered to start the Orissa Province. They will not abandon their people.

Watching Christians being forced out of their homes should bother you, as should our churches being burned down, as should people being forced to "re-convert" to Hinduism. Quotations are used because before the Jesuits and other orders converted the tribals and lower castes they serve -- the people weren't Hindus to begin with.

The videos are difficult to watch but I'd urge you to get through them. Dare I say that the people in Orissa are better Christians than I am. They truly live the Gospel as evidenced by the following quote from someone who lost everything to the anti-Christian mob violence:

"Just as Jesus forgave his perpetrators, so we have also forgiven ours. When I see them I don't feel like taking revenge".

If you're a teacher please consider sharing these videos with your students. This story needs to be told, and should not be forgotten. I would hope that the students might be moved so much that they would try to help these fellow Christians in a land so far away. At the very least it will give them an appreciation for what they have, and take for granted, in this country.

For some background click THE WORLD ACCORDING TO 44 ;-): JamJeb heroes for $200 Alex.... Please keep them in your prayers. Many of us think we have problems -- many are just imagined. Not having food, clothing, shelter, and religious liberty are real problems, as is the constant threat of violence because you chose to follow Christ. Imagine if this happened to your family. You would want someone to help.



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