Tuesday, September 09, 2008

From admiration to enmity

What a difference 11 years make. On September 7, 1997 Mother Teresa of Calcutta passed away. At her death, Indian Christians and Hindus alike joined together in public mourning and remembrance of a life well lived. All agreed that this woman and the Catholic order she had founded had made a significant impact of the lives of the poor and should be honoured for it.

Eleven years later, the legacy of Mother Teresa continues but it is no longer honoured. On September 7, 2008 four members of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity order were attacked by 20 Bajrang Dal activists at the Durgh train station in Chhattisgarh, a state in central India. The two nuns and two helpers were forced off the train and handed them over to police officers by the mob who chanted anti-Christian slogans. They were accused of the "kidnapping and forced conversion" of four babies between one and two years old whom they were transporting (with proper documentation) from Raipur to the Shishu Bhava charity center in Bhopal. The nuns were detained overnight and the babies taken from them and put into a government hospital. At last report, the children have still not be returned to the sisters.

This is only one example of the growing hostility among Hindus towards Christians throughout India.