|Christians targeted by Hindu attackers in India|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 28 August 2008 16:06|
Hindu violence against Christians is continuing to spread across the eastern state of Orissa in India, despite government efforts to control the rioting. The trouble began a week ago, after Maoist rebels destroyed a Hindu shrine. The Hindus blamed the Christian community for carrying out the attack, even after police identified the communist organization to be the perpetrators. Eleven people have lost their lives in the fighting, many church buildings have been destroyed, and Christians have been attacked in their own homes by mobs wielding bows and axes. Hundreds of Christians have fled to the forests and nearby hills for refuge from their persecutors. The Italian Foreign Minister has asked the Indian ambassador to intervene in the unrest, and the matter is expected to be taken up at a future EU meeting of Foreign Ministers.
Quote: ""Police are marching in several areas now," Orissa police chief Gopal Chandra Nanda told Reuters. Television pictures showed mobs armed with rods putting up road blocks on Thursday and others attacking churches. Other mobs armed with bows and arrows and axes have attacked Christian homes, dragging out women and children. Hundreds have fled to forests and nearby hills, officials said. "Moments after we passed by a Christian village, people set it on fire and everything was over within minutes," a senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said from Kandhamal, the worst-hit district.
Some people have the wrong idea that Christians who hold the view of a pre-tribulation rapture are only hoping to escape suffering in this life. Unfortunately we have become so accustomed to the freedoms the Gospel has brought to the West that we automatically assume that the rest of the world must be enjoying the same privileges. But the situation in the West is not the norm. The statistics are that 9 out of 10 Christians in the world today will experience some sort of persecution for their faith. All but one of the apostles were martyred for their faith. The early Church suffered horrendous persecution at the hands of Rome, and many more gave their lives in the Inquisition and the Reformation for the sake of the Gospel. Paul said in 2nd Timothy 3:12, "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution". Paul said in Philippians 1:29, that it is given for us not only to believe on Christ, but also to suffer for His name. Tribulation isn't something we should be expecting to begin once the Antichrist arrives on the scene. Tribulation goes hand in hand with being a Christian. But even if the rapture doesn't occur at the start, middle or even end of Daniel's seventieth week, Christians have absolutely nothing to fear. Jesus Christ said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world". The world did the worst they could to Him, and they thought He was defeated. But instead Jesus defeated him that had the power of death, and delivered those who through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14-15). They thought He was finished, but Jesus cried in victory, "It is finished!", John 19:30. If the rapture does not occur then the worst thing the Antichrist can do to me is kill me. And even then he is bestowing a great blessing upon me, because Paul tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2nd Corinthians 5:8). The only thing we have to fear is the wrath of God, and as believers in Christ, we have already been delivered from that (1st Thessalonians 1:10, 1st Thessalonians 5:9). There is disagreement among Christians about exactly when this wrath begins, but there is no doubt we will be delivered out of it. If you are not a Christian, then you have a lot to fear, because "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness", Romans 1:18. The Bible states that if you haven't believed on Jesus Christ, then the wrath of God abides on you (John 3:36). And if you die in your sins, then the Bible states that you can never be in heaven (John 8:21). But Jesus Christ bore God's wrath for your sin when He died upon the cross of Calvary (Isaiah 53:10). And all who believe on Him for salvation can have their sins forgiven and everlasting life in heaven. Are you ready to meet your God? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.
2nd Thessalonians 1:4-6