Ghar Wapsi Unfeasible

Dear Editor,
Dr. Giri has given a vivid picture of the situation in India with the propagation of Ghar Wapsi by some Hindu groups.
When Ghar Wapsi is insisted with indigenous people, each would be forced to return to their fore fathers’ religion rather than to Hindu dharma. Therefore, the entire episode of Ghar Wapsi is turning out to be a proselytizing movement – a political gimmick ruining the secular nature of our country thereby jeopardizing the human freedom and basic human rights in India. Christians must be well aware of these realities and practicalities of this new agenda.

Rony Kurien, Ghaziabad

Persecution and True Christianity

Dear Editor,
The July issue of revive is a powerful testimony of the convictions of Christianity. To undergo persecution must not be seen as a weakness of the Christians, but must be realised it is part of the life and commitment of true Christianity. We have to use the term ‘true Christianity’ in the context of so many who profess that they are Christians without true conviction nor any Christian experience. Rajeev M. Thomas gives a clear picture of the various aspects of Christian persecution. He rightly points out that persecution of Christians is ultimately for the good of the church, though very painful to victims.

Thomas Varikkamakkal,
Pathanapuram

Apostolic Church and Persecution

Dear revive,
Today when many zealous Christians pray for a return to the first century experience of the church- what they actually long for are the signs and wonders the early church saw and the growth of the early church. It is very exciting to be part of such a church where people are healed from all kinds of sicknesses and where even the dead people are resurrected. But we seem to forget that the first century church also underwent severe persecution.
Pastor B. Saji brought out the various persecutions faced by the early church. The Christian Church had to face perilous storms that shook the church’s very existence. But the church survived all these hardships and expanded to different parts of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Mathukutty Joseph, Coimbatore

Politics and Persecution

Dear revive,
Thank you for the relevant and timely theme dealt in your recent issue. Dr. J.N. Manokaran states politics as one reason why the governments to persecute the minority. They fear conversion because the minority may become majority and would affect their prospects of continuing in the power.
In India today, some political leaders create scapegoats of minorities, carry hatred towards them and channelize the anger by persecuting the minorities. Like Pharaoh, the insecure politicians cry: “We are in danger.”
May these realities cause us to pray seek goldly wisdom and respond to each situation in a Christ like manner.

Ruth Jaison, Bangalore

 

Dear Editor,
Thank you for sending to me the current issue of Revive. It provided much food for thought. It is true that the Church in India and elsewhere are going through difficult times. Everyday there are gruesome and bizarre reports on Christians being persecuted in India and in some States in the Middle east and in Africa. We need to pray for peace and for religious harmony all over the world and create public opinion to work out measures to combat minority persecution.
I enjoyed reading all the articles in one stretch. The topics selected are very appropriate, relevant, and contextual although I did not agree to some of the statements made. Many dimensions of persecution and their causes are explained very well. Yes, in our pluralistic context, we must follow St. Matthew 10:16 norm. I believe it is here that we have failed. It seems to me that an element of ‘self-righteousness’ has crept into the arguments. While talking about political, economical and social factors, we need to be conscious of Christian’s own role in inviting trouble. It is not true that all suffering and persecution are caused by outside forces. We need to highlight this aspect also.
Pastor Dennis Gallaher’s analytical essay on “Along With Persecutions” is very interesting. Johnette Benkovic’s analysis of the five stages of persecution is indeed prophetic. In answering ‘What should our Response Be” the answer given is Mt. 5:11-12 and James 1:12 which are too pietistic. To overcome persecution to some extent, we need to take positive steps in our mission approach. Corrective measures on the part of the Church is very important. Often suffering and persecution are a consequence of sin. We therefore must lay our thoughts, motives, and behavior open to the searching eyes of God.
We should never pray for vengeance. It is not a Christian perspective. If justice is to prevail, evil must be dealt with. As honest Christians, we should never consider persecution a blessing but do something about our ‘enemies’ who are like prowling lions. We cannot just be passive sufferers saying Jesus said, “You will have tribulation in the world”. Jn.16:33. We must take up the cross to challenge and change the darkness. We are printing in our publications the pictures of Christians being beheaded in Africa and elsewhere, but what did we do about it?
Peace.

A Regular Reader, Thiruvalla