Blood Brothers | Devotional
Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.
1 John 3:13
2008: On this date Pastor Samuel Nayak stood at the entrance of his church in Orissa state, India, attempting to block the path of several hundred Hindu radicals.
They slit his throat, left him for dead, and destroyed the church. This was one of several horrors occurring between August 25 and 28, 2008, a bloody wave of anti-Christian violence.
Thirty-eight Indian Christians were killed, forty-one churches of different denominations destroyed, hundreds of houses and vehicles destroyed, and an orphanage burned.
A few weeks later the radicals announced a large bounty for the killing of Christian pastors.
The rampage left fifty thousand Christians fleeing for their lives into nearby forests.
A year after the carnage, many of these were still afraid to return to their home villages, having been warned by the radicals that if they came home, they would be forced to convert back to Hinduism—or die. For many of the refugees there were no homes to return to.
What prompted such hatred and violence? The short answer is: hatred of minorities and nonconformists, something found across the globe in all periods of history.
The long answer: a noted Hindu swami was murdered on August 23, 2008, probably by Indian Communists, but many Hindus blamed his death on Christians and thus began the wave of violence.
Christian and human rights groups worldwide condemned the violence, but those who closely monitor the world scene knew there was nothing new about anti-Christian violence in India.
Though in the past Hindus were relatively tolerant of Christians—even though few Hindus actually converted—the twenty-first century has seen countless atrocities perpetrated, particularly aimed at Hindus who convert to the “alien” religion of Christianity.
The sad news is that, as Jesus foretold, his followers will suffer for his sake. The good news is that the gospel of love continues to spread in a world saturated with hatred.
Prayer: Lord, be with your children in their suffering. Arm them with love in the war against blind hate. Amen.
J. Stephen Lang's favorite game is Trivial Pursuit, and his favorite book is the Bible. Lang is a best-selling author whose titles include: Know the Bible in 30 Days, The Complete Book of Bible Trivia, 1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Bible, etc.