Once upon a time, the thirst for authentic news was only quenched by the grabbing of an edition of ‘The Times Of India’ or ‘The Indian Express’, in exchange of a 2 Rupee coin. Entire families would hold their peace to tune in for a few minutes, every day, on All India Radio or Door Darshan, to come to speed with the world.
The delivery of trustworthy news united the country and kept citizens informed about relevant happenings. News that incited hatred and distorted communal harmony rarely made the front page. After all, instigating panic, hate and fear were never the motives of media veterans.
As the masses graduated from print to radio to television and now finally to the palm of their hands, the convenience of watching and reading information from unsubstantiated sources has defeated the purpose of genuine news.
Let’s talk about Facebook and its counterparts. A supposedly ‘Social Networking’ site with and octopus like presence has now captivated its spectators with fake news, nosiness, scandal, consumerism and much more to a point of even inciting war. All thanks to Facebook, most people cannot discern right from wrong any more.
Fairly new, inexperienced and unverified media channels, mushrooming across India are eagerly conspiring with enemies of peace and cooking up news to sell themselves, not realizing the damage it is causing to a country that is already loosing its ground.
Face book has been providing a stage to such selfish and irresponsible reporting for a while now. In doing so, it proves itself, as unauthentic as the news it flashes. Of course, who wouldn’t mind a few million dollars being put into your bank account every month! But at the cost of a few million lives and a country?
Its open terrorism! The worst part-we love it!! So, who’s responsible then? Facebook or us? The givers or the takers? Would there be any takers if there were no givers?? The same works vice versa. However, for a vast and vulnerable country like India, the giving must stop! We can’t handle more hate!!
On the 6th of September 2020, a news channel by the name of Pahad TV made a short video about how Christian missionaries from the south have ‘deviously’ come to the north and are ‘in the business’ of converting people there.
A group of fanatics, led by a man identified as Gyan Singh Rana is seen threatening a group of Christians, warning them not to visit the Pastor’s home to pray. What is even more surprising is that Gyan Singh is a retired Military Officer.
In the video, Gyan Singh accused the Christians of converting and bribing poor people from the community under the cover of running a school. He claimed that their “work” does not stop instead of the pandemic, when in reality only a handful of them peacefully met after Unlock-4 was issued by the state on the 1stof September 2020.
The news reporter liberally speaks about how Gyan Singh caught the Christians ‘Red Handed’ and how they were running the school without permission, when in fact, the Pastor, who appeared to be terrified in the video told them that the school was legally registered and belonged to a trust, of which he is the secretary.
In another disturbing statement, the reporter is heard saying, “I can produce an Identity card of a ‘Rohingya’ as well” when the Pastor answers him about his children having identity cards of Uttarakhand.
The reporter goes on to say, “It is shocking how people from the south come to the north, buy land and start a school and church. The authorities don’t even get a whiff of this, in fact, they give them the permission to do these things without making any inquiries about them!”
How is any of this wrong?? And who divided India into North and South? Since when did Indians not have the right to move to whichever state they pleased?
The news channel even captured a statement from a Hindu political fringe group leader identified as Shanti Prasad Bhatt. He says, “I am happy that our workers ‘caught’ this act. If such acts are happening under the nose of the authorities, we want to know how and why. Such people are disturbing the peace of Uttarakhand and this matter must be looked into.”
The Kranti Dal leader then ends his speech in a typical religious nationalist like fashion saying, “If the authorities do not take the necessary action against such people, then we will take this matter into our own hands.”
The distress, fear and damage caused by religious extremists’ is not new to the masses. Christians, being a minority in India’, have become easy targets to such bigots. The human reaction of fear brought upon the minority during such attacks, often misinterpret them as culprits when in fact they are the victims.
The media channel whose website has no other information about themselves other than an Uttar Pradesh address and an email link, very strategically chose and compiled clips to portray Christians in a corrupt and damaging light. The likes of these use Facebook as a catalyst to propagated communal hate.
Speaking to Persecution Relief about the incident, the Pastor said, “How can they stop people from coming to my house? They verbally abused and manhandled us, even the women, but that is not shown in the video.”, the pastor added.
After graduating in Theology, the Pastor moved to Uttarakhand to serve the community there. He started a small kindergarten school for underprivileged children to counter the prevailing caste system and its evils.
The School thrived as many parents entrusted their children in our care” explained the Pastor to Persecution Relief. It is now a primary school, i.e. up to grade 5 and is registered under a trust known as ‘Faith in Action’
The moral of the story: What we behold is what we become.
The prayers of the saints rise like incense to God and He is very quick to answer those prayers.
Let us pray for the pastor and his family, the Church and trust, the group of believers as well as the primary school.
Pray for the work that the Lord has begun through the Pastor will bear fruit and be accomplished as we stand in the gap and intercede.
Pray that God would touch the hearts of the religious fanatics and draw them unto Himself.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave a commandment wrapped up in agape love for the whole world, just before He went back to His Father and it was simple and clear – go to ALL the world and preach the good news! We who are saved have this Great Commission as the mission of our lives. Indeed, the Pastor has taken this commandment seriously and believes that 1 Corinthians 9: 16 is to be lived out – For though I preach the gospel I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.
In the 1st Half of 2020, Persecution Relief recorded 293 cases of Christian Persecution. In 2019 alone, we recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016. From January 2016 to June 2020, Persecution Relief has recorded 2067 cases of Hate crimes against Christians in India.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has downgraded India to the lowest ranking, ‘Countries of Particular Concern’(CPC) In its 2020 report. The US State Department ranked India’s persecution severity at “Tier 2” along with Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past seven years, India has risen from No. 31 to No. 10 on Open Doors’ World Watch List, ranking just behind Iran in persecution severity.
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