In the Twenty-First Century? A Modern Martyr, My Friend: Pastor Samuel

Written by Wes Walker on August 23, 2013

After killing her husband, the fundamentalists covered Kadamphul’s body with kerosene; almost miraculously, she was able to get away and hide in the forest before they set fire to her.  “Still today, I don’t know where is my husband’s dead body.”

Her words, when reflecting on what happened:  

” ‘.. I only ask Jesus that my husband’s ministry – to spread the Gospel – will continue, that people will learn the Good News of our Savior, that people will learn to forgive and believe in His Name.’ There is no hatred or desire for revenge in the words of Kadamphul Nayak…”

She was living in a refugee camp.  Her home and earthly possessions were gone.  Her husband and mother-in-law murdered. She barely escaped with her own life.  And still her faith in Christ lives on.

What started this episode?  An aged and well-respected Hindu figure — think “community organizer” was assassinated. Hindu fundamentalists retaliated with organized mobs, and vented their rage on Christians.

Here’s the twist.  A political group took credit for the assassination, the [atheistic] Maoists.  So to recap:  An atheist group killed (taking credit) a widely-respected Hindu.  The Hindus retaliated by killing, burning, beating, and raping Christians.  (A blog called Orissa Burining updated as events unfolded when hardly anyone was reporting this, if you can stomach it.)

I leave you with these thoughts to consider.

First, the standard accusation that religion causes war, implying that “no religion” means “no war”.  In Orissa, the Maoists fired the first shot, and the Hindus responded.  I have seen no reports of Christians responding with violence in this event.  This tells us two things.  (1) violence is also the domain of non-religious, and (2) that not all religious people react the same way to violence.

Second, is the stand Pastor Samuel made.  It was distinctly Christian.  For an Atheist, nothing is gained by maintaining your convictions to the end.  Dead is dead, either way. For a Hindu, what difference would it make since you’re coming back again anyway?  For a Christian, even when facing death, there are many examples like these where the difficulty of facing death wasn’t so severe that they compromised their faith.  If you’re a non-Christian reader, I invite you to ask, “How could Jesus produce such a reaction?”  The answer may surprise you.

Image: Correspondent Nirmala Carvalho with widow Mrs. Kadamphul Nayakcourtesy of AsiaNews.it

Topics: Orissa, India, Persecuted Church, Martyr, Hindu Fundamentalists, Hinduvta

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