Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. India is the news these days. In the milliseconds needed to set off ten test nuclear bombs, India and Pakistan have forced us to focus on our mission work in the post-nuclear subcontinent What will happen now? A nuclear arms race with Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, Pakistan, and India who can say? Hopefully the peace talks announced on June 17th between India and Pakistan will bear fruit. The fervent prayer for peace on earth, good will towards all people is sorely needed.
Since the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rose to national power three months ago, Hindu activists have been on the march. The activists, led by (among others) Anil Jha, president of the student body at Delhi University, have targeted U.S. products. Anil said, "Pepsi and Coke are the pride of America their spinal cord we have to break this" This overstatement is symbolic, but does reflect the mood of the parts of India which are controlled by the BJP
Vandalizing of Coca-Cola and Pepsi and other American brand names such as Baskin Robbins and McDonalds, though frightening, is not our main concern. Persecution and interference of the freedom of religion is however. There have been numerous disruptions of worship services among a wide range of denominations. Prayer meetings have been interrupted in Baroda (Gujarat state), Pentecostal worshipers assaulted in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, and three Catholic priests killed in Manipur. I have no information about any of our brethren being persecuted in any way to date. The only Americans from our team currently in India (since May 27th) are Jeff, Kyle, Sony and Sunshine Clayton. They have experienced no difficulties nor seen any anti-American activities.
Perhaps some background would be useful to understand the situation. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars with India defeating Pakistan soundly each time. There has been a border dispute between the two that has contributed to a continuous undeclared war since 1947 in which over 20,000 soldiers have died. There is also an ongoing border dispute between India and China. A brief war between India and China was fought over this in 1962 with India experiencing heavy losses. China has also been aligning itself with Nepal and Bangladesh over political issues which are causing concerns between India and those nations...not to mention the arms and sensitive nuclear materials plus technology which China constantly supplies to Pakistan. In short, India, a sovereign, democratic, religious ( Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian) nation has acted in its own best interests. The situation is not unlike the Eastern European crisis, or Turkey and the Kurds, or China and Taiwan or the Middle East -- Israel and the Muslim nations. India, a predominately Hindu people is opposed by Pakistan, a predominately Muslim nation, and indirectly threatened by China which is Communist.
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