01/24/2017, 15.14
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The ecumenism of blood, tortured clergyman, and vocations in Odisha

by Nirmala Carvalho

A clergyman was arrested in Telangana as he handed out copies of the Bible. He is now in hospital in serious condition. Sajan K George cites the murder of an Australian clergyman, Graham Staines, as a prelude to the anti-Christian pogrom of 2008. He says to pray for the clergyman: “May the blood of the martyrs be the seed of future Christians and of ecumenical unity."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Rev K A Swamy was arrested in Tankbund, Hyderabad (Telangana) as he handed out copies of the Bible, this according to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

“He was attacked by a group of fanatics,” the GCIC leader said. They “ordered him to stop the distribution and falsely accused him of proselytising."

The clergyman was taken to the local police station, where he was held in custody all day and subjected to mental torture and severe questioning. Despite everything, "he remained firm in his faith and said that he was exercising his fundamental right."

After his release in the evening, he became incapacitated and was rushed to Kamineni Hospital where doctors diagnosed a severe brain hemorrhage. At present, his conditions remain critical and are closely monitored.

As anti-Christian persecution continues, said Sajan K George. "we remember in prayer the brutal murder of Rev Graham Staines and his two youngest children. It is important to note that their blood was not shed in vain, and that it has jointed the blood of the martyrs of Kandhamal".

For the Orthodox Christian, the death of Australian missionary in 1999 was a prelude to the persecution visited upon Christians in Odisha (Orissa) in 2008.

What is more, the sacrifice of the Anglican clergyman and that of 100 martyrs in Kandhamal have not curbed vocations, which are actually up in the Indian state.

The GCIC president noted that "the movement remains vigilant with respect to religious freedom and is attentive to the protection of constitutional guarantees for India's tiny Christian minority, which represents just over 2 per cent of the total population."

"We must thank Jesus Christ for the miracle that took place in Kandhamal and throughout Odisha, where the blood of the martyrs was spilled for the love of his name."

The GCIC “mourns the victims of Kandhamal and continues in its efforts to secure justice for survivors and relatives [of the victims]. At the same time, we celebrate their heroic faith and the good that God has given us after all that evil.”

Lastly, “Let also pray for Rev K A Swamy, who is in serious conditions<” George said. “May the blood of the martyrs be the seed of future Christians and of ecumenical unity ".

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