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DIMAPUR, NAGALAND (ANS) -- Thousands of people participated in a recent peaceful protest rally in Dimapur, Nagaland in solidarity with the persecuted Christians across India who are being targeted by the VHP, Bajrang Dal, and the Sangh Parivar organizations.
A section of peple participating in the protest rally
All private schools and colleges around Dimapur also closed down to show their solidarity with those being persecuted and to condemn the atrocities committed towards the Christian minority in India.
In his report, obtained by ANS, Shikhu said protesters carried placards such as “Shame India Shame,” “We Want Secular India,” “Love Your Brothers Not Hate,” and “Stop Killing Christians in Orrisa.”
A banner calling for the banning of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal
Shukhu said that interestingly, the two-kilometer walk was also joined by the Hindu Community Dimapur and the Muslim Council Dimapur who showed their disapproval of violence against Christians in several states in India.
Part of the Hindu community rallying for peace
Hindus condemning the anti-Christian violence
Shikhu said the speaker also denied the allegation that Christians are forcefully converting the Hindus, and appealed to stop forcefully re-converting Christians to Hinduism by showing a picture of a mother and her five-year-old child being chopped and burned to death because she refused to re-convert to Hinduism.
Part of the Muslim community marching for peace
Shikhu said that speaking at the rally, Naga Council Dimapur President, Savi Leigise, condemned the burning of 20,000 houses and churches and appealed to the Government of India and State Governments for “…not only statements but strong action.”
Addressing the rally consisting of people from different faiths, Naga Women Association President, Hukheli Wotsa stated that, “We should all be peace propagator and peace ambassador.”
While reviewing the violence against Christians, Dimapur Naga Students’ Federation President, Solomom Awomi said that, “We should not confront based on religion, and that Government is not for one community and religion (only).”
Describing the Hindu-Christian relations in Nagaland Mr. Awomi said: “We don’t force Hindus to convert or we don’t threaten them, but we pray for them and love them.” However, on a stronger note he demanded that the Government ban the VHP and Bajrang Dal or it will open a new avenue for similar groups to mushroom with further sinister objectives.
Dr. Hukashe Zhimomi, President of the Nagaland Theological Colleges Association who also teaches Religion at the Trinity Theological College voiced his opinion that, “India should uphold secularism and make it a reality.” Earlier, President of Baptist Pastors Fellowship, Rev. R.P. Murry expressed anguish over the continuous attack on Christians in India and said: “Only uncivilized people can do such barbaric act against innocent Christians.”
Shikhu says that Nagaland is one of the only two Christian states in India with a population of approximately three million with 95 percent of the population being Christian.
He commented that so far, there have been no reports of religion-related violence against Hindus, Buddhists, Jain, and Muslims in Nagaland.
According to the Christian Forum, Dimapur, Naga Churches and Organizations have submitted more memorandums to the Central and State Governments than any other states in India since the violence against Christians started.
Shikhu is the founder and Chairman of the “Shikhu Media and Publishers” in Dimapur, Nagaland. He has his educational degrees and diplomas from Senate of Serampore University, NCIBC Auckland, and NCIU Florida.
He is also the author of the book, “A Rediscover and Rebuilding of Naga Cultural Values: An analytical approach with special reference to Maori as a colonized and minority group of people in New Zealand,” which is published by Regency Publications (www.regency-books.com/browse/details.asp?id=321 ). Inato Shikhu can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
|** Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent of ANS, is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British Christian radio station. Michael's involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- Michael Ireland Media Missionary (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International.|