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India: Widow of a Missionary killed in Orissa Urges Forgiveness

Posted by Job on January 6, 2008

Original link here. Gladys Staines, who lost her husband and two children in a 1999 attack, writes to the Indian premier calling on the government to “restore harmony” and invites people to learn to forgive. Singh guarantees “respect for all citizens religious freedom, without distinctions”.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – An appeal “to learn to forgive each other” and an invitation to political leaders to “restore harmony” among communities, has come from one of the greatest victims of anti-Christian violence in the state of Orissa, the Australian Gladys Staines. Gladys, now in Australia, lost her husband, a missionary, and her two sons who were burned alive in their car on January 22nd 1999 in Manoharpur. Expressing her “anguish and deep concern” over the wave of anti-Christian violence in Orissa where Christians were targeted by activists from the Vishva Hindu Parishad (Vhp), Staines sent a letter to Indian premier Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister of Orissa, Naveen Patniak. In her letter Gladys said, “I am praying for you and other leaders of the country and the state to have strength and wisdom to guide you in restoring harmony and bringing peace in troubled areas. I pray too for normalcy to return as quickly as possible with everyone living together in harmony”.

The Prime Minister’s letter of response, assures that the Indian government will take steps to guarantee religious freedom for all without distinction. “We will take all necessary steps – writes Singh who discussed the matter with Patniak – be assured that we will not tolerate any efforts aimed at disturbing the communal harmony or secular fabric of our country”. “I assure you that the Government of India will safeguard the fundamental rights and liberties of all sections of our society and protect their religious freedoms as enshrined in the constitution”. Hindu fundamental nationalism is strong in the state of Orissa. Since 1968 an anti conversion la has been in place which effectively stops all Christian missions there. (NC)
Jaipur, a missionary is beaten in front of his family and television cameras
Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church
Wife of missionary murdered by fundamentalists back in India
Murderer of Christian missionary Graham Staines asks for early release
Widow of murdered missionary receives award

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One Response to “India: Widow of a Missionary killed in Orissa Urges Forgiveness”

  1. Susan said

    Just so overwhelmed with the strength of Gladys Staine. Tonight I listened to Louie Giglia speaking on prayer, particularly how we pray and where our emphasis lies. He spoke about the old testament ‘heroes’ – who ‘won the day’ ( so to speak) and the new testament ‘heroes’ who gave up their life for the gospel. There for the first time I heard the story of Graham Staines and his two sons. The amazing testamony of Gladys (his wife) and Esther (their daughter) who gave total forgiveness to the perpetrators of the heinous crime, because of the love of Jesus Christ in them. The amazing commitment to continue the work and to show such love to the most desperately needy in India. May I just thank them for such inspiration and I want to thank the Lord for them. May they continue in their commission with hearts strengthened daily by our Lord. My question is have I that kind of courage?

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