BosNewsLife (03/06/06) Thousands of Indian orphans and other Christians on Monday, March 6, ended a 10-day prayer vigil for peace and religious freedom in India and Pakistan amid growing concern of violence against the Christian minority in the region.
Mission group Hopegivers International (HI) organized the prayer chain after several reported attacks by Hindu militants in recent weeks against individual Christians and Christian properties, including churches and one of its orphanages in the Indian state of Rajasthan, as well as in other areas of India .
On Thursday, February 23, HI said it was forced to abandon what would have been the largest ever graduation ceremony for 10,000 Christian ‘dalit’ students in the city of Kota in Rajasthan, because police warned of Hindu violence against them. Smaller graduate ceremonies in other areas have taken place however.
Most of the graduates were’dalits’, the term used for the so-called “untouchables” of India, up to 300-million people, who occupy the lowest place in the country’s ancient caste system of Hinduism.
This weekend’s prayers were focused on “dalits and the scheduled castes and Christian minorities in Rajasthan” as well as those “who are suffering in jails, especially those who are falsely accused and guilty only of exercising their free consciences,” HI said. It urged supporters to pray for “the rescue of the persecuted from those in high places who have betrayed their oaths of office by permitting violence and vandalism against the people of God.”
Christians around the world are believed to have participated in the ongoing prayer sessions, which were held at a time when US President George W. Bush visited the region. Even during the prayer vigil, persecution of Christians was reported.
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