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Mandela: Remembering The Prophet Of One Humanity By Gimba Kakanda.

The day started with reports of a tragedy, though not unusual, but a terrible tragedy nonetheless, of challenges of being a Blackman especially overseas, among a people to whom black is an inverse of decency, to whom Africa is a civilisation built upside down. It was the news making the rounds that banners bearing “We want peace in Goa. Say no to Nigerian (sic). Say no to drugs” have been put up across India’s Goa State and that the state legislators too, outraged by the criminal conducts of some Nigerians in the coastal State, referred to them as “wild animals” whose presence is perceived as “cancer” in the functionalities of that most richest of India’s States. Perhaps I was rattled because of my romantic attraction to India and because I could have been one of the visiting Nigerians branded as, or mistaken for, “drug peddlers” by the authorities if I had moved to India as planned last June.

While Indians are almost spiritual in their categorisations of dark-skinned people as socially subaltern, Nigerians, typically loud and mindlessly haughty, have given the racist lot grounds to justify their illusory superiority. In his initial reaction to this, my cerebral cousin, Richard Ali, wrote: “While we are busy being righteously outraged, let us not kid ourselves that 5 out of every 10 Nigerians in India are there illegally or are doing illegal things including drugs. The Indians didn’t just wake up and skip Colombians and Italians and then land on Nigerians. It’s a difficult situation. If Nigeria is serious we have to appoint someone to deal with our image in India, to push out in the public mind the other 5 out of 10 Nigerians who are good expatriates in that country.”

Unfortunately, the crimes of some Nigerians in India have become the crimes of not just the entire Nigerians but of dark-skinned people all over the world, simply because of the history of their race and nationalities and if, for instance, a green passport-carrying Nigerian or any dark-skinned African who has never ever seen hard drugs in his life, appears in Goa in the heat of such trouble, the same illogic will be applied in lynching him as the Indians do to the “Nigerian”. This is what I find detestable; we must let every criminal be dealt with as an individual, not as a representative of a country or race. If Nigerians had had the brains of the the Indian mobs attacking them, the Indians would have also been massacred in Nigeria for proliferating the Nigerian market with counterfeit drugs, damaging unsuspecting citizens, until NAFDAC was established to check the menace, banning and blacklisting the Indian pharmaceutical channels responsible.

The same Goa, a tourist hub that the Indians claim has been made unsafe by Nigerians, has long been dubbed the “rape capital of India” for the notoriety of its rapists, all Indians, recklessly after and assaulting foreign tourists, possessed by libidos that couldn’t spare even an eight year-old Russian girl. Aside from the Goa statistics, India’s rape rates remain regular features of the international media; yet nobody finds the gut to indict this generation of Indians unfairly as rapists knowing the gravity and backlash of such careless stereotyping. And this hypocrisy challenges us to ponder: why is it so easy to denigrate a black person, an African, a Nigerian? It’s the world’s sensitivity to the history of our persecutions and awareness of the failures of our governments and people which seem to have inspired a consensus that nothing good may ever come from us. We are all in the news for the wrong reasons: killing one another over religions introduced by foreigners, over trivial ethnic and political differences, thus exposing the skeletons of the continent to the people already doubting the authenticity of our humanity. We give the media-dependent world impressions of an Africa of perpetual famine and malnourished children, of needless wars and skirmishes and brainless warlords, of dysfunctional governments and shamelessly corrupt elite, and of the many ethnic, religious and political zealots and uncivilised belligerents. So it’s understandable when we find signposts bearing “Save Africa” planted in coffee bars and airports in New York and London, convincing the almsgivers that Africa is no doubt the playground of the Devil!

I was struggling to outfight the shame stirred up by unfair treatments of my kinds in Goa when the heart of the world literally stopped at once in honour of the passing of a man who, in conventional intellection of his skin colour and ancestry, ought to have been just another “nigger” dead. But he was Nelson Mandela, known first as a human being, a philosophy he successful engraved in our conscience, before any other thing. He came, saw and refused to mind his business as many before him, becoming an activist and then a politician and then a thinker whose mission offered to solder the mortally broken bond between the black and the white, showing us that though the colour of our skin differs, our language too may differ, we’re held together by a much stronger identity: our humanity. Mandela confidently highlighted my proposition that we are all humans first before we are ever any other thing, before we are ever identified as a member of a race, a country, a province, an ethnicity and a religion and until that is properly understood, that a caucasian, an Arab, a Black, an Indian and Chinese who were delivered of a child respectively in the same hospital at the same time only procreated what is first a human being, an undeniably permanent identity: it’s the only identity, of all the acquired and imposed labels, we can never renounce!

Mandela was a product of a turbulent history. He was not a myth or a creation of the western media as presented by dissenters attempting to portray him as a sellout who betrayed the revolution of his people. He began as an angry young revolutionary who had no alternative but to resort to an armed struggle meant to “target only government offices and symbols of apartheid, not people”, in the process of which he was arrested, charged and sent to jail. 27 years later, leaving the prison, he laced up his shoes for a walk that would later dominate the literatures of Freedom and redefine the politics of race beyond the borders of his home country – the first black President of the Republic of South Africa. The dissenters expected him to jail the white beneficiaries of apartheid system, confiscate their assets and let the new majority rule be dedicated to the causes of the blacks. Instead, Mandela chose to heal the wounds of the nation through reconciliations, declaring: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.” Mandela’s resolve to not avenge the evils of apartheid, against the highlighted violent dispositions of his young years that had him branded as a terrorist, was a wisdom perfectly applied. Time had already changed, invalidated the necessity of violence in new South Africa and, more so, we are witnesses to the backlash of reckless revenge in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. And while the mess of the apartheid regimes may not be cleaned up overnight, the fortunes of both South Africa and Zimbabwe are now in the hands of Black politicians, and their failure to redeem their people is no longer the White man’s palaver!

Mandela’s existence was a sort of secular prophethood: he showed us all we must adopt in overcoming racial differences and tensions, and the ways to knot the loose bonds of race relations inherited from histories that must also be flung into the bin of our memories. If African leaders heed the words of Mandela, the least they owe their people is crushing the (in)decisions that keep the people fleeing their home country. They must erect structures in which the talents and brains we sell or abuse overseas can be properly tapped, instead of turning into advocates of dangerous and polarising ideas or beliefs. Mandela was not hypocritical in teaching us his aversions to supremacy of one race to another, of one religion to another and of his commitments to serving humanity, but so long as the customers gathered in coffee bars in New York and London continue to see the “Save Africa” signposts as a result of our people’s disregards for the wisdom of Mandela, and aware that Africa is still far behind Asia in its race to the modern civilisation, their sense of superiority remains unshaken. Mandela’s life has already become a book, every year a chapter, every action a verse, for those who think.

That Mandela, a Blackman, demolished restrictive labels and became a universally acknowledged symbol of Compassion, Peace and One Humanity in a world known for vengeful politicians, even among the people to whom the Blackman is still a divine error or biological dysfunction, challenges us to search within and understand how to “mass-produce” more of such species – of morally courageous black people possessed by a passion to stand out. Despite India’s famed racial prejudice, the flaws in considering even its darker citizens socially inferior, it lowered its flag to half-mast for five-day state mourning of Mandela – and its private citizens too joined in their individual respect to a human loved. And the respect shown Mandela all over the world by the blacks and whites and browns and whatnots is itself an unspoken communication, the last verse of his book of commonsense, telling us that though the structure of the world is complex, by being good and honest and loyal to the doctrine of one humanity we will conquer the expectations of those to whom we are mere lynch-able criminals and inferiors. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Group to challenge legality of Nigeria’s 1914 Amalgamation.


A fresh test to Nigeria’s sovereign status is afoot as Movement for New Nigeria has stated its intention to challenge the legality of the 1914 Amalgamation ordinance which gave birth to the Nigerian state.

The amalgamation ordinance is expected to expire on December 31, 2013, as MNN is set to take a legal action to ensure that a new union treaty was negotiated and entered into by the various nationalities that make up the country known as Nigeria.

Participants at Vanguard Conference Hall said the legal basis of Nigeria’s existence will expire on December 31, 2013 and “we ought to agree either to extend it or not. Yet some people are hoodwinking Nigerians and drawing billions of naira to prepare for a bash in a union that may not exist beyond December 31, 2013.”

The Secretary General of MNN, Mr. Tony Nnadi, said: “Contrary to the false impression being peddled by some people that “the basis of Nigeria’s unity is not

negotiable, we want to state categorically that such assertions are wrong and mischievous display of ignorance, especially by those who feel that they are benefiting from the illegal contraption of the colonist and jihadist expansionists, whose interests collided in the process of the scramble for territories and resources, belonging to Lower Niger Region.

“When the 1914 Amalgamation Ordinance was proclaimed, there was no evidence to show that the people or and the inhabitants of the territory called Northern and Southern protectorates were ever consulted to discuss and consent to live together as one country and under one constitution.

“We have carried out extensive research works in all leading British libraries and beyond. We have not seen any document supporting such action.”

He said the mission to Nigeria was to use military power to intimidate and subdue any resistance from the natives and to use fear and ignorance to wield the natives together. These, he said, were far from an altruistic motive to build a new nation that will harness the energy and resources of its people and territory to develop into a prosperous nation.

He said: “As a military man, Lugard’s mission to Nigeria on his posting from India, was to ensure a military conquest of the new country and to use force to quell any rebellion that might arise from the amalgamation ordinance, Nigerian nationalists opposed all the constitutions that came from 1914 to 1954, but the British were smart as to keep the colonial ordinance of amalgamation away from the nationalists to avoid a possible legal challenge and confrontation.”

He said while the idea of the proposed national conference by the Jonathan administration was desirable and welcomed, the time had come for Nigerians to take a second look at the legal basis for the existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity.

BY Hugo Odiogor, Kunle Kalejaye, & Nkiru Nnorum

Source: Radio Biafra.

7-Year-Old Boy in India Tortured, Murdered for Christian Faith.

The son of a believer, Anmol went missing after attending Sunday school at a Believers Church on Nov. 17 in northern India. His body was found the following day. (Gospel for Asia)

The body of a 7-year-old boy in India retrieved from a pond last week revealed horrific details of torture before he was brutally murdered because of his Christian beliefs.

The son of a believer, Anmol went missing after attending Sunday school at a Believers Church on Nov. 17 in northern India. His body was found the following day. Previous threats and persecution of his family indicate he was targeted because of his family’s faith.

“The unprecedented torture and death of this innocent child sadden our hearts incredibly,” says K.P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia founder and international director. “Persecution of Christians is a weekly occurrence, but this intensity of brutality against a child is unthinkable. In this horrible tragedy, we find strength and hope in Jesus.”

According to Yohannan, persecution of Christians has increased by more than 400 percent in the past few years.

Anmol’s parents last saw him when he left their home for Sunday school. When he did not return, they filed a missing persons report with local authorities. By Monday evening, they identified their child’s body at the hospital.

Anmol’s face was burned, his hands were slashed and destroyed by fire, and his mouth was tied shut. Hot fragments of coal or firewood had been placed on his stomach, burning his abdomen, and his toes were broken.

Autopsy reports came back indicating Anmol’s final cause of death was drowning.

At least 200 people attended the final viewing and funeral.

“The wail of the people and the parents was heartbreaking,” says one official. “It was truly a painful and intolerable incident. The kidnappers had tortured the child in such an inhuman way. It was very clear that he was brutally killed.”

Details identifying the murderer have not been released, pending further investigations. Anmol’s family had been the target of persecution since 2003, when his father, Harish, made a decision to live for Jesus after witnessing the miraculous healing of his brother. At least 45 people began following Jesus at the same time, resulting in ongoing persecution in the community.

Gospel for Asia is calling for prayer for the consolation of Anmol’s parents, brother and sister, grieving extended family members, that the persecutors would come to know the love of Christ, and the protection of all believers.



PHOTONEWS: Portraits From Makoko.

In this set of photos,photo enthusiast, Devesh Uba, hese photos wanted to show the dignity of the people of Makoko, a Lagos slum that has been around for close to 100 years.

About Makoko: Makoko is a slum neighborhood in Lagos with approx. population of 100,000. Established in 18th century primarily as fishing village, much of Makoko rests in structures constructed on stilts above Lagos Lagoon. More than 80% of Makoko’s population depend on fishing for their livelihood and they have been living here for over 100 years now. (Mostly from Wikipedia)

About Devesh Uba: A photography enthusiast from India currently living and working in Lagos with people and street photography as his favorite genres. He is also an independent film maker and social media marketing professional. His Nigerian photoblog titled ‘Snap It Oga’ captures the hustle of Lagos city.



The Igbo Fallacy By Fredrick Nwabufo.

By Fredrick Nwabufo

In my previous didactic, tart, and dispassionate polemic entitled “The Igbo False Dimension: The Igbo I Hate” I adumbrated, exposited and espoused the tendentious logic of vehement and sustained rise in Igbo criminality in Nigeria. The piece extracted venoms from the fangs of “Igbo nationalists”. I was torpedoed with a fusillade of contumelies instead of seasoned, disciplined counterpoints by seemingly bruised Igbo people. My “Igboness” was excoriated and called into question and opprobrium. Let me reiterate here, that I am Igbo, but I will not out of blind, cowardly and defeated ethnic nationalism earthen the malfeasance and failings of my people. The burning truth will always consume the cold, easy lie.

In truth, the gruesome, senseless and depressingly cold murder of a Nigerian of Igbo fount in India, and the ceaseless profusion of crimson Hindustan xenophobic outrages towards Nigerians vivify curious ponderings, somber, sober reflections and unkind truths about the sojourning Igbo.  About forty thousand Nigerians live in India. Of this number, a vast queue of Igbo persons constitutes an irrepressible, but unimpressive quota. That is, the Igbo are in the majority stratum of Nigerian sojourners in India. It is therefore in the remit of unbiased logic to aver that a majority of Nigerians who commit crimes for which all law abiding Nigerians share in condign comeuppance in India are Igbo.  It is also on the threshold of verifiable truth that gross proportions of Igbo Nigerians in India are wired and prodded by survivalist propensities, and as such can do anything beyond the cloud of kosher to drag on their existence. Consequently, the piercing hollering of Indians that Nigerians in their country are criminals may be the unfortunate, lachrymal truth.

Arguably, the reason for Igbo sojourning to even the remotest of places in the world has been attributed to their much-vaunted entrepreneurial spirit. As a matter of fact, the claim that Igbo sojourning is driven by an atavistic entrepreneurial proclivity is enclosed between pressing, meaty layers of fallacy like the entrails of burger between fluffy loaves. Inasmuch as the “entrepreneurial sojourning” thread cannot be utterly pooh-poohed, it is judicious to explore other reasons why the Igbo are seemingly peripatetic sojourners. First, in Igbo ethology, it is a cringing evil for an Igbo man or woman to commit a “stigmatized” crime (Alu) such as armed robbery at home. This is not an obviation of abhorrent crimes committed at home by some unabashed Igbo criminals. The truth is the “home” Igbo criminals are a hopeless and shameless horde whose self esteem and sense of shame are terribly at nadir, and as a result purvey crimes at home. Inter alia, for any stigmatized crime committed at home there is a stern reprimand implicit in cleansing of the crime. The sacerdotal process of cleansing the land of a crime or an abomination is called “Ikpu Alu”. However, “Ikpu Alu” (cleansing of abominations) does not extend its sacred arm of cleansing and reprehension to crimes committed by Igbo sons and daughters in places outside the Igbo picturesque dome.  It is therefore not surprising if some Igbo persons commit heinous crimes in obverse places, and come back home to receive chieftaincy titles. As a matter of fact, in some morally weak Igbo communities it is a brave thing to traffic in hard drugs. Drug barons are gleefully celebrated as Ndi kara Obi (lion-hearted people). Such is the pantomime of the Igbo and crimes.

Going by the stated point, it is therefore indubitable to posit that an unenviable number of self-conscious Igbo persons with innate criminal manuals travelled outside the Igbo enclave to peddle crimes. This confutes the general idea that the sojourning of the Igbo is driven solely by entrepreneurial inclinations and motives. To a large extent, the sojourning of some Igbo people is driven by a morbid aim of shielding their evil trades from the peering eyes of their kinsmen. Their names are protected as long as they do not traffic in crimes at home. The important thing is to be successful at crimes abroad; successful enough to build vulgar mansions at home and throw lazy cash about.

To animate my argument further, what is the entrepreneurial inclination or motive of the Igbo in India, Malaysia, Vietnam and other Asian countries peddling drugs? Is the entrepreneurial spirit of the Igbo only revivified abroad or outside Igbo land? Why should the Igbo entrepreneurial spirit find its host cozily and lopsidedly outside Igbo land? Is there a marriage between Igbo criminality all across the world and Igbo entrepreneurial genome? These are questions that defeat the long, tired argument of Igbo entrepreneurial “peripatetism.”

The fact is the “entrepreneurial” beat up logic and reason for Igbo sojourning is a bored excuse.

Analogously, Igbo sojourning atavism is also effectuated by pride, ego and vanity. A typical Igbo person will want to prove he is successful in anyway. It is wickedly mortifying to be seen as poor or struggling in Igbo land. This underscores the reason many Igbo persons smuggle themselves out of Nigeria, and because it is thought that any person in Obodo Oyibo (white man’s country) or even anywhere outside Igbo land is “doing well”. Those Igbo persons who are “cursed” to be in Igbo land are seen as struggling and as such do not deserve the courtesy of admiration and respect. It is a proud thing for an Igbo father to say, “All my children are abroad”; even when the abroad is Gabon. Such a father courts the respect, envy and admiration of other fathers in Igbo land. Again, it is a proud thing for an Igbo person to be far away from home. It gives him a mysterious air of importance. The Igbo value more their people who are not in Igbo land than their people who are in unenviable propinquity. This is the Igboawful linkage between Igbo sojourning and base vanity.

In all, there are Igbo persons in the scrawny good number whose sojourn in foreign countries is not tainted by any evil intent or base vanity, but it is a bleeding fact the singular Igbo entrepreneurial logic for sojourning is one big smorgasbord of fallacy.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and a poet. Email: fredricknwabufo@yahoo.com08167992075.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters 

Steve Forbes to Moneynews: Stabilize Dollar to Fight ‘Ongoing’ Global Financial Crisis.

We currently sit in a phase of constant financial crisis, says Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media.

“The crisis is just ongoing. It peaks from time to time — the sluggishness that we see in our country and around the world,” he told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

“Yes, we’re doing better than the rest of the world but that’s like a baseball player hitting .250, and everyone else is hitting .150, when we should be hitting over .300.”

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans 

Speaking in terms the younger generation would understand, Forbes said, “it’s punk performance all around.”

So what’s the solution? “The key is going to be to get the dollar stabilized,” Forbes said. “It should be fixed to gold, and the sooner we do it the better. But you see it in the bond bubble. There’s a bond bubble out there.”

As for the Federal Reserve, it’s discovering how difficult it is to pull back from its massive easing program. Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama’s choice as the next Fed chairman, will be under immense pressure to pull back, Forbes says.

“Both she and [current Fed Chairman Ben] Bernanke are astronomers who still believe that the sun revolves around the earth,” he said.

“She is in total sympathy with what Bernanke has done, but she’s going to be under a lot more pressure than Bernanke has been to find a way, how do you undo this thing?”

Forbes has a suggestion for what Republican senators should ask Yellen in her confirmation hearings.

“In terms of printing money, how is that different from counterfeiting?” he said.

“Counterfeiting’s illegal, but printing money is a way to stimulate the economy. Why not have everyone do it?”

As for inflation, it’s currently under control, because the money being printed by the Fed isn’t spilling out into the economy, Forbes says. The Fed is sending that money to banks, then it borrows that money back from the banks at very low rates to buy long-term bonds, he says.

“So, right now, the Fed has dammed most of that money up, but when it starts to leak out, then we’re going to have major problems, and that’s going to be a major challenge for Janet Yellen,” Forbes said.

“Who knows when the dam might break? But it’s very bad situation that we’re facing today.”

He says the United States is the best country for investors now.

“There is no real safe haven, because the commodity boom has tapered off. We have a bond bubble out there,” Forbes said. Countries like Australia, Brazil and Indonesia aren’t growing as fast as they used to be.

“So the best place to be, even though we’re going to have turbulent waters, is right here in the United States,” Forbes said. “You should have some diversification, obviously, around the world, but I would not want to be in a country like India . . . when things get tough.”

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans 

© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

By Dan Weil and Kathleen Walter

Nigeria ranked 4th highest slave country.



The Global Index on Modern Slavery for 2013 released yesterday rated Nigeria as the fourth country with the highest numbers of slaves in the world.

The report shows that there are 701,032 estimated population in modern slavery in Nigeria. The range of the estimate spans from 670,000 to 740,000 salves in the country.

India has the highest population of slavery in the world with 13,956,010; China is rated second with 2,949,243; and Pakistan third, with 2,127,132. The report showed that 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labour, victims of debt bondage or even born into servitude.

Almost half are in India, where slavery ranges from bonded labour in quarries and kilns to commercial sex exploitation, although the scourge exists in all 162 countries surveyed by Walk Free, an Australian-based rights group. Its estimate of 29.8 million slaves worldwide is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery.


The International Labour Organisation estimates that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour. “Today some people are still being born into hereditary

slavery, a staggering but harsh reality, particularly in parts of West Africa and South Asia,” the report said.

“Other victims are captured or kidnapped before being sold or kept for exploitation, whether through ‘marriage’, unpaid labour on fishing boats, or as domestic workers. Others are tricked and lured into situations they cannot escape, with false promises of a good job or an education.”

The Global Slavery Index 2013 defines slavery as the possession or control of people to deny freedom and exploit them for profit or sex, usually through violence, coercion or deception. The definition includes indentured servitude, forced marriage and the abduction of children to serve in wars.

The rankings for the index are generated using three variables: a composite estimate of the number of people in slavery in each country, an estimate of the level of human trafficking from and into each country, and an estimate of the level of child and early marriage in each country.

According to the index, 10 countries, including Nigeria, alone account for three quarters of the world’s slaves. Other countries with high population of modern slavery include Ethiopia (651,000), Russia (516,000), Thailand (473,000), Democratic Republic of Congo (462,000), Myanmar (384,000) and Bangladesh (343,000). United Kingdom and Ireland tied as the least countries with low population in modern slavery.

The index also ranked nations by prevalence of slavery per head of population. By this measure, Mauritania is worst, with almost 4 percent of its 3.8 million people enslaved. Estimates by other organisations put the level at up to 20 percent.

Chattel slavery is common in Mauritania, meaning that slave status is passed down through generations. “Owners” buy, sell, rent out or give away their slaves as gifts.

After Mauritania, slavery is most prevalent by population in Haiti, where a system of child labour known as “restavek” encourages poor families to send their children to wealthier acquaintances, where many end up exploited and abused. Pakistan, India, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia and Gabon have the next highest prevalence rates.

At the other end of the scale, Iceland has the lowest estimated prevalence with fewer than 100 slaves.

Next best are Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Finland and Denmark, although researchers said slave numbers in such wealthy countries were higher than previously thought.

Source: Radio Biafra.

With Christian Persecution Reaching Pandemic Proportions, Intercessors Unite.

persecuted church
Pastor Samuel was imprisoned for his faith for eight years. Join churches across the world Nov. 3 for International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. (Gospel for Asia)

With persecution of Christians at its highest rate in recent times, Gospel for Asia is calling for a chain of prayer to encircle the globe on Nov. 3 for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Prayer resources are available at

“Stripped of their rights, fleeing their homes, beaten by their own family members, imprisonment and martyrdom are all part of what it means to stand firm in the Christian faith in many parts of the world,” says Dr. K.P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia (GFA) founder and president. “We must stand with them through earnest prayer.”

Yohannan says there are millions of Christians around the world who are persecuted for Christ.

“Based on the promise of God about the time leading up to Christ’s return, persecution will only get greater,” Yohannan says. “We can expect persecution.”

The violence of the Arab Spring that began in December 2010, which saw uprisings in a number of Middle East and North Africa nations, was often specifically targeted against Christians. In Egypt, at least 40 Coptic Christian churches and other Christian properties, such as bookstores and schools, were attacked and burned. Tens of thousands of Christians have fled the violence and kidnappings targeting their communities in Syria. Two suicide bombers attacked a Pakistani church in September, leaving at least 81 dead and 140 injured.

In India, a Christian family hosting a house church was invaded as they prepared for dinner on Good Friday. The father and son were severely beaten, all because people wanted to drive Christians out of their community.

“The Bible tells us that the prayers of the righteous effect change,” Yohannan says. “Last year on the International Day of Prayer, we asked you to pray for the release of Pastor Ugyen, who was imprisoned for showing a film about Jesus and leading people to believe in Him. His miraculous release after three years in prison is witness to a faithful God who hears and answers prayer.

“We must not let our persecuted brothers and sisters stand alone. Let us all pray for those who are facing great danger for boldly believing and sharing the love of Jesus.”

Indian Christians Sentenced to Life Terms Will Appeal.

Padanpur, Orissa
An oprhanage in Padanpur, Orissa, burns dring the violence that erupted following the August 2008 murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. (Open Doors International)

India‘s churches are urging an appeal of the lifetime sentences handed down Oct. 3 to seven men convicted for the 2008 murder of a prominent Hindu leader.

“The seven Christians are innocent,” said the Rev. Charles Irudayam, executive secretary of the Office for Justice, Peace and Development within the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. ”The ruling is manifestly wrong and unjust. We call for the release of the seven innocent, sentenced without evidence,” he said via a statement issued to the Catholic news service Agenzia Fides.

An eighth defendant, Pulari Rama Rao, a leader in India’s communist Naxalite movement, also was sentenced to life in prison.

The eight were among 14 the government suspected of carrying out the August 2008 murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others at a school in the rural heart of Orissa state. Saraswati was a Hindu monk and an activist for the welfare of India’s many indigenous, and impoverished, tribes. A mob of about 50 people surrounded the school, and several opened fire.

One of the 14 suspects, not among the eight sentenced Oct. 3, is in custody, and the remaining five remain at large, according to the Times of India.

The 2008 killings touched off a wave of violence, much of it directed at Christians, whom many angered Hindus considered responsible. Orissa is among the states along India’s eastern flank, the heartland of the communist Naxalite movement, which has attracted many Christians in India’s lower castes. Police focused their investigation on Maoists, even as leaders in the movement said Christians were among those pressing for Saraswati’s death. Saraswati was prominent in the Viśva Hindu Pariṣad, or VHP, a Hindu nationalist political party, and took a hard line against Christians attempting to convert Hindus.

The violence following Saraswati’s murder left nearly 40 people dead, some of them dragged from their homes and burned. Thousands of Christians fled their villages. Christian homes, churches and an orphanage were burned.

The eight defendants, tired in a district court in the rural town of Phulbani, were convicted Sept. 30 of murder, criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and rioting. Two also were found guilty of violating weapons laws.

Aside from Rao, the seven others who were convicted are Christian and killed Saraswati because he was converting Christians to Hinduism, prosecution lawyer Bhagaban Mohanty told the Indo-Asian News Service after the verdict.

“The judge convicted them purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the deposition of witnesses,” the news service quoted Mohanty as saying.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty. Instead, the additional district and sessions judge of Kandhamal, Rajendra Kumar Tosh, ruling from a court in the Orissa capital of Bhubaneswar, handed down life sentences.

A lawyer for the seven told the Times of India “we will certainly appeal” the convictions and sentences to the Orissa high court.

“There was no evidence against my clients and I would advise them to move Orissa high court,” the Times quoted attorney Bijay Mishra as saying.

Christian advocates said the convictions are consistent with a larger pattern of pressure upon Christians.

“It is really a heartbreaking story for modern India,” Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told Fides. “Seven people have already lost five precious years of their lives in prison without a fair trial. And thousands of other Christians who survived the most brutal wave of attacks, are still living in fear. Prosecutors and judges have intentionally delayed the trial.” He said ”the judiciary is influenced by Hindu nationalist groups and extremists.”

Six days after the sentences were handed down, the same Phulbani court, citing a lack of evidence, acquitted five defendants accused of burning down a house during the 2008 violence that followed Saraswati’s murder. George told the Catholic news site that the decision, coming so soon after the conviction of the seven Christian men, serves to illustrate what he said is a tilt of justice against India’s Christian minority.



Severe Tropical Cyclone Phailin On Course To Devastate India.

India is expected to suffer catastrophic impacts from Severe Tropical Cyclone Phailin in less than 12 hours

Destructive winds well over 160 kph (100 mph) and flooding rain of at least 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected across a wide area. There will be a crippling storm surge of 4-6 meters (14-20 feet), as well as wind gusts to 250 kph, near the landfall point of Phailin which is expected across northeastern India Saturday morning EDT.


Anyone residing in the states of Orissa or eastern Andhra Pradesh is encouraged to take proper precautions and prepare for life-threatening conditions.

As of Friday afternoon, Phalin is packing winds sustained at 260 kph (160 mph) with gusts to 320 kph (200 mph). This makes Phalin the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane and super typhoon.

All atmospheric and oceanic conditions point toward Phalin at least maintaining intensity. But, inner structural changes like eyewall replacement could lead to unexpected weakening.

A track toward the northwest is expected until landfall Saturday. Phailin has the potential to maintain Category 5 intensify until the point of landfall. If that is the case, the impacts will be catastrophic.source – AccuWeather.

by NTEB News Desk

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