කැලේට හුරුවෙච්ච එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. කොල්ලො
සත්තු වගේ හැසිරෙන්න ගත්තා…
එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. ය ගැන ‘සුමදි’ කියන කතාව සුමුදු නැත…
ටික කාලෙකින් විනය බින්දුවටම වැටුණා…
සමහර කෙල්ලො කරදර ඉවසන්න බැරිව පැනලා ගියා…
හිරිහැර කරන්න ආවොත් ඉවරයක් කරන්න කියලා විදූෂා අපිට කිව්වා…
සුමදි තරුණ කාන්තාවකි. වයස අවුරුදු තිහකි. හිරිමල් විය ප්රභාකරන්ගේ ඊළාම් සිහිනයට බිලි දී ඇති ඇය තාරුණ්ය කැප කර ඇත්තේ හමුදාව සමඟ යුද වදින්නය. මහා කැලෑවේ ගස්, ගල් යට තුවක්කු කර පින්නා ගෙන, සයිනයිඩ් කරල ගෙල දවටා ගෙන ජීවත් වූ ඇයගේ ජීවිතය බේරී ඇත්තේ පූරුවේ පිනකටය. එහෙත් ඇය දැන් අබ්බගාතය. හමුදාව සමඟ යුද වදිද්දී නොසිතූ මොහොතක ඇයගේ කලව ප්රදේශය පසාරු කරගෙන වෙඩි උණ්ඩයක් ගොස්ය. ඇය කියන විදිහට සිරුරේ හැම තැනම මූනිස්සම් කෑලිය. යුද්ධයේ බිහිසුණු බව හොඳින් අත්විඳ ඇති ඇය ත්රස්තවාදී ජීවිතය ගැන කතා කිරීමට ද අකමැතිය. එහෙත් අපගේ පෙරැත්ත කිරීම මත ඇය ඒ කාලකණ්ණි අතීතය නැවත මතක් කළාය. මේ ඇය කියන කතාවේ අවසාන කොටසය…
විදූෂාගේ බලකාය තමයි එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සංවිධානයේ තිබුණු ‘සුපිරිම’ කාන්තා බළකාය. ඒ වගේම එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. නායකයෝ අපේ බළකාය ගැන හොඳ අවධානයෙන් හිටියා. ඕනෑම සටනකට බහින්න සුපිරි ආයුධ දුන්නා. අපිත් ගේමකට බැස්සොත් මරාගෙන මැරිලා හරි ඉස්සරහටම ගියා මිසක් ආපස්සට හැරිල නෑ. අපෙන් විදූෂාට අවශ්ය වෙලා තිබුණෙත් එච්චරයි. විදූෂාත් සටනට බැස්සට පස්සෙ වෙන නායක, නායිකාවො වගේ පිටිපස්සේ ඉඳලා අණ දුන්නේ නෑ. හැම වේලාවේම හිටියේ පෙරමුණේ. විදූෂාට මරණ බය කියන එක දැනෙන්නේම නෑ. එයාගේ ඉලක්කය සතුරා විනාශ කිරීම විතරයි. අපිත් ඒක දැනගෙන සටනට බැස්සේ ජීවිතය ගැන බලාපොරොත්තු අතහැරලා. අපි ජීවිත දානය දෙන්නෙ ජාතිය වෙනුවෙන් කියලා හිතට ධෛර්ය අරගෙන.
මම මුලින්ම සටනට බැස්සෙ පරන්තන් හමුදා කෑම් එකට ඇටෑක් කරන්න. අපි පනහක් විතර සටනට බැස්සා. අපිට උදව්වට එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සාමාජිකයනුත් පනහක විතර කණ්ඩායමක් සටනට සම්බන්ධ වුණා. පාන්දර 2 ට විතර තමයි කෑම්ප් එකට ඇටෑක් කරන්න පටන් ගත්තේ. සටන මෙහෙයුවේ විදූෂා. එළිය වැටෙනකොට හමුදා කෑම් එක අපේ යටතට ගත්තා. ඒ සටනේදී හමුදාවේ ගොඩක් මැරුණා. ටිකක් පසු බැහැලා ගියා. අපේ මැරුණේ දහ දෙනයි. මෙහෙයුම ගොඩක් සාර්ථක වුණේ හමුදාව කිසිම විදිහකින් නොහිතන විදිහට සටන ප්ලෑන් කරලා තිබුණු නිසා. ඒ සටන සාර්ථකව කරපු නිසා අපිට පදක්කම් පැළඳුවා. චුන්ඩිකුලම් එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. කඳවුරේ තිබුණු ඒ උත්සවයට ප්රධාන ආරාධිතයා විදිහට ආවේ ප්රභාකරන්. එදා තමයි මම පළමු වතාවට ප්රභාකරන්ව දැක්කේ. ප්රභාකරන් තමයි අපිට පදක්කම් පැළඳුවේ. එදා ප්රභාකරන් අපි එක්ක හොඳට කතා කළා. අපිටත් හරි සතුටුයි. අපේ මොරාල් තවත් වැඩි වුණා.
අපි නිතරම මෙහෙයුම්වලට ගියේ නෑ. හොඳටම සැලසුම් කරලා තමයි ගේමකට බැස්සේ. ඊට අමතරව අපේ බළකායේ ටීම් හදලා හමුදා බංකර්වලට ඇටෑක් කරන්න දැම්මා. එක ටීම් එකකට පස් දෙනයි. ඒ ටීම්වලට පැවරුණු රාජකාරිය රෑට හමුදා බංකර්වලට ඇතුළු වෙලා බංකරේ ඉන්න අයගෙ බෙල්ල කපන්න. අපි ගෙනිච්ෙච් පිස්ටල් එකයි. පිහියයි විතරයි. ඒ මෙහෙයුමත් ගොඩක් සාර්ථක වුණා. හමුදාවේ අයට හිතා ගන්න බැරි විදිහට අපේ කෙල්ලො ගේම දුන්නා. ඒත් එක තැනකදී මට වැරැදුනා. දවසක් කිලිනොච්චියේ එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. බෝඩරේ කිට්ටුව තිබුණු හමුදා බංකරයකට ඇටෑක් කරන්න අපි සැලසුම් කළා. රෑ 11 ට විතර බංකරය කිට්ටුවට ගියා. බංකරේ හමුදාවේ තුන් දෙනෙක් ඉන්නවා අපි දැක්කා. එක්කෙනෙක් නිදා ගන්නවා. දෙන්නෙක් ඇහැරිලා හිටියා. අපි ටාගට් කළේ එක පාරටම අපි දෙන්නෙක් දෙන්නගේ බෙල්ලට පනින්න. බංකරයට කිට්ටු කරලා පාන්දර තුන විතර වෙනකම් කුරුමානම් අල්ලගෙන හිටියා. හරියටම ටාගට් එක අරගෙන බංකරයට කිට්ටු කරනකොටම මාත් එක්ක ගිය අනිත් කෙනාට චරස් ගාලා කොළයක් පෑගුණා. ඒ ශබ්දයට බංකරේ හිටපු එක්කෙනෙක් µයර් කළා. මගේ කකුලට වෙඩි වැදුණා. මම දන්නේ එච්චරයි. ඒත් අපේ ටීම් එකේ කෙල්ලෝ මාව දාලා ඇවිල්ලා නෑ. කොහොම හරි කර ගහගෙන කැලෙන් පැනලා ඇවිත්.
එදා පාන්දරම මාව පුදුකුඩිඉරුප්පු එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. රෝහලට අරගෙන ගිහින් ඔපරේෂන් කරලා තිබුණා. පුදුකුඩිඉරුප්පු ඉස්පිරිතාලේ එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. පාලන ප්රදෙAශවල තිබුණු හොඳ රෝහලක්. එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. නායකයන් ලෙඩ දුක්වලට, හදිස අනතුරුවලදී වැඩියෙන්ම ප්රතිකාර ගත්තේ ඒ රෝහලෙන්. දක්ෂ වෛද්යවරු හිටියා. ඕනෑම සැත්කමකට අවශ්ය උපකරණ තිබුණා. මගේ වාසනාවට කකුලට හරියට වෙඩි වැදිලා තිබුණේ නෑ. ඒත් කකුල කපන්නෙ නැතුව බේරගත්තේ බොහෝම අමාරුවෙන්. කකුල සනීප වුණාට පස්සෙ මාව එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. වෛද්ය බළකායට ඇතුළත් කළා. එතැන අවුරුද්දක් විතර ඉන්නකොට ආයෙමත් විදුෂා බළකායට දැම්මා. ඒ සිද්ධිය වුණේ 2000 අවුරුද්දේ. එතැන ඉඳලා යුද්දේ අවසාන වෙනකම් හිටියේ එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සන්නද්ධ අංශයේ. මහා කැලෑවල බංකර්වල. වැඩිය සටන්වලට ගියෙත් නෑ. ඔහොම ටික කාලයක් යනකොට එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සංවිධානය ටිකෙන් ටික පිරිහෙන්න පටන් ගත්තා. බලය ලබා ගන්න නායකයො අතර නිතරම ගැටුම් ඇති වුණා. එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සංවිධානය පිරිහෙන්න ප්රධාන හේතුව වුණේ ඒක. ඒ එක්කම සාමාජිකයන්ගේ විනය බිංදුවට වැටුණා. බංකර්වලට හරියට කෑම ටිකවත් ලැබෙන්නේ නැතිව ගියා. මහා කැලේ බංකර් ඇතුලේ ගස්වල ගෙඩි කලා අපි දවස ගෙවලා තියෙනවා. එහෙම දවස්වලට යුද්ධ කරන්න තියා කෙලින් ඉන්නවත් පණ නෑ. අපේ හිතේ හයියටම තමයි හිටියේ.
කැලේටම හුරු වෙච්ච අපේ සාමාජිකයෝ ටිකෙන්, ටික සත්තු වගේ හැසිරෙන්න පටන් ගත්තා. අපි එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. යට බැඳුණු මුලදී ඇහැක් ඇරලා නොබලපු සාමාජිකයෝ කෙල්ලන්ව පාවිච්චි කරන්න පටන් ගත්තා. ඒත් විදුෂාට තියෙන බයට අපේ බළකායේ කෙල්ලෝ ගාවට කවුරුවත් කිට්ටු වෙන්න ආවේ නෑ. අනිත් කාන්තා බළකායන්වල සාමාජිකාවන්ට කැලේ ඇතුළෙදී ගොඩක් හිරිහැර වුණා. සමහර කෙල්ලෝ කරදර ඉවසන්න බැරිව පැනලා ගියා. එහෙම පැනලා ගියා කියලත් වැඩක් වුණේ නෑ. සතියක් යනකොට කොයි දීපංකරේ හිටියත් හොයාගෙන ඇවිත් පනිෂ්මන්ට් දීලා බංකර්වලට දානවා. ඒ නිසා පැනලා යන්න මම නම් හිතුවේවත් නෑ. දිගටම සටන් බිමේ හිටියා.
එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සංවිධානය තුළදී කාන්තාවන්ට වෙන අසාධාරණකම් ගැන විදුෂා අක්කා මුලදී ඉහළ නායකයන් දැනුවත් කළා. ඒත් ඒ අය කණකට ගත්තේ නෑ. ‘උන්ට ප්රශ්නයක් නැති නම් අපිට මොකද? උඹලට මොනවහරි හිරිහැරයක් කරන්න ආවොත් කිසිම දෙයක් බලන්න එපා ඉවරයක්ම කරලා දාපල්ලා. ඉතුරු ටික මම බලා ගන්නම්…’ කියලා අපිට විදූෂා අක්කා උපදෙස් දීලා තිබුණා. ඒත් කවුරුවත් එහෙම කරන්න ගියේ නෑ. කෙල්ලෝ, කොල්ලෝ හිතවත්කම් ඇති කර ගත්තා. එහෙම සම්බන්ධකම් ඇති කරගත්ත සමහර අය කසාද බැන්දා. තව අය බඳින්නේ නැතුව එකට හිටියා. එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. යට ඒක සාමාන්ය දෙයක් වුණා. අන්තිමේ එල්.ටි.ටී.ඊ. සංවිධානයේ විනාශයට ඒකත් එක හේතුවක් වුණා. යුද්දේ අවසානම කාලේදී ඉරණපාලේදී මම හමුදාවට භාර වුණා.
‘ඔයාලා ඇවිත් අපෙන් විස්තර අරගෙන යයි. ඊට පස්සේ ගමේ අය අහන ප්රශ්නවලට උත්තර දෙන්න වෙන්නෙ අපිට… දැනටමත් කී දෙනෙක් මේ පැත්තට ඔළුව දාගෙන ගියාද…? තල් වැටට උඩින් පාර දිහා බලාගෙන සිටි සුමදි අපට එසේ කීවාය.
කතාව සැබෑය. අප සුමදිලාගේ නිවසට ඇතුළු වූ මොහොතේ සිට තරුණයන් දෙතුන් දෙනෙක් යතුරුපැදිවලින් තුන්හතර වතාවක්ම ඇයගේ නිවස අසලින් එහෙට මෙහෙට ගියහ. ඒ යන සෑම අවස්ථාවකම යතුරු පැදියේ වේගය අඩු කර සමුදිලාගේ නිවස හොඳින් විපරම් කරන අයුරු අපගේ ද ඇස ගැටිණි.
‘බයිසිකල්වලින් එහාට, මෙහාට යන්නෙ කවුද… ඔයාලා අඳුරනවද…’ නැවත අපි සුමදිට කතා කළෙමු.
‘එහෙම අඳුරන්නේ නෑ. අපි අඳුරන්නේ නැති මිනිස්සු කොච්චර නම් මේ ගම්වල ඉන්නවද… අපි ඒ මිනිස්සු ගැන හොයන්න යන්නේ නෑ. අපිට අනුන්ගේ දේවල් වැඩක් නෑ. අපිට ඕනෑ පාඩුවේ ජීවත් වෙන්න. මේ කඳවුරෙන් මිදිලා අපේම තැනකට යන්න.
යුද්දේ ඉවර වෙලත් දැන් කොච්චර කාලයක් වෙනවද… අපි තවම අනාථ කඳවුරුවල. අපේ ප්රශ්න ගැන අහන්න කවුරුවත් නෑ. ඔයලාත් අපි ළඟට ඇවිත් අහන්නෙ පරණ දෙවල්. ඇයි අපේ ප්රශ්න ගැන කතා කරන්නේ නැත්තේ… මේ කඳවුරේ පවුල් හතළිස් දෙකක් ජීවත් වෙනවා. ඒ හැම පවුලක්ම මේ ටකරන් මඩුවල ජීවත් වෙන්නේ කැමැත්තෙන් නෙමෙයි. යන්න තැනක් නැති නිසා. අපටත් ජීවිත අලුතින් පටන් ගන්න ඕනෑ. ඒත් මේ විදිහට කඳවුරක හිර වෙලා ජීවිත අලුතින් පටන් ගන්න බෑ. දුක්විඳලා මැරිලා යන්න වෙන්නේ. මට තවම අවුරුදු තිහයි. වයසෙන් භාගයක්වත් ගෙවිලා නෑ. මමත් කැමතියි කසාදයක් කරගෙන දරු මල්ලොත් එක්ක ජීවත් වෙන්න. ඒත් මෙහෙම කඳවුරුවල හිර වෙලා දරුවෝ හදාගෙන උන්ටත් දුක් දෙන්න බෑ. කාලයක්ම මේ ටකරන් මඩුවල විඳින දුක දන්නේ අපි විතරයි. හරියට වතුර ටිකක් නෑ. ටොයිලට් උතුරලා නාහයක් තියාගෙන ඉන්න බෑ. වහින කාලෙට වතුරෙන් යට වෙනවා. ඇයි මේ ප්රශ්න ගැන කවුරුවත් කතා කරන්නේ නැත්තේ. දෙමළ විමුක්තිය ගැන කතා කරන අපේ නායකයෝ කිසිම දවසක මේ කඳවුරකට ඇවිල්ලා අපේ ප්රශ්න ගැන කතා කරලා නෑ. ඒ අයට ඕනා අපිව ඉත්තන්ට තියාගෙන බලය තරකර ගන්න. සැප විඳින්න… අපේ දුක ලෝකයට කියන්න… එතකොට හරි අපිට සහනයක් ලැබෙයි. ඔයලාට ඒක පිනක්…’ නැවතත් සුමදිගේ දෙනෙත් තල් වැටෙන් ඈතට පාවිණි. අපගේ දෙනෙත් පමණක් නොව දෙපා ද කඳවුර වටා ඇවිද ගියේය.
කාලයක් ගිනි ගොඩේ ජීවත් වූ ඔවුහු යුද්ධයේ අවසානයෙන් පසු ටකරන් මඩුවල තැම්බෙන්නාහ. අදටත් එහෙමය. ඔවුන් විඳින දුක අපි දෑසින් දුටුවෙමු. උතුරා ගිය වැසිකිළිවල දුගඳට අපේ ඉහ මොළ රත් වී හිස කකියන්ට විය. අනාථ කඳවුරේ කඳුළු බී දුක වදාළන පීඩිත මිනිසුන්ගේ දුක ලේ නහර කිලිපොළා යන තරමට සුමදි අපට කීවාය. ඒ කතාව ඇයගේ වචනයෙන්ම අපි රටට කීවෙමු. ඉදිරියට වෙන දේ ගැන දැන් අපි බලා හිඳිමු.
Sri Lanka probes first Lankan ISIS man
COLOMBO: A 37-year-old Sri Lankan, who graduated in Sharia Law from Pakistan, has reportedly died fighting along the dreaded Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, prompting authorities to probe whether he was a Lankan national.
Abhu Shuraih Sailani, a father of six, was a karate instructor from the central town of Galewela. He has also worked as the principal of a privately owned education institution at Galewela having come over from Kandy city.
He was reportedly killed in an airstrike in Syria. After completing primary education, he had pursued Islamic studies mastering Hadith science. He later completed his LLB in Shariah Law from the International Islamic University in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Muslim community, expressed its deep dismay at media reports of the first Sri Lankan killed in battle in Syria fighting along the Islamic State (IS) militants.
In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, the Council said that the group of extremists, who call themselves the caliphate or Islamic State (formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), is a threat to Islam and the group violates both Sharia law and humanitarian law.
Islam is a religion of mercy and tolerance that totally prohibits the taking of innocent lives. There is no theological basis for any crimes to be committed through terrorism or violence, it said.
The Muslims of Sri Lanka join Islamic scholars and Muslim leaders around the world to condemn without any reservation the ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for failing to respect key tenants of Islam. Their actions are un-Islamic and inhumane, the Council added.
PASTOR BURNS THE PORTRAITS OF HINDU GODS
Leaders of Viswa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh demanded that the police take stern action against the pastors and father of a church, who allegedly burnt the portraits of Hindu gods at Vanipenta in Kadapa district on August 18.
Mydukur, Aug. 21: Leaders of Viswa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh demanded that the police take stern action against the pastors and father of a church, who allegedly burnt the portraits of Hindu gods at Vanipenta in Kadapa district on August 18.
They threatened that they would intensify their agitation if cases were not booked against the Christians. Following a complaint by these leaders, the police registered a case against the Christian pastors and father, said circle-inspector Harinatha Reddy.
The activists led by RSS Zilla Pramukh T Venkateswarlu, district joint secretary B.R. Venkataramana staged a rasta roko at Mydukur on Monday. The leaders alleged that the Christian religious organisations were resorting to religious conversions for the past so many years.
They eyed several Dalitwadas for their religious conversions and as part of it, they organised a meet on August 18 and converted some Hindus into Christians. On the occasion, they reportedly set fire to some portraits of Hindu gods on the premises of the church, they alleged. However, Komara Venkata Ramana, Dumme Pedda Venkanna and G. Venkoji Rao of Vanipenta brought the issue to their notice, the leaders said.
BELLEVUE BAPTIST GOES ON GLOBAL ‘MISSION’
(This is a classic caseÂ of illegal missionary activity.Â Missionary activity on visitor or business visa is illegal)
By Trevor Aaronson (Contact)
HYDERABAD, India — They come at night.
More than 600 Indian women — old and young, unmarried, married and widowed, all poor — travel from villages across the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh: Pathikomba, Konala, Koyyada, Suddapalli, Magaluru. Their destination is the same, a walled compound in southern Hyderabad known as the National Training Institute for Village Evangelism.
They come for a one-week conference — underwritten by the largest congregation in Memphis — on how to evangelize to and convert Hindus in some of the most remote areas of India, where less than 3 percent of the population is Christian.
Most travel by bus across miles of bumpy, dirt roads. They hold their saris over mouth and nose to block the plumes of dust that pass through open windows.
For some, such as Yadamma Alloju, the journey is more difficult emotionally than physically. A slender 45-year-old with a gold nose ring and a warm smile, Alloju lives with her husband and two sons in a small concrete-block house around the corner from the compound. She is the first Christian in her family, and when she told her husband and sons of her plans to attend the seminar, they forbade her. During the day, she pleaded. At night, she begged. Finally, her husband relented on one condition: She not be baptized.
Commercial Appeal reporter Trevor Aaronson and photographer Alan Spearman traveled the world and found out how one how one Southern city sends ripples around the globe. Click here for videos, photos and more.
Converts: More than 600 women, led in prayer by Pastor Edgar Sathuluri, join Bellevue Baptist Church missionaries at a conference for women in Hyderabad, India. The women, mostly from India’s poorest social class, had their transportation, expenses and meals paid for by the Memphis megachurch fostering Christian conversion in the largely Hindu nation.
“I cannot tell my husband what happens here,” Alloju says as she stands in front of the compound gates wearing a purple sari and black sandals.
What happens here is funded entirely by Bellevue Baptist, a 30,000-member church in Memphis, the nation’s second-largest Southern Baptist congregation. Every year, Bellevue shells out $5.5 million — one-fourth of its $22 million annual budget — for missionary work around the world. At any given time, Bellevue is supporting missionaries in more than two dozen countries, and annually sends its Memphis congregants on international mission trips to Central America, South America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
India is particularly important for the congregation. The country is at the center of what Bellevue and other evangelical churches refer to as the “10/40 window” — the area 10degrees to 40degrees north of the equator, from North Africa to Japan, where 95percent of the people are “unevangelized” and where only 8percent of evangelical missionary dollars are spent.
“It’s really called ‘The Last Frontier,'” says Steve Marcum, Bellevue’s minister of missions.
In July, with the help of Indian Pastor Edgar Sathuluri, who named the women’s conference after his mother, Grace, Bellevue covered the transportation costs for the hundreds of women and paid for their meals during the five-day religious gathering in Hyderabad.
Bellevue officials declined to specify how much money they’ve paid to Sathuluri, saying only that his organization represents one of the church’s most significant international investments in 2007. Additionally, Bellevue supports Sathuluri’s organization by making monthly contributions.
Ritual mark: Satyavati, a Hindu temple keeper, places a tilakam, or red mark, on the foreheads of two men riding a motorcycle. She then blesses their motorcycle and asks Kali to protect them from harm in their daily commute.
Hard life: Thorona, a 20-year-old Christian convert, loads granite into containers at a quarry for 12 hours a day for just over $1.50. Iswar, 30, (left) holds the couple’s 3-year-old child. In a culture where women perform much of the backbreaking labor, Thorona earns the family’s wages before taking a break to breast-feed the child and make lunch for her waiting husband.
Donna Gaines, the wife of Bellevue Pastor Steve Gaines, led the summer mission to Sathuluri’s compound. A tall former beauty queen with a mini-bouffant, Gaines speaks in a thick southern accent about Bellevue’s work in the “10/40 window.”
In India, Bellevue and Sathuluri have for years targeted a specific group for their evangelism: the poorest women in a crowded, complex country of more than 1billion people.
“Edgar doesn’t invest in fields where there is little return, and there is such a hunger and such a desire for Jesus in these villages,” she says.
Bellevue puts faith — and millions of of dollars — in international partners. But by investing money and people in central India, the megachurch has entered a world vastly dissimilar to its Cordova surroundings. Bellevue has put its members at the center of increasing religious tensions amid allegations of persecution and fraud.
* * *
On a July afternoon, a day before the compound is set to host the 600 women, Edgar Sathuluri escorts around the site a dozen women and several men from Bellevue. A soft-spoken 49-year-old with a mustache and pronounced limp, Sathuluri invited the Bellevue missionaries to India as part of the Grace Sathuluri Conference for Women.
In years past, this conference has been supported by money from several churches, including Bellevue and Grace Evangelical Church in Germantown. This year, as part of its expanding missionary work in India, Bellevue became the sole sponsor of the conference and dispatched to the region a group of seasoned and first-time missionaries.
Sathuluri takes the group into a small building near the edge of the compound. The women, dressed in loose-fitting clothing, crowd shoulder to shoulder in a small room.
As Sathuluri introduces his nephew, Aaron, and tells the women about how treacherous conditions are for Christians in India, three Hindu men walk up to the compound, as if on cue. Dressed in kurta pajamas, a traditional Indian outfit consisting of a baggy cotton shirt and bottoms, the men peer into the building and eye the Memphis missionaries.
“Excuse me, please,” Sathuluri says as he walks outside.
The men amble over to an area where three dust-covered sport utility vehicles are parked. Aaron continues the discussion as the Bellevue women sneak glances outside, trying to figure out what’s happening. Sathuluri and the men talk in Telugu, the language of Andhra Pradesh, for several minutes before Sathuluri raises his voice and points to the gates. The men walk away, into the surrounding neighborhood.
“They know Americans are here,” Sathuluri tells the women as he returns to the building. It’s as if Sathuluri was given the introduction he needed.
For the next 10 minutes, he talks about the religious persecution Christians face in India. He tells a story of how people he refers to as “radical Hindus” from the neighborhood once stormed his compound, turned over tables of food and vandalized cars.
Converted: Local women offer prayers to Jesus with the Bellevue Baptist missionaries at Grace Church in Atmakur. Built by Edgar Sathuluri, the church provides vocational training for women in the village.
Possessed: This woman, claiming to be possessed by Kali, marches with followers to Jai Kali Temple in Hyderabad, where they sacrificed a goat to release Kali’s spirit from her body. One form of the goddess is believed to protect the villagers from mosquito-born diseases common in the monsoon season, while another form protects the fields and farms from epidemics.
On another occasion, Sathuluri explained, he and his older brother, Mohan, also a minister, were preaching in a small village in Andhra Pradesh when a group of locals charged toward them. A Christian family took them in, barricading the brothers in the house until police arrived to break up the demonstration.
“The men had sticks, clubs,” Sathuluri says. “They wanted to kill us.”
Craig Stockdale, owner of a Memphis landscaping company who came to India to escort his wife and the other women, shakes his head. “The persecution he faces here is unbelievable,” Stockdale says.
Sathuluri has been unafraid to market that alleged persecution. On Jan. 11, six months before the Bellevue group arrived in India, he sent an e-mail to the church, which was posted on its Web site. In the message, Sathuluri described how his compound was attacked by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a political party that advocates the strengthening of traditional Hindu culture.
“There was total mayhem as they were beating up the little children, kicked their rice plates from their hands and threw all the food on the ground,” Sathuluri wrote.
Although questions exist about the legitimacy of Sathuluri’s claims, Hyderabad and other parts of India can be religiously volatile. Tensions among the Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities are common and at times have turned violent. In May, for example, a cell phone-triggered pipe bomb exploded at Mecca Masjid, a large mosque in central Hyderabad, as more than 10,000 people worshipped inside. Sixteen people were killed.
Conflicts between the dominant Hindu community and the growing Christian community aren’t infrequent in India. Christian Solidarity Worldwide, an organization that publicizes persecutions of Christians, regularly reports the arrest and detainment of Christian missionaries in India. Some are detained unnecessarily and illegally — India’s laws provide for freedom of religion — while others are harassed by authorities for resorting to unjustifiably brash tactics, such as distributing Christian materials inside and around Hindu temples.
Most Christian missionaries in India, including Bellevue’s, refer to Australian Graham Stewart Staines to illustrate the dangers they face. In January 1999, Staines and his two sons were burned alive while sleeping in their car in Orissa, 620 miles southeast of New Delhi. Police believe Staines and his sons were murdered by members of Bajrang Dal, a radical group affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
But that political party has long claimed it is not responsible for such attacks.
* * *
The offices of the Bharatiya Janata Party are in a cavernous, marble-floored building guarded by men with AK-47s. Open windows create cross-breezes and wind tunnels throughout. The noises of Hyderabad’s congested traffic seep through the walls, creating background choruses in all the rooms.
On the second floor, surrounded by staff and messengers, is Vidyasagar Rao. A former Parliamentarian and cabinet member of India’s previous ruling government, Rao is now the chairman of BJP in Andhra Pradesh.
Sacred wine: At a Sunday service in Atmakur, a local woman drinks communion wine, the Christian rite in remembrance of the Last Supper, in which Jesus likened his body to bread and his blood to wine.
Children of God: Leelarani Chitti Prolu and Pradeep Banothu, both 9, portray Adam and Eve in a skit while their pastor fathers attend the Grace Sathuluri Conference for Women in Hyderabad. According to the book of Genesis, Adam was created by God from the dust of the earth and brought to life with God’s breath. Eve was made from Adam’s rib. Both are cursed and cast out of the Garden of Eden after eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their children then populate the Earth.
Rao, a Hindu, is accustomed to mixing religion and politics in conversation. Here, in a state of 76million people, politicos joke about the religion of the chief minister — he’s Christian — the way Americans laugh about a U.S. senator being nabbed by police in an airport bathroom.
Those who snicker the loudest in Andhra Pradesh tend to come from BJP, which is partially responsible for laws that prohibit Christians from using gifts and money to induce conversions. Owing to the party’s political assaults on organizations they believe are encumbering traditional Hindu culture and values, BJP is often blamed for physical attacks on Christian groups in India.
“As a state and national party, we are not responsible for any attacks on Christians,” Rao says. “These are lies.”
While the party chairman supports Christian groups’ freedom to operate in India, he questions how many are obeying the country’s inducement laws since Christian conversions in India happen disproportionately more among poor people than middle-class and wealthy Indians.
“BJP is in the forefront to highlight these issues — that there are certain missionaries who are trying to convert people to Christianity by doing things that are illegal, such as giving money or gifts,” Rao says.
He believes most claims of persecution are fabricated by Christian organizations hoping to pull at the purse strings of wealthy American churches. “These people will do anything for American money,” Rao says.
Asked about Sathuluri’s and Bellevue’s claims of BJP attacks, Rao denies having any knowledge of Sathuluri’s organization. “But I can’t assure you these attacks didn’t happen,” Rao says. “For that, you would have to talk to the local party activists.”
Those local activists worship in a temple around the corner from Sathuluri’s walled compound. On a July evening, Ramreddy Kolanu is standing barefoot on the steps of the temple. He wears a tilakam, a red mark, on his forehead. Inside the temple, a priest is standing near a statue of Ganesha, the Hindu deity with the head of an elephant.
“I’ve lived here for years,” Kolanu says. “I know what happens here, and I can you tell you that attacks have never happened over there. I would know if they did.”
Kolanu says he and his neighbors don’t care what goes on inside the walls. “Everybody’s faith is their own,” he says.
Sathuluri isn’t as easygoing as his neighbor. When he discovers that an interpreter, who is Hindu, is in the compound the day he is to perform baptisms, Sathuluri threatens to call police to remove her and a Commercial Appeal reporter and photographer from the property. He says the interpreter hired by the newspaper could be a “spy” for the government.
“I could be killed,” Sathuluri says in front of several Bellevue missionaries.
“India is a strange place in that any day the radical Hindus can get upset and attack a church or a known group of Christians when technically by government standards people have freedom, the right to worship,” says Ellie Marcum, wife of Bellevue minister of missions Steve Marcum and one of Bellevue’s most seasoned missionaries to India, as if to explain Sathuluri’s hostility.
How much of the Indian pastor’s reaction is out of fear for his safety or trepidation about an independent interpreter is unknown. Some evidence suggests the latter: Sathuluri consistently exaggerated facts he would give the Bellevue women, claiming, for example, that the 600 women who attended the conference were so poor they only had one sari when, in fact, many said they were better off than Sathuluri suggested.
Others, who would talk openly of being beaten by husbands and sons for converting to Christianity, said they had never heard of attacks on Sathuluri or his compound.
Spiritual climax: Late one evening, as part of a large ceremony, Darlene Stroud washes the feet of Indian women. This was the spiritual climax for the Bellevue evangelists attending the conference.
Weeping: This Indian woman cries after her feet were washed by the hands of women from Bellevue Baptist Church, an act of humility in emulation of Jesus.
Baptists in saris: Shari Ray (from left), Jerri Nelson, Donna Gaines and Susie Wright pray with a number of other Bellevue missionaries at Grace Church in Atmakur, south of Hyderabad.
* * *
Yadamma Alloju isn’t thinking about her orange sari as she steps into the water. Mohan Sathuluri, wearing black pants and a white button-down shirt, is chest-deep in the small pool in the middle of the religious compound. He takes Alloju by the hand; she steps forward, deeper into the pool as the sari’s light fabric wafts in the water.
Positioned to the side of Alloju, Sathuluri prays. He gently places one hand on her back, the other on her forehead, and pushes her beneath the water’s surface. A second later, he pulls her up; she emerges, wet and crying.
The Bellevue missionaries watch from a viewing area next to the pool. Some offer tears, others camera flashes. None get close to the baptismal pool and wet women.
“This is why I am here,” Alloju says as dozens of other Indian women wait in line to be baptized. Against her husband’s instruction, Alloju was reborn in Christ. But in her excitement, she hadn’t thought to bring a second sari, and if she were to return home wet, her husband would know what she’d done. He’d beat her, she says.
Alloju runs off to borrow an extra sari from another attendee and let hers dry in the sun.
For five days just like this one, 600 women crowd into the compound. Each morning and night, they gather under a large pavilion built weeks earlier by Bellevue volunteers and with Bellevue money. They listen to hours of sermons in Telugu and English. In the afternoons, they break into smaller groups, each with a Bellevue missionary, to discuss the Bible and its teachings and how they can more effectively talk to other women in their village about the Bible.
The conference is particularly moving for Susie Wright, a 52-year-old Memphian who was born in Kerala, a state in south India whose Christian community dates back to the arrival of St. Thomas on the Asian subcontinent in the year 52.
As with other Bellevue members who believe their religion is the only way to a peaceful afterlife — Donna Gaines, for example, describes Hinduism’s holiest city, Varanasi, as “the darkest place I saw in India” — Wright sees her native country as a much bleaker place than the one she adopted.
“It is dark with sin,” she says of India. “Satan has blinded the eyes of every person, Hindus, here. The only way the darkness can go and the lightness can come is through Jesus Christ. … But God is going to raise a lot of Christians here. The Christians here in India, they are the most devoted, humble, godly, fire-for-the-Lord Christians. With their prayer, with their eagerness to bring this country to the Lord, one of these days God is going to raise these people.”
But these people, the 600 sleeping in open-air pavilions at Sathuluri’s compound, have little in common with Wright.
While she has a master’s degree in microbiology from an American university, many of the women at the conference are either illiterate or read at rudimentary levels. The Telugu-language Bibles they carry are for many more symbolic than useful, and determining whether their Christianity is comprehended or recited is at times difficult.
Most speak in a rough, uneducated Telugu, but when asked why they believe in Christianity, some answer, “When God has given His life for me, I must do at least that much,” in perfect Telugu. Others admit they know little of Christianity and came to the conference for the free meals and the new sari they receive for attending — inducements potentially illegal under Indian law.
Donna Gaines sees only the hope, the mission, in Sathuluri’s and Bellevue’s work in India. “Edgar’s doing for women what Christ did for women in his time,” she says. “And, really, India, in the primitive, remote areas, reminds me so much of what Biblical times must have been like, looked like, smelled like.”
Meeting villagers: Missionary Donna McFarland jokes with women in Atmakur as she learns how hard it is to carry a heavy bowl on her head. The women transport goods to and from nearby cotton fields.
At home: Guno Sadan, 7, was abandoned after her mother died and her father left. She lives with Jayanti Kanto, 20, a Christian who is sweeping the floor of her concrete home.
Gaines and other Bellevue missionaries see great purpose in their presence in India. Not only are they sharing their religion with others, they believe, but they are saving others from what they term a “pagan religion.”
In Hinduism, the world’s third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam, followers worship a variety of deities and incarnations. Although Hinduism has its fringe sects — some, for example, worship Kali, a violent deity with a blood-soaked tongue — many of its believers consider Hinduism more of a way of life than a religion.
However, Gaines sees Hinduism as nothing more than idol-worship. “It’s sad, actually, because we were and are created in the image of God,” she says.
“God placed, Ecclesiastes said, eternity in our hearts. So we have that longing. I call it the God-shaped vacuum, the hole in our heart. We’re searching and we try to fill it. Every other religion is simply man’s attempt to work his way up to God, and it’s only in Christianity that God came down to man, through his son Jesus Christ.”
That’s the message Gaines is trying to deliver in India. “Because America is so saturated (with Christians), you realize there are places in the world with a much greater need,” she says.
But conversion to Christianity is a complicated matter in India, particularly for the poor women Sathuluri and Bellevue target. These women are at the bottom of India’s ancient caste system, which organizes society according to birth.
Brahmans, at the top of the caste system, are society’s priests and thinkers, while Dalits, at the bottom of the caste system, are subjected to society’s hardest and dirtiest jobs. The women attending the conference make a living performing backbreaking work, doing everything from climbing coconut trees to collect fermented liquor (known as “toddy tapping”) to breaking and lifting rocks at a quarry.
Their conversion to Christianity is so discouraged by the Indian government that Bellevue’s missionaries are forced to enter the country using tourist visas.
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Since lower-caste Indians are marginalized by Hindu society, they are the most susceptible to Bellevue and other Christians, whose missionaries peddle equality and sin-cleansing.
Yet in modern India, accepting Christ and giving up Hindu caste identity, while legal, can have severe consequences for lower-caste Indians. Legislation similar to affirmative-action laws in the United States affords Dalits and other lower-caste Indians places at companies and universities. By becoming a Christian, they lose those benefits, though Indian courts are currently debating the issue of extending benefits to lower-caste Christians.
However, many of the women Sathuluri and Bellevue convert are not sophisticated enough to understand the implications of becoming a Christian in India. Poolamma Gyana, a 16-year-old from Suddapalli who was baptized a few days before the Bellevue-funded women’s conference, shakes her head upon learning that she has lost the special benefits provided to her caste.
“Is this true?” she asks.
The answer to that question isn’t something Sathuluri and Bellevue offer to their converts.
“In my charitable interpretation of this, either the people at Bellevue didn’t know about the caste benefits, that they themselves are ignorant of this, or theologically they are predisposed to thinking that converting to Christ is the highest good and any kind of material benefits one receives in this world tails behind the benefits one would receive in salvation,” says Mark Muesse, a religious studies professor at Rhodes College.
“If people are given full understanding of what this conversion might mean, it might give them pause to make that commitment. They still might make it. You really would hope that people who commit to Christianity would do so with the understanding of what that means for them and the benefits they might lose from the government.”
* * *
Late one evening, as part of a large ceremony, the Bellevue ladies and the Indian women gather in about a dozen circles. The Indian women sit at the circles’ edges as the missionaries, in the centers, wash the feet of each woman.
“It’s a spiritual picture, obviously, of what Christ did for His disciples but also of us being willing to humble ourselves,” Gaines says. “It’s one of those paradoxes of Christian life: When you humble yourself, you’ll be exalted.”
Mission accomplished: Edgar Sathuluri (from left), Donna Gaines, Ellie Marcum and Jean Stockdale laugh along with the other Bellevue missionaries on the last evening of the Grace Sathuluri Conference for Women in Hyderabad.Uncertain future: Yadamma Alloju disobeyed her family’s wishes by being baptized at the Grace Sathuluri Conference for Women. She says if her husband finds out, he will beat her.
Many of the Indian women break down, tears falling from their eyes, as their feet are being washed. And when they do, their counterparts from Memphis begin to cry as well.
“They become very emotional. It’s understandable,” says Aaron, Sathuluri’s nephew. “Who would bend down to wash another’s feet? This means a lot in India, where unlike in America, we do not wear shoes; we wear sandals. But for many of these women, they usually do not even wear sandals. Their feet are hard and cracked.”
For Bellevue’s representatives, the foot-washing ceremony is a departure from their weeklong, arms-length missionary work.
During the conference, the Memphis women drink from separate communal cups. During lunch and dinner, they eat different food in a separate area, away from the stink and flies that complement the meals of the women they are in India to reach. And at night, they sleep in a three-star hotel in neighboring Secunderabad, an hour’s drive from the heat and mosquitoes that accompany the Indian women’s rest.
* * *
Just before 5 p.m. on the final day of the conference, Alloju opens the gates of the religious compound and walks out along the dusty road. Wearing her purple sari with gold trim, she needs to get home for her chores.
In the background, she can hear Edgar Sathuluri’s sermon from the pavilion. He’s talking about his Christian mother and how she became the inspiration for the conference. The Bellevue women are there, listening intently to Sathuluri, the star of the rural religious revival they’ve funded more than 8,000 miles from Memphis.
For the past five days, Alloju has come to the Christian conference against her family’s wishes and volunteered to do anything she could do to help: wash dishes, mop floors, pick up trash. Her husband and sons know she’s here, but they don’t know her secret — about how a pastor dipped her body into a pool of water and how she re-emerged.
“Someday I will tell my husband what happened here,” she says and returns to her life as one of India’s hidden Christians.
ආගමික ආක්රමණය හා
ලොව විශාලතම කතෝලික රාජ්යය වන්නේ බ්රසීලයයි. 1970 දී එරට ජනගහනයෙන් 90% ක්ම ප්රකාශ කළේ තමන් කතෝලික ආගමිකයින් බවයි. එහෙත් 2000 දී එරට කතෝලිකයන්ගේ ප්රමාණය. 73 9% දක්වා අඩුවූ අතර 2009 දී එම ප්රමාණය 68.4 දක්වා තවත් පහළ බැස ඇත. 16 වැනි බෙනඩික් පාප් වහන්සේ 2013 දී ලෝක කතෝලික තරුණ සැමරුම සඳහා බ්රසීලය අගනුවර එනම් රියෝද ජැනොයිරෝ නුවරට පැමිණීමට නියමිත අතර එම වසර වන විට කොපමණ ප්රමාණයකින් කතෝලික ජනගහනය අඩුවේදැයි අපට කිව නොහැකිය. එහෙත් ලොව විශාලතම කතෝලික රාජ්යය මූලධර්මවාදී ඉවැන්ජලිකල් ආගම් නිසා බරපතළ අර්බුදයකට පැමිණ ඇති බව නම් පැහැදිලිය. බ්රසීලයේ අගරදගුරු කාදිනල් පෙඩ්රෝ ෂෙරර් නම් හතු පිපෙන්නාසේ ඉවැන්ජලිකල් පල්ලි පෙන්තකොස්ත පල්ලි රට පුරා ඉදිවනු දැකීම ගැන කනස්සල්ල පළ කරයි. 62 හැවිරිදි කාදිනල්වරයා පවසන්නේ මේ ඉවැන්ජලිකල් පල්ලි නිසා බ්රසිලයේ ග්රාමීය කතෝලිකයින්ට බරපතළ තර්ජනයකට මුහුණ දීමට සිදුව ඇති බවයි. බ්රසීලය ලොව ප්රධානතම කතෝලික රාජ්යය ලෙස ඉදිරියටත් පැවැතිය යුතු බව බ්රසීලයේ ඉයුනොපොලිස්හී එඩ්සන් බිෂොප්වරයා මාධ්යයට පවසා තිබිණි. කෙසේ නමුත් බ්රසීලයේ කතෝලික ආගම අර්බුදයකට ලක්වී ඇති බව නම් පැහැදිලිය.
බ්රසීලයේ කාදිනල්වරයා සේම මෙරට කාදිනල් මැල්කම් රංජිත් බිෂොප්වරයා ඉකුත් ඉරිදා දිවයින පුවත්පතට කළ ප්රකාශයක් පිළිබඳව අපේ දැඩි අවධානය යොමු විය. එතුමා ප්රකාශ කර තිබුණේ ඇමරිකානු ක්රිස්තියානි සංවිධාන මෙරට ලියාපදිංචිය වහා තහනම් කරන ලෙසය. මේ ඇමරිකානු කණ්ඩායම් වන්නේ අන් කිසිවක් නොව බ්රසීලයේ කතෝලිකයන්ද බිලිගන්නා ඊනියා ඉවැන්ජලිකල් කල්ලිමය. කලක් ගත වී හෝ කාදිනල් තුමාටත් මේ ආගමික ආක්රමණය ගැන අවබෝධ වීම ගැන අපි සතුටු වෙමු. ඇත්තෙන්ම ශ්රී ලංකාවේ ක්රියාත්මක මේ මූලධර්මවාදී කල්ලි බෞද්ධයන්ටත් වඩා කතෝලිකයින් තමන් වෙත නම්මවාගෙන ඇති බව රහසක් නොවේ. මෙය ඉදිරියටත් පැවතුනහොත් බ්රසීලයේ මෙන් කතෝලික පල්ලියටත් ප්රොතෙස්තන්ත්ර පල්ලියටත් සිය අනුගාමිකයින් බෙදාගැනීම සඳහා ආරවුල් ඇති කරගැනීමට සිදුවනු ඇත.
ඉවැන්ජලිකල් ආක්රමණය ගැන අපවත් වී වදාළ පූජ්ය ගංගොඩවිල සෝම හිමියන් ගමින් ගමට ගොස් මහජනයා දැනුවත් කරද්දී කතෝලික පල්ලිය ඒ දෙස බැලුවේ වපරැසිනි. එදා සෝම හිමියන් මේ ආගමික ආක්රමණ ගැන කියූ දේ අද නම් කතෝලික සභාවට ඇත්තවී තිබෙන බව කාදිනල්තුමාගේ ප්රකාශය අනුව පැහැදිලි වේ. මෙම එවැන්ජලිකල් කණ්ඩායම් රට පුරා ඉදිකිරීමට යන දේවස්ථාන ලැයිස්තුවද අවලංගු කරන ලෙස කාදිනල්තුමා රජයෙන් ඉල්ලීමක් කර ඇත.
මැල්කම් රංජිත් කාදිනල්තුමාගේ ප්රකාශය නිකුත් කර දින කිහිපයක් ගතවෙද්දීම මේ ප්රකාශයට විරෝධය දක්වමින් ජාතික ක්රිස්තියානි සහෝදරත්වය නම් සංවිධානයේ දේවගැති ආචාර්ය ජෙබහිරන්නම් විසින් දිවයින පුවත්පතට ලිපියක් එවා තිබිණි. එම දේවගැතිවරයා පවසන්නේ යේසුස් වහන්සේගේ ධර්මය සහ එය අනුගමනය කිරීමට තහංචි පැනවීම කිසිසේත් අනුමත කළ නොහැකි බවයි. එමෙන්ම කාදිනල්තුමා සිදුකළ ප්රකාශය පිළිබඳව නැවත සිතා බලා නිවැරදි දේ ඉටුකරන ලෙසත් තමා ඉතා ගෞරවයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටින බව දේවගැති ජෙබහිරන්නම් සඳහන් කර තිබිණි. ජෙබහිරන්නම් නියෝජනය කරන්නේ ඉවැන්ජලිකල් කල්ලි කණ්ඩායම්වල මතය බව පැහැදිලිය.
කතෝලික පල්ලිය 2004 මැයි 22 වැනිදා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට පෞද්ගලික මන්ත්රි යෝජනාවක් ලෙස ඉදිරිපත්වූ බලහත්කාරයෙන් හෝ පෙළඹවීමෙන් හෝ වංචනික ලෙස යම් කෙනකු තවත් ආගමකින් තවත් ආගමකට හැරවීම තහනම් කිරීම හා ඊට අනුශාංගිකවූ පනතට එරෙහි විය. එයට එරෙහිව කතෝලික පියවරුන් රැසක් ශ්රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයට මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පෙත්සම් ඉදිරිපත් කළ බව අපට අමතක නැත. අභාවප්රාප්ත හිටපු හින්දු කටයුතු ඇමැති ත්යාගරාජා මහේෂ්වරන්ද හින්දුන් ඉවැන්ජලිකල් ආක්රමණයෙන් බේරා ගැනීම සඳහා පනතක් සම්මත කළ යුතු බව දැඩිව ප්රකාශ කළ අයෙකි. 2004 දී මෙම පනත ඉදිරිපත්වුවද විවිධ කුමන්ත්රණ හා බලපෑම් නිසා මේ පනත ගර්භිත විය. එදා සෝම හිමියන්ගේ අපවත්වීම හරහා ඇතිවූ බෞද්ධ නැඟිටීම හරහා මන්ත්රී ආසන නමයක් ලබාගත් හෙළ උරුමයද දැන් මේ පනත සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම අමතක කර දමා ඇත. දැන් ඔවුන් මැර දේශපාලනයට එරෙහිව දේශපාලන ව්යාපෘති ගැන කථා කරති. බෞද්ධයින් වංචාවකට ලක්ළේ කවුරුන්දැයි ප්රශ්න කළ යුතුව ඇත.
පූජ්ය ආචාර්ය ඕමල්පේ සෝභිත හිමියන් පෞද්ගලික මන්ත්රී යෝජනාවක් ලෙස පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කළ ආගම් පනතට ඇමරිකානු රාජ්ය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව බලවත් සේ උරණ විය. දැන් කාදිනල්තුමාගේ ප්රකාශය පිළිබදව මෙරට ඇමරිකානු තානාපති කාර්යාලය කවර මතයක් දරන්නේ දැයි අප දන්නේ නැත.
බෞද්ධයින් හා කතෝලිකයින් මුදල් ලබාදී වංචා සහගත ලෙස ආගමකින් තවත් ආගමකට මාරු කිරීමේ දුෂ්ට වැඩ පිළිවෙළක් ඇති බව කල්ගත වී හෝ කතෝලික සභාවට අවබෝධ වීම යහපත්ය. නැත්නම් කතෝලික ජනගහනය අඩුවෙද්දී බ්රසිලයේ කාදිනල්වරයා මෙන් කනස්සල්ලට පත්වීමට සිදුවනු ඇත.
රුසියාව කිසිම විටක මේ ඊනියා ඉවැන්ජලිකල් කල්ලිවලට ඉඩදෙන්නේ නැත. රුසියානුවන්ගෙන් 80% ක්ම ඩර්තඩොක්ස් ක්රිස්තියානිහු වෙති. 2004 දීම යොහොව( ක්රිස්තියානි කන්ඩායම් මොස්කව් නුවරින් එළවා දැමු අතර 2001 වසරේදී ගැලවීමේ හමුදාව නැමැති ආගමික කණ්ඩායමේ ක්රියාකාරිත්වය නතර කරනු ලැබුවේ මොවුන් රුසියානු රාජ්යය විනාශ කිරීමට පැමිණි පිරිසක් ලෙස හඳුන්වාදෙමිනි. ඇත්තෙන්ම මෙරට පැමිණ ඇති ඉවැන්ජලිකල් කල්ලි කණ්ඩායම්ද මෙරට සංස්කෘතියත්, රාජ්යයත් විනාශ කිරීමට පැමිණි පිරිසක් බව අප පැවසුවේ මීට බොහෝ කලකට පෙරය. 2005 වසරේ අප්රේල් 17 වැනිදා “දිවයින” පුවත්පතට “ආගම් පනත කුමක් සඳහාද?” මැයෙන් ලිපියක් ලියමින් මේ ආගමික ආක්රමණය ගැන සටහන් කළෙමු. අද ඒ ගැන යළි සිහිපත් කරන්නේ මැල්කම් රංජිත් කාදිනල්තුමාගේ ප්රකාශය නිසාය.
US evangelist stopped from preaching in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram: An American evangelist, who was on a visit to here on a business visa, was restrained by police from preaching at a church convention near here.
Evangelist David Terrel had arrived here a few days back on an invitation from the Church of South India to preach at the annual convention at Amaravila near here.
Police, however, restricted Terrel from addressing the religious meet on the ground that he was not supposed to evangelise while on a visit on a business or tourist visa.
“Terrel and his companion were told that if they carried out evangelical activities it would amount to violation of visa conditions. They followed our instruction and kept off the convention,” a police official said.
The Hindu Aikyavedi unit at Neyyattinkara had lodged a complaint with police about the possibility of Terrel preaching at the religious convention
Puttur: Four Arrested for Forcing Religious Conversions
Monday, August 29, 2011 9:44:59 AM (IST)
A. Srinivasa Rao | Hyderabad, July 1, 2011 | Updated 08:01 IST
Afraid that she had died, Ajay poured kerosene on her, set her ablaze and fled. Neighbours, who heard Mounika’s cries, rescued her and rushed her to a hospital in Chilakaluripet, from where she was shifted to Guntur.
The police said the pastor’s uncle and aunt – Steven and Ratna Prashanti – then forced Mounika to give a declaration to the magistrate that she had suffered burns while cooking in the house.
But Mounika’s parents complained to Guntur (rural) superintendent of police Ravichandra about the dying declaration given under force and Ajay was arrested.
Ajay’s wife had been staying separately. In her absence, he lured Mounika into a relationship. The girl, who completed Class X recently, was pressuring him to marry her, the police said.
OSLO, Norway — He lifted words from the “Unabomber” and had fantasies of being a Knights Templar crusader who along with like-minded immigrant haters would seize power in Europe in a string of coups d’etat.
The writings of Anders Behring Breivik reveal a delusional personality filled with hatred and self-aggrandizing dreams that possibly fueled his horrific shooting rampage on a tranquil island retreat that killed at least 86 people.
In his 1,500-page manifesto, Breivik styles himself as a Christian conservative, patriot and nationalist. Despite his own anti-Muslim views, he looks down on neo-Nazis as “underprivileged racist skinheads with a short temper.”
Police and Breivik’s lawyer says he confessed to, but denied criminal responsibility for, Friday’s bombing at government headquarters in Oslo and the mass shooting later that day at an island summer camp organized by the youth wing of the ruling Labor Party. At least 93 people were killed in the attacks.
Part of Breivik’s manifesto was taken almost word for word from the first few pages of the anti-technology manifesto written by “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, who is in federal prison for mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others across the US from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Breivik changed a Kaczynski screed on leftism and what he considered to be leftists’ “feelings of inferiority” — mainly by substituting the words “multiculturalism” or “cultural Marxism” for “leftism.”
For instance, Kaczynski wrote: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.”
Breivik’s manifesto reads: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is multiculturalism, so a discussion of the psychology of multiculturalists can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of Western Europe in general.”
In Internet postings attributed to Breivik on Norwegian websites, he blamed Europe’s left-wing parties for destroying the continent’s Christian heritage by allowing mass immigration of Muslims.
He said he came into contact with like-minded individuals across Europe, and together they formed a military order inspired by the Knights Templar crusaders. Their goal: to conquer Europe by 2083 in a string of coups. Norwegian police couldn’t say whether the group existed.
Two European security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation said they were familiar with increased Internet chatter from individuals claiming they belonged to a group called the new Knights Templar.
Breivik wrote in his manifesto that he was a boy when his life’s path began to turn. It was during the first Gulf War, when a Muslim friend cheered at reports of missile attacks against American forces.
“I was completely ignorant at the time and apolitical but his total lack of respect for my culture (and Western culture in general) actually sparked my interest and passion for it,” the suspect in Norway’s bombing and mass shooting wrote in his 1,500-page manifesto.
The 32-year-old Norwegian said it was the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 that “tipped the scales” for him because he sympathized with Serbia’s crackdown on ethnic Albanian Muslims in Kosovo. A year later he said he realized that what he called the “Islamization of Europe” couldn’t be stopped by peaceful means.
Breivik’s manifesto chronicled events that deepened his contempt for Muslims and “Marxists” he blamed for making Europe multicultural. He suggested his friends didn’t even know what he was up to, and comments from several people who had contact with the quiet blond man indicate he was right.
From September 2009 through October 2010, Breivik posted more than 70 times on Dokument.no, a Norwegian site with critical views on Islam and immigration. In one comment, he entertained the idea of a European Tea Party movement.
In December of 2009, Breivik showed up at a meeting organized by the website’s staff.
“He was a bit strange. As one could see from his postings, he had obviously read a lot but not really digesting it,” said Hans Rustad, the editor of the website.
But Rustad said he “hadn’t the faintest idea” about Breivik’s murderous plans.
“Other people have the same views on the Net and they don’t go out and become mass murderers. So how can you tell?” Rustad told The Associated Press.
Breivik called his upbringing in a middle-class home in Oslo privileged even though his parents divorced when he was 1 and he lost contact with his father in his teens. His parents split when the family lived in London, where his father, Jens Breivik, was a diplomat at the Norwegian Embassy in London. A spokesman for the embassy, Stein Iversen, confirmed that Jens Breivik was employed at the embassy in the late 1970s, but wouldn’t discuss his relationship with the Oslo suspect.
Breivik said both parents supported Norway’s center-left Labor Party, which he viewed as infiltrated by Marxists.
His mother won a custody battle, but Breivik said he regularly visited his father and his new wife in France, where they lived, until his father cut off contact when Breivik was 15. The father told Norwegian newspaper VG that they lost touch in 1995, but that it was his son who wanted to cut off contact.
“We’ve never lived together, but we had some contact in his childhood,” the older Breivik, who VG said is now retired in France, was quoted as saying. “When he was young he was an ordinary boy, but reclusive. He wasn’t interested in politics at the time.”
He learned about Breivik’s massacre on the Internet. “I was reading online newspapers and then I suddenly saw his name and picture on the net,” he told VG. “It was a shock to find out. I haven’t gotten over it yet.”
Breivik’s mother lives in an ivy-covered brick apartment building in western Oslo, currently protected by police. Neighbors said they hadn’t seen her since a few days before the shooting. Police said they’ve spoken to her and that she didn’t know of her son’s plans.
In his manifesto, Breivik said he had no negative experiences from his childhood, though he had issues with his mother being a “moderate feminist.”
“I do not approve of the super-liberal, matriarchal upbringing though as it completely lacked discipline and has contributed to feminize me to a certain degree,” he said.
But Breivik claims he never lacked courage: “If anyone threatened me or my friends, regardless if we were at a disadvantage, we would rather face our foes than submit and lose face.” He said that attitude was atypical among ethnic Norwegians, who had a tendency to “sissy out.”
Breivik said he also tried to get engaged in domestic politics, in the Progress Party, and a populist opposition party which calls for stricter immigration controls. He claims he was a popular party member who almost got elected to the Oslo City Council seven years ago.
“That’s just something he imagined,” said Joeran Kallmyr, whom Breivik described as his “rival” in the party.
Breivik attended only five or six party meetings during those two years and left the party quietly, said Kallmyr, now a vice mayor of Oslo.
“He was very quiet, almost shy. He seemed like a well-educated man. He was very well dressed and very polite. He wore a tie all the time,” Kallmyr said. “I couldn’t see any signs that he was coming apart.”
Kallmyr said he only had one conversation with Breivik, a forgettable chat about Breivik’s business. According to Breivik’s manifesto, he was the director of Anders Behring Breivik ENK at the time, a business he describes as a “front” and a “milking cow” to finance “resistance/liberation related military operations.”
He describes elsewhere in the document how he used his own companies to secure bank loans and credit to fund his attack.
Breivik, who detailed his preparations for the attacks in eerie detail, also anticipated the hostility he would face, even from his friends and family, if he survived his “mission” and was brought to trial.
Levin said that part could be part of the motivation for the manifesto.
“He talks about visiting prostitutes and taking steroids. Why would he say such negative things about himself? I think what he’s doing is — this humanizes him,” Levin said. “He’s trying to tell people he’s not a monster, that he’s a person with frailties and weaknesses like everybody else.