Last Friday, Sept. 5, was the anniversary of Mother Teresa's death. Eleven years ago, Indians lined the streets to honour her state funeral procession. This year, her sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, encountered a rather different crowd on the anniversary.
Four sisters were attacked by about 20 Bajrang Dal (a Hindu nationalist youth movement) activists and forced off a train in Chhattisgarh, a province in central India. The small mob marched the sisters to the police station, chanting anti-Christian slogans, threatening to beat them up and accusing the sisters of kidnapping the children in their care.
A Hindu nationalist mob threatening violence against religious sisters who run orphanages? Sadly, that there were only threats must today be considered a blessing. . . .
Two weeks ago, a Hindu nationalist leader named Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was killed in Orissa. Responsibility for the assassination was claimed by Maoists guerrillas. Despite that, the followers of Saraswati blamed Christians and went on a rampage.
At least a dozen people have been killed, including a young woman missionary burnt alive in an orphanage. (When the mob torched the building, she ran inside to try and rescue the children.) A priest at the same orphanage was locked in a room to suffer the same fate - though he escaped with grave injuries. In scenes of pure barbarism, a Catholic layman was hacked to pieces, a young nun was raped. Christian schools, churches and hospitals have been sacked.