Saturday, December 17, 2011

Finding blessings amid torments

Sister Meena was attacked
by Hindu militants in 2008.
On August 25, 2008, Sister Meena was at work in the village of K. Nuagaon, Kandhamal district, Orissa state, when Hindu militants stormed the area. She was grabbed by several men who tore off her clothes and held her down while one man raped her. Sister Meena was then paraded naked through the streets along with a priest. Although police were present, they did nothing to stop the assault.

Many other Christians were also targeted by Hindu militants in what has been called the worst anti-Christian violence since India’s independence more than six decades ago. More than 100 people were killed, 4,500 homes and churches were burned, and 70,000 people were displaced. Many were forced to flee to nearby forests without food or water for days, while relief aid was stolen.

Three years later, the young nun has chosen to share about her suffering. "In my life,” she said, “I have been forced to suffer incredible pain ... I consider this torment a blessing. And now I can understand the suffering of others at a deeper level in a Christian spirit.”

Below are some excerpts from Sister Meena’s interview with Asia News.
“First of all, when I think of Kandhamal pogrom, my first thoughts go to those people who lost their precious lives in the genocide. All of them are martyrs like the early Christians of the Church. They have died for Christ and for their faith. I pray for them. I am proud of them.

People who have witnessed the Kandhamal riot are also not less. I am proud of them too and admire their faith and resilience to move forward in life.

From the ashes of Kandhamal, the Church in Kandhamal will rise. The people of Kandhamal continue to rise to the occasion and have started to gather broken pieces from their remnants and ruins in order to restart their lives. Thanks to God for providing grace and power to them.

Above all, I have lived and work with and for the people of Kandhamal. I belong to them as well. People of Kandhamal have become part of life.

I see the Christians of Kandhamal as true disciples of Christ. They will turn everything to harmony, peace and justice. All people would understand and benefit out of these, healing division and hatred, bringing the divine ray of hope and light to all, including those who oppose the Gospel and its followers.”
For the full article, click here.

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