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Nepal Arrests Seven Christians over Allegations of Converting People to Christianity

Posted on 2016/6/16 18:52:24 ( 1334 reads )


NEPAL. June 15, 2016 (by Suzette Gutierrez Cachila, Christian Times): Seven Christians were arrested on Thursday, June 9, in Dolakha district, Nepal for allegedly converting people to Christianity. The seven Christians had reportedly distributed handkerchiefs together with Bible handbooks called "A Great Story" to a total of 885 students. Local authorities learned about the activity and reported it to the police, according to UCA News. The persons involved were all arrested on charges of converting other people to another religion through the distribution of religious handbooks, which is illegal under the constitution. The 2015 amendments to the Nepalese constitution include a provision that makes it illegal for any person to convert another to a different religion.

Article 26 (3) states: "No person shall, in the exercise of the right conferred by this Article, do, or cause to be done, any act which may be contrary to public health, decency and morality or breach public peace, or convert another person from one religion to another or any act or conduct that may jeopardize other's religion." Although "freedom of religion" or expression of one's beliefs is allowed in the country, this provision has made evangelization an illegal activity in Nepal. Christians in the country fear that this could lead to the inclusion of an "anti-conversion clause" in the penal code, which could put violators in prison, according to World Watch Monitor. Nepal is 80 percent Hindu. Religious minorities, including Christians, comprise 1.5 to 3 percent of the total population.

Jhenidah's Panic-Stricken Priests Dare Not Go Outside

Posted on 2016/6/16 18:52:14 ( 1027 reads )


BANGLADESH, June 16, 2016 (The Daily Star): Priests of different temples in the district are passing their days in panic since the murder of Hindu priest Ananda Gopal Ganguly on June 7. On that day, Ganguly, 70, was hacked to death in Jhenidah Sadar upazila in a manner similar to previous killings by suspected militants. After the incident, most of the priests of the district went into hiding, fearing an attack on them.

There are 200 temples in six upazilas of the district, said Amalendu Biswas, president of Kaliganj upazila unit of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad. Though law enforcers are ensuring them security following the killing, they fear fresh attack, he said.

"We are in great danger as we became terrorists' targets," Ram Krishna Banarjee, priest of Naldanga Siddeshshari Mandir under Sadar upazila, said, adding that he will not go to temple until his security is ensured. Superintendent of Police Gopinath Kanjilal said they have already engaged a sub-inspector at each temple, besides plainclothes police.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/6/16 18:52:03 ( 867 reads )


O God of mercy who performs the dance of illimitable happiness in the hall of inconceivable intelligence! The Rig and the other Vedas are thundering forth in words, announcing to us that all are thy slaves, all things belong to thee, all actions are thine, that thou pervades everywhere, that this is thy nature. Such is the teaching of those who, though they never speak, broke silence for our sake.
-- Tayumanavar

What Happened to Hindus in Kashmir in 1990s is Happening Again in Uttar Pradesh

Posted on 2016/6/15 18:45:22 ( 1307 reads )


KAIRANA, UTTAR PRADESH, June 14, 2016 (Zee News): At a time when the Central government is mulling to award citizenship to Hindu migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh, there are reports that Hindus are being to forced to migrate from a city in Uttar Pradesh. The disturbing trend has been witnessed in Kairana, located 124 kilometres from Delhi in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district, and is similar to what happened with Kashmiri Pandits in J&K in the 1990s. At least 346 Hindu families have migrated from Kairana due to goondaism and extortion threats. This figure has been provided by Kairana MP Hukum Singh (BJP). Kairana is both an Assembly as well as Lok Sabha constituency, but the migration has been witnessed mainly in area that falls under the Assembly constituency. As per the 2011 Census, Kairana had 30% Hindus while the percentage of Muslims was at 68%. However, the figure now stands at only 8% Hindus and 92% Muslims, as per the local administration. Kairana is located close to Muzaffarnagar which was hit by communal riots in 2013.

When Zee Media correspondent Rahul Sinha travelled to Kairana, he found that people there were afraid of speaking on camera fearing for their lives. They recalled that four businessmen had been murdered recently in the area. BJP MP Hukum Singh said that "most of the families who have migrated from here were well-off." The MP said Home Minister Rajnath Singh would visit the constituency at the end of this month and is likely to meet the affected families. Ashok Kumar Raghav, DIG, Saharanpur Range, said, "There is law and order, crime rate is under control. The matter has come to our notice, we are studying this."

Interfaith meeting Takes Place During Italian Hindu Temple's Annual Festival

Posted on 2016/6/15 18:45:12 ( 982 reads )


PEGOGNAGA, ITALY, JUne 14, 2016 (Gazzetta di Mantova): The representatives of the great world religions (Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish and Catholic) sat next to each other, without shoes in respect of the Hindu temple venue, and filled the day with meaningful interreligious dialogue. The meeting, whose subject was "A Culture of Peace," was sponsored by the City of Pegognaga at the Shri Hari Om Mandir Hindu temple of Polesine. The initiative was promoted by the mayor Dimitri Melli to coincide with the annual festival of the Hindu community, which will take place today with a folkloric procession of the Mandir's sacred statues along San Lorenzo Street up to the old town center. Melli stated the objectives of the meeting; discussion and promotion of the culture of peace, while Angelo Araldi, vice-prefect of Mantova province, shared his personal reflections on the issue.

The managing director of the local Gazzetta di Mantova newspaper, Paolo Boldrini, asked the participants for practical suggestions on how to promote a culture of peace. The religious leaders spoke on the need for knowledge, respect, dialogue, sharing and integration for a common path towards a culture of peace. Those participating were: Raphael Longo, president of the Italian Buddhist Union; Emanuele Colorni, president of the Jewish community of Mantua; Ismaila Mbengue, Muslim linguistic-cultural mediator; Swamini Hamsananda Giri, vice-president of the Italian Hindu Union and Father Flavio Savasi of the Pegognaga Catholic parish.

What Jainism Teaches Us About Dying

Posted on 2016/6/15 18:45:02 ( 951 reads )


CALIFORNIA, U.S., June 10, 2016 (Time Magazine, by Christopher Key Chapple): On June 9, a law allowing patients with terminal illnesses to end their lives with help from a physician came into effect in California, opening conversations about whether human life should be prolonged against the desire to die peacefully and with dignity. A similar yet different conversation has been taking place in India for the past several years, but in reverse.

In one of India's religious traditions, Jainism, those at the end of life can choose to embrace a final fast transition from one body to another. However, a recent court case has challenged the constitutionality of this practice. While on a visit to a Jain university in Ladnun, Rajasthan in western India in 1989, I had an opportunity to observe the practice of "Sallekhana" or "Santhara," a somber rite through which one fasts to seath. Up until recent years, the fast unto death process has been celebrated with newspaper announcements that laud the monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen who undergo this vow. But of late, questions are being raised whether it can result in coercion and cruelty.

Debates on end of life focus on the "rights" approach, thus appealing to the rational mind. Spiritual traditions on the other hand assert that it makes no sense to prolong suffering. They use a "rites" approach to the inevitable passing of the human body. The Jain tradition shows how we can move without attachment into death rather than clinging to life. In their acceptance of the inevitable, they set an example that death is not an evil but an opportunity to reflect on a life well-lived and look forward to what lies ahead.

More on the Jain tradition at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/6/15 18:44:51 ( 864 reads )


Of all the scriptures in the world, it is the Vedas alone that declare that even the study of the Vedas is secondary. The real study is "that by which we realize the Unchangeable." And that is neither reading, nor believing, nor reasoning, but superconscious perception, or samadhi.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Miri's First Hindu Temple Opens its Doors July 10

Posted on 2016/6/14 20:07:26 ( 1681 reads )


MIRI, BORNEO, MALAYSIA, June 13, 2016 (The Borneo Post): More than 1,000 members of the Miri Hindu Society (MHS) will have a place to worship once their temple is completed by the end of this month. The Sri Kamini Thurga Iswari Amman Alayam Temple at Taman Tunku here will be the first Hindu temple here. MHS chairman Selvaraj Grapragasem said the US$244,000 was about 85 per cent completed. "The project started in April last year and is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

"We are very thankful, especially to the state government, organisations, and the public for their donations to make Miri's first Hindu temple a reality," he said when Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin visited the project site on Saturday. Lee said the support given by the government yet again showed it was concerned about the welfare of the minority and upheld the freedom of religion.The temple's launching and Maha Kumbabishegam ceremony will take place on July 10, from 9am to 11am.

Viewpoint: How British Let One Million Indians Die in a Single Famine

Posted on 2016/6/14 20:07:16 ( 807 reads )


INDIA, June 11, 2016 (BBC by Dinyar Patel): Drought and a searing heat wave have affected an astonishing 330 million people across the country. But this summer also marks the 150th anniversary of a far more terrible and catastrophic climatic event: the Orissa famine of 1866. Hardly anyone today knows about this famine. Yet the Orissa famine killed over a million people in eastern India. In modern-day Orissa state, the worst hit region, one out of every three people perished, a mortality rate far more staggering than that caused by the Irish Potato Famine.

Famine, while no stranger to the subcontinent, increased in frequency and deadliness with the advent of British colonial rule. The East India Company helped kill off India's once-robust textile industries, pushing more and more people into agriculture. This, in turn, made the Indian economy much more dependent on the whims of seasonal monsoons. "It can, we fear, no longer be concealed that we are on the eve of a period of general scarcity," announced the Englishman, a Calcutta newspaper, in late 1865. The Indian and British press carried reports of rising prices, dwindling grain reserves, and the desperation of peasants no longer able to afford rice.

For years, a rising generation of Western-educated Indians had alleged that British rule was grossly impoverishing India. The Orissa famine served as eye-popping proof of this thesis. It prompted one early nationalist, Dadabhai Naoroji, to begin his lifelong investigations into Indian poverty. As the famine abated in early 1867, Mr Naoroji sketched out the earliest version of his "drain theory"--the idea that Britain was enriching itself by literally sucking the lifeblood out of India. His point was simple. India had enough food supplies to feed the starving - why had the government instead let them die? While Orissans perished in droves in 1866, Mr Naoroji noted that India had actually exported over 200 million pounds of rice to Britain. He discovered a similar pattern of mass exportation during other famine years. "Good God," Mr Naoroji declared, "when will this end?"

More of this account at "source" above.

Hinduism Today Seeking Documentary Film Locations in Chennai

Posted on 2016/6/14 20:07:06 ( 708 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, June 14, 2016: Hinduism Today's film crew will be in Chennai in mid-July to shoot footage for parts four and five of The History of Hindu India. Part one of the popular documentary ("source" above) has passed a million hits on YouTube.

We need three locations to shoot at in Chennai: a high-tech super modern firm, a traditional yoga center and a respected Ayurveda clinic.

If you can help us locate one or another, please email Acharya Arumuganathaswami, Managing Editor, Hinduism Today at ar@hindu.org.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/6/14 20:06:55 ( 593 reads )


Once a person has faith, he has achieved everything.
-- Sri Ramakrishna

India to Go All Out Celebrating International Day of Yoga 2016

Posted on 2016/6/13 19:51:08 ( 999 reads )


INDIA, June 10, 2016 (Press Information Bureau): HPI Note: We were struck by this long press release listing what appear to be tens of thousands of events being set up by the government for the Day of Yoga.

Addressing a press conference at Chandigarh today regarding the preparations for International Day of Yoga, which is to be celebrated at Chandigarh on 21st June, 2016, Union Minister of State (I/C) Shri Shripad Yesso Naik outlined the events that are to be held in this regards. All Ministries in the Government of India have been requested to celebrate IDY in their premises and offices across the country. All State Governments have been requested to celebrate the event at the State HQ, District, Block and village level.

A Mass Yoga Demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) will be held from 7 to 7:45 AM on June 21st at the Capitol complex, Chandigarh. Thirty thousand are expected to participate. A two-day International Conference at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi will be held on the 22nd and 23rd of June. Yoga experts from India and abroad will participate in the Conference. The Conference will deliberate on use the of yoga in various disease conditions in Tertiary Care Hospitals. 3.64 million volunteers enrolled in 38,769 NSS units in Colleges/Schools across the country, are being motivated to participated in Yoga Demonstrations.

All the reputed and eminent yoga teachers/gurus and institutions like Patanjali Yogpeeth, Brahma Kumaris, Kaivalayadhama, Pune, The Yoga Institute, Art of Living etc., have been associated in celebration of IDY 2016. These institutions will be organizing mass toga events in their respective premises/Ashrams, helping in extending training support to state governments and other govt. agencies, armed forces, etc.

Details of events and programs from national to village level are at "source" above.

No Suryanamaskar This Yoga Day, Om Not Compulsory

Posted on 2016/6/13 19:50:57 ( 789 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 8, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): Suryanamaskar asana will not be part of this year's Yoga Day celebrations and chanting of Om won't be compulsory even though yoga is incomplete without it, Ayush Minister Shripad Naik said on Wednesday about the June 21 event which is expected to entail a collective cost of hundreds of crores of rupees.

"The Suryanamaskar asana... last year also we had not taken it. It is a complex exercise. It is difficult to do in 45 minutes and for people who are new to the exercise. Therefore we have not kept this one," Naik, whose ministry is the nodal agency for organising the annual celebrations, told the media.

Naik also dismissed the controversy related to the chanting of Om during the event and it has not been made compulsory. "There is always some opposition whenever some good work is done. There is no opposition this year to it. We have not made it compulsory.... We have made those people who are opposing understand this and it seems they have understood," he said but added "without OM, yoga cannot be complete." Chanting of Om has also been a matter of controversy, with Muslim bodies saying members of their faith cannot do so.

PM Modi Arrives in Mexico for Talks and a Mexican Vegetarian Dinner with the President

Posted on 2016/6/13 19:50:47 ( 651 reads )


MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, June 9, 2016 (Indian Express): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived at Mexico City on the final leg of his five-nation tour. PM Modi held restricted talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at Los Pinos. In a very special gesture, Mexican President Nieto personally drove Narendra Modi to a restaurant for Mexican vegetarian fare. After the dinner, Modi will be taking off from Mexico to return to India.

India and Mexico have striking similarities in geo-climatic conditions, biodiversity, physiognomy and people, cultural and family values, as well as European connections of the colonial era. Mexico was the first Latin American country to recognize India after Independence and establish diplomatic relations with India in 1950.

Gujarati Translator Sought

Posted on 2016/6/13 19:50:37 ( 0 reads )

KAUAI, HAWAII, June 13, 2016: Hinduism Today is seeking a volunteer to translate the quarterly Publisher's Desk editorial to Gujarati, four annually. The pieces are about 1,500 words long. Please contact our editor, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, at sadasivanatha@hindu.org.

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