Villagers furious with Christian Missionaries Samanthapettai, Jan 16 (ANI): Rage and fury has gripped this tsunami-hit tiny Hindu village in India's southern Tamil Nadu after a group of Christian missionaries allegedly refused them aid for not agreeing to follow their religion. Samanthapettai, near the temple town of Madurai, faced near devastation on the December 26 when massive tidal waves wiped it clean of homes and lives. Most of the 200 people here are homeless or displaced , battling to rebuild lives and locating lost family members besides facing risks of epidemic,disease and trauma. Jubilant at seeing the relief trucks loaded with food, clothes and the much-needed medicines the villagers, many of who have not had a square meal in days, were shocked when the nuns asked them to convert before distributing biscuits and water. Heated arguments broke out as the locals forcibly tried to stop the relief trucks from leaving. The missionaries, who rushed into their cars on seeing television reporters and the cameras refusing to comment on the incident and managed to leave the village. Disappointed and shocked into disbelief the hapless villagers still await aid. "Many NGOs (volunteer groups) are extending help to us but there in our village the NGO, which was till now helping us is now asking us to follow the Christian religion. We are staunch followers of Hindu religion and refused their request. And after that these people with their aid materials are leaving the village without distributing that to us," Rajni Kumar, a villager said. The incident is an exception to concerted charity in a catastrophe that has left no one untouched.(ANI) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Galle, Jan. 21: Usawathun Hasana Maha Vidyalaya was supposed to start classes on Wednesday. But for now, all the activity is focused on cleaning up the school. Principal Hussain runs around trying to coordinate the work and counsel students. “We lost 28 students and one teacher. Many students are still shocked. It will take a long time,” he mumbles, before rushing away. Lending helping hands are university students, scrubbing windows, doors, tables and chairs and taking soaked books out to dry in the sun. Behind the school is the devastated village of Siyabalagahawatta, Dewata. One Muslim family of 14 lost 12 members. The survivors have left, probably never to return. The village has lost many and the survivors are still having to remove the bodies. A few are still missing. At the relief camp here in the local Buddhist temple, R. Sunil stands gazing into the distance. The blank stare tells his story of loss. His wife and three daughters were washed away by the waves; he has no home and belongings any longer. His son survived by clinging to a tree. Sporting a uniform donated by a trading company, Sunil, a daily labourer at a nearby factory, sometimes plays with young girls at the makeshift day-care centre, which was set up so that parents can go back to cleaning their homes. Clothes are the only things most could salvage and they are still being hung out to dry. Wellabada, Megalle, is like a ghost town. There is hardly a soul among the rubble. A water bottle hangs on a tree, a toy car sits on the road, stray dogs make their home in piles of debris that were once homes. Outside one house, a few soaked photographs have been laid out to dry. In another, a couple washes the floor, surrounded by two-and-a-half walls. The harbour town, behind a Sri Lankan navy base, was ravaged by the killer waves. Beutin was cooking at home when she heard the sound of the waves. She thought it was a bomb targeting the navy and ran out. As the waves roared in, she clung to a tree and suffered only a head injury — and stomach problems from the water she swallowed. Paraliya Jinarathana School has been reduced to a heavily damaged structure with no classrooms. A group of volunteers from across the world has set up base here, with medical, clean-up and counselling assistance. A group of children is kept busy painting chairs and tables or drawing. Behind the school, a train stands forlorn, empty and bent out of shape in places. The train was thrown off the tracks resulting in hundreds of deaths. It has been put back on the rails, but there are no passengers. At another Buddhist temple-turned-relief camp near Hikkaduwa, 12-year-old Chandan approaches most visitors with a hello and a curious smile. Asked if he’s okay, the reply is a reluctant, confused shake of the head. In IDH Place, Mahamodara, survivors huddle together in tents, looking at strangers with suspicion. A few days ago, a Christian relief organisation came to them, offering aid. But the Buddhist Sri Lankans were asked to convert to Christianity. They refused the aid and are wary of accepting any more. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern Baptists Pray for Destruction of Hindu Temples January 20, 2005, 12:12 am The website of the International Mission Board (IMB), a branch of the infamous Southern Baptist Convention, is calling for American Southern Baptist missionaries to visit a prominent Hindu temple in India and pray for its destruction. The mission assignment entitled “Jericho Prayerwalk” calls for missionaries to visit “one of the holiest temples“ once a day (at differing times) to walk around the complex praying for the people group. Pray specifically that the walls to the Gospel message will collapse like the walls of Jericho in Joshua.” In other words, missionaries should pray that all the local Hindus convert to Christianity and that their temple will be destroyed. In the past, the Southern Baptist Convention distributed 30,000 copies of a handbook just before the most important Hindu festival of 1999, Diwali, stating that 'Hindus seek power and blessing through the worship of gods and goddesses and the demonic powers that lay behind them."