Baptist Press Archive

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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  • Death threats buffet India prosecutions of Orissa strife

    by Vishal Arora/Compass Direct News, posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 (9 years ago)

    NEW DELHI (BP)--Nearly 11 months after an unprecedented wave of anti-Christian attacks shook the eastern-India state of Orissa, a reign of terror continues in the region, with former rioters issuing death threats to witnesses.

          Of more than 750 cases filed in various police stations in Orissa's Kandhamal and Gajapati districts, only one has resulted in a conviction. Some trials are underway amid reports of armed extremists threatening to kill witnesses.

          Dibya Paricha, a clergyman in the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Catholic Archdiocese, said several witnesses are shrinking away to save their lives. On July 9, a witness in the village of Salapsahi refused to testify in a murder case.

          "During the trial, the complainant, the younger brother of the victim, said he did not know anything about the case," Paricha, coordinator of the Christian Legal Association's (CLA) legal cell in Kandhamal, told Compass Direct News. "The previous day, he had said that he would tell the truth so that the culprits would be punished.... From a reliable source, we came to know that he was threatened with death."

          On June 30, three men carrying pistols -- Sanjeeb Pradhan, Bikram Pradhan and Pratap Pradhan -- threatened witnesses in the Gondaguda area of Kandhamal, Paricha said.

          The three men have been issuing death threats to witnesses through area villages, he said.

    "I know them [the three gunmen] personally," Paricha said. "They were living hand-to-mouth until recently, and now they are riding a motor vehicle and threatening the survivors."

    Information on the threats has been provided to the sub-collector (an administrative officer in charge of a sub-district), the sub-divisional police officer and the district collector (administrative head), Paricha said, and a First Information Report has been registered at the local police station.

    Another witness and complainant in an Orissa riot-related case, 55-year-old Batia Digal, was threatened June 17, Paricha said. Gobida Chandra Pradhan from the village of Piserama and Shricharnan Mohan Pradhan from the village of Dodaingia tried to pressure Digal to withdraw the case, in which a local legislator from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Manoj Pradhan, is one of the accused. Read More

  • Ariz. governor signs pro-life bills

    by Staff, posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 (9 years ago)

    PHOENIX (BP)--Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is charting a different course from her predecessor by signing into law several measures that should reduce the number of abortions in the state. Read More

  • Poll: N.H. voters oppose 'gay marriage' law

    by Michael Foust, posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 (9 years ago)

    CONCORD, N.H. (BP)--New Hampshire's legislature may have passed a "gay marriage" bill that the governor signed into law, but that hasn't translated into statewide support, a new poll says. Read More

  • Extra Lottie gifts yield more missionaries

    by Staff, posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 (9 years ago)

    RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Gifts from several sources are enabling the International Mission Board to send additional missionaries to the field this year after a shortfall in the 2008 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions forced suspension of some programs and restricted new missionary appointments.

    IMB President Jerry Rankin expressed appreciation to individuals, churches and Baptist entities for their additional financial support in response to a drop in Lottie Moon receipts.... Read More

  • Retired Tenn. exec Tom Madden dies

    by Lonnie Wilkey, posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 (9 years ago)

    SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Tom Madden, 90, executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention from 1979-89, died Sunday, July 19, in Shelbyville, Tenn.

    A native of Enid, Okla., Madden came to Tennessee in 1951 to serve as pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenbrier after serving as a pastor in both his home state and in Texas. His ministry would continue in Tennessee for the remainder of his life. Even after his retirement as executive director, he remained active in serving va... Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Starting a Great Commission Resurgence

    by Kenneth S. Hemphill, posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 (9 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Louisville, Ky., voted overwhelmingly to approve the motion to allow our president, Johnny Hunt, to appoint a task force to assist Southern Baptists to become more intentional and more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission. Read More