How Aboriginal Christians are Challenging Australian Spiritually

How Aboriginal Christians are Challenging Australian Spiritually
Tanya RichesABC Religion and Ethics25 Jan 2016

The annual Australia Day festivities are upon us once again. And, once again, it is corporate Australia that dominates the public conversation.
This year it began with a particularly controversialadvertisement from Meat and Livestock Australia, presented by SBS's Lee Lin Chin - proving that lamb is still the easiest way of getting Australians to talk about national identity.
And then there was Woolworth's unfortunate omission of Tasmania from an Australian map; andAussieBum's insensitive range of Australia Day themed underwear.
Each year seems to produce some new faux pas, some new way for corporate Australia to get things wrong. But the frequently overlooked question is why should corporate Australia set the tone in the first place?
Recently, television station NITV did something striking by providing a guide to the differing perspectives regarding Australia Day. It outlines three competing ways of commemorating the date, representing the divisions in our national narrative:


Gladys Staines shares…(widow of Graham Staines burnt alive by Hindu radicals

Gladys Staines shares…

Because He lives I can face tomorrow: Singing through the difficult moments

– Gladys Staines

At the age of 16 I went to a school camp where we learnt the song “I know who holds the future and He guides me with His hand. With God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned.” This was the beginning of my placing problems in His hands.Later I learnt the song “Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living just because He lives.”

Coming to India

As I left Australia, knowing that God had called me to be His servant overseas, I knew that no matter what happened, He would be with me. During my preparation time, I recall once making a public statement “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” I also remember another time thinking about my future, including all the scary things; but God spoke to me very clearly, “The safest place to be in is the will of God.” I have seen it proved over the years.India was for me a new country with different language, culture, custom, and food, and it was not an easy experience. At times, it was extremely challenging, but having the assurance that this was where God wanted me, helped me through in those early days.

Through different experiences, I have learned to trust Him- like, when finances were low, we prayed. Before my marriage to Graham, I had come to India with a team of 3 foreign girls. We were on our own, driving a van, and we got into a traffic block at an interstate border crossing – some of you might know the long line ups at the toll booths. We prayed, ‘God, please put your angels around us to protect us from any danger’. We had only helpful people who came near our van and guided us through the jammed traffic. In retrospect, that was a marvellous experience. We knew then that God was with us and was real.God’s Word assures us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5). He has not forgotten us, though we may, at times, feel like He has. Though we know all of these things in our mind, yet when the testing comes, we feel as though the world around us is collapsing. On 23rd January 1999, I got the news that my husband Graham and two sons Philip, 10 and Timothy, 6, had been killed in Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district, Orissa. It was a terrible feeling.


Madhya Pradesh: 12 people arrested for forced conversions to Christianity, but none is Christian


Madhya Pradesh: 12 people arrested for forced conversions to Christianity, but none is Christian

Nirmala Carvalho

All those detained were taking part in a private dinner to mark a Hindu harvest festival. Police took the accused, including a blind married couple, to a police station. They were released the next day on bail. For the archbishop of Bhopal, “Sangh Parivar activists have taken advantage of” the state’s anti-conversion law, “making false and baseless allegations.”
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Police in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh arrested 12 people, including a married couple both of whom are blind, on charges of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity.


"Second Class Citizens": 15 Christians arrested for alleged forced conversions


by Nirmala Carvalho
Police in Puttur in Karnataka stop celebrations to "protect" the Church, surrounded by Hindu radicals. The religious authorities called to testify and handed rules for future prayer services. These included the obligation to notify the police. Catholic leader: "In secular India, Christians are persecuted and vulnerable."
Bangalore (AsiaNews) - The Christian minority "is vulnerable and subjected to harassment and persecution by both extremist as well as authorities, who are responsible for protecting citizens. Clearly, Christians are considered second-class citizens in secular India”, says Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).