Category: India

‘Satanic cult’ burns ‘Bible’, vandalises church

AIZAWL: Miscreants on Sunday night vandalised the Kawnpui Hmarveng Presbyterian Church in Mizoram’s Kolasib district, burnt a copy of the New Testament and desecrated the altar. It is rumoured that a satanic cult was behind the incident. The church committee chairman, Upa Zahlira Zote, said a group of high school students in Kawnpui village had confessed to worshipping Satan last year. Zote said nearly 300 people attended the Sunday mass. “Some people returned for the Monday morning prayer and found charred pages of the Bible scattered on the floor. A New Testament was completely burnt and pages from the Bible

India tunes into Ramdev, Sri salvation

MUMBAI, July 10 Early one summer morning in the holy town of Haridwar, on the banks of the sacred Ganges, about 500 people sit on mats facing their saffron-clad Hindu guru, following his every word. Swami Ramdev speaks of the benefits of ancient yoga in a society rapidly moulding the frenetic and stressful pace of Western-style capitalism to traditional values. About 1,500 km away in Kolkata, Arpita Ghosh and her husband watch Ramdev’s every move on television. “We follow his instructions on TV and do it (yoga),” Ghosh, a middle-aged bank worker says. “Yoga has changed our lives. It has

Police grab children of Satan-fearing cult

AGARTALA, India (Reuters) – Police in India’s largely Christian state of Mizoram have taken 13 children away from their parents said to belong to a cult which believes attending school exposes students to satanic forces, an official said on Thursday. Small but highly superstitious groups living near the state capital, Aizwal, in India’s remote northeast, say that participating in any activity run by the state makes them vulnerable to the devil, he said. Officers acted after a plea by the head of a government-run education programme, forcibly taking the children — aged between six and 13 — and handing them

‘Christians beaten up’ in Bhopal

Twenty-five Christians have been beaten up by attackers in the central Indian city of Bhopal, police say. A witness said he saw about 35 people armed with iron rods and sticks fleering from the house where the Christians had been praying. A BBC correspondent in Bhopal says this is the first such incident in the city. Christians have been under pressure in the state, Madhya Pradesh, from right wing Hindus. One Hindu leader denied any involvement in the attack. Bhopal police chief Anant Kumar Singh said several of the Christians, including a priest and a child, were seriously injured. He

Living gods facing purge

Most people know India is the land of gods but not many know eight million of them are alive and walking around there. This is the estimated number of holy men and women – mainly men – who claim everything from divine powers to the grandiose title of God on Earth. These living practitioners of the holy path vary from street market swamis who bamboozle the credulous with cheap tricks to multi-million religious corporate heads with wealthy communities attracting millions of followers in India and abroad. Now this bastion of light, or superstition, depending on your view, has been formally

Indians Compete for Taj Mahal Ownership

An Islamic trust claimed ownership Wednesday of the Taj Mahal and demanded a slice of tourist revenue from the 17th-century monument to love, but the government-run group charged with its upkeep vowed to challenge that claim in court. See Also Row over Taj Mahal ownership The white-marble monument — built by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1654 for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal — should be officially recognized as belonging to the Sunni Waqf Board, said its chairman, Hafiz Usman. “The Taj Mahal is the property of the board and it should be registered in its name,” Usman

Row over Taj Mahal ownership

A descendant of India’s Mughal emperors has staked a claim to ownership of the world’s most famous monument to love, the Taj Mahal, amid a row between Hindus and Muslims over its custody, a report said today. Prince Yaqub Habeebuddin Tucy, whose family traces its lineage to the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who built the white marble tomb, staked the claim saying he wanted “to protect the monument from falling into the wrong hands”, the Asian Age newspaper said. The magnificent 17th-century Taj Mahal built by the emperor as a tomb for his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal, is owned and

India to serve tourists with spirituality

New Delhi, April. 29 (PTI): A dip in the holy waters of the Ganges, a prayer at the Golden temple or a visit to the Ajmer Sharif; spiritual tourism in India has been synonymous with religious tourism till now. But the Government now looks beyond and promote the spiritual richness of the country through intangible elements like Yoga and Vedic chants. “The concept of spiritual tourism has been used in a very narrow sense. People think that it is all about visiting temples and other holy sites. We are looking at it from a wider perspective now”, says Union Tourism

Convict-turned-swami tortures British wife, held

Accused got Amanda to marry him, saying they were consorts in their last birth MALAPPURAM, APRIL 18: An army deserter and murderer-turned-holy man, who conned the 23-year-old daughter of a British shipbroker into marrying him and tortured her for a year at his ashram, was arrested today at Kottakkal near here, police said. The woman, Amanda Williams, and her father A.R. Williams are of Indian origin. Williams’s great-great-grandfather, who belonged to Kolkata, had migrated to the Carribbean Islands looking for work. There, the family set up and ran a shipbroking business before Williams’s father migrated to London. ‘‘They had a