The storm over Virgin Mary statue


#1

A statue of the Virgin Mary dressed as a local tribal woman is in the eye of the storm in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

"We are urging the Christian authorities to remove the statue. If our pleas are ignored, we will be forced to launch surprise attacks on this church to pull down the statue soon," Bandhan Tigga, the head priest of Sarna Society, which represents Sarna tribal population of Jharkhand, was quoted as saying to the local media.

aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/storm-over-virgin-mary-statue-20131015155128883213.html

I am disgusted by this second quote. The fact that they would commit terrorist attacks against a church because of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is absolutely disgusting, outraging, and horrendous! :(:mad:


#2

[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:342918"]
aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/storm-over-virgin-mary-statue-20131015155128883213.html

[/quote]

What a lovely statue!

http://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/Images/2013/10/15//20131015155720326734_3.jpg

"The statue is a tool to convert more tribals to Christianity." - Well, they got that one right. :thumbsup:

Our Lady of Guadalupe did the same when she appeared as a pregnant Aztec princess.

Have their been any Marian apparitions in India? If not, let's pray for one!


#3

[quote="bellasbane, post:2, topic:342918"]
What a lovely statue!

http://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/Images/2013/10/15//20131015155720326734_3.jpg

"The statue is a tool to convert more tribals to Christianity." - Well, they got that one right. :thumbsup:

Our Lady of Guadalupe did the same when she appeared as a pregnant Aztec princess.

Have their been any Marian apparitions in India? If not, let's pray for one!

[/quote]

I absolutely agree. Christ is for all people, and for all ethic groups. Two of my favorite pictures of Christ both make him look very different.


#4

[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:342918"]
aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/storm-over-virgin-mary-statue-20131015155128883213.html

I am disgusted by this second quote. The fact that they would commit terrorist attacks against a church because of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is absolutely disgusting, outraging, and horrendous! :(:mad:

[/quote]

THAT "SECOND QUOTE" --
"We are urging the Christian authorities to remove the statue. If our pleas are ignored, we will be forced to launch surprise attacks on this church to pull down the statue soon," Bandhan Tigga, the head priest of Sarna Society, which represents Sarna tribal population of Jharkhand, was quoted as saying to the local media.

Really! * "Our pleas ...."* ... as if the church were bullying THEM!

And the subsequent threat of surprise attacks (multiple attacks noted) shows who the bullies really are.

Can the statue be electrified at a low level to provide an amusing YouTube segment when someone does try to pull the statue down?


#5

[quote="CaptFun, post:4, topic:342918"]
Really! * "Our pleas ...."* ... as if the church were bullying THEM!

And the subsequent threat of surprise attacks (multiple attacks noted) shows who the bullies really are.

Can the statue be electrified at a low level to provide an amusing YouTube segment when someone does try to pull the statue down?

[/quote]

I agree with everything but your last sentence. They act as if the Church were bullying them when in reality is them bullying the Church. Also, the threat of surprise attacks is really shocking.


#6

Many quotes from the article follow below, as well as my own input.

With regard to the threatened "attacks" - after reading the article and other information I found on-line, I do not believe this is meant as violent terrorism to be performed in an effort to hurt, maim or kill Christians (or others). Bandhan Tigga, the head priest of Sarna Society was quoted as saying to the local media, "We are urging the Christian authorities to remove the statue. If our pleas are ignored, we will be forced to launch surprise attacks on this church to pull down the statue soon."

Prior efforts to remove her have been made: ". . . The local authorities have attempted to broker a truce, but the efforts have so far failed. “We imposed restrictions as one party was trying to pull down the statue. Then we made two parties hold peace meetings. If needed, we shall push for more peace meetings in future,” Sub-divisional officer of Ranchi, Ameet Kumar, told Al Jazeera."

The "offending" statue depicts the Virgin Mary in Sarna-garb: a red-bordered white sari and red blouse, sporting a necklace, bangles and earrings, and holding baby Jesus in a cloth sling tied around her shoulder. (Personally? I think she is beautiful, and if she is within a private building - a Church - her presence there is appropriate.)

The statue has infuriated this nature-worshipping, non-Christian group only because of what she is wearing. They allege Christian missionaries of carrying out proselytisation "under the garb of social work" (a charge denied by the church). Hindu groups have also attempted to reconvert some who they allege were improperly lured into embracing Christianity. Tigga (the head priest) also alleges that the statue is meant to attract local tribespeople to Christianity "by confusing them into believing that she was a tribal woman" from the region. . . she is wearing traditional Sarna dress of red-bordered sari, Mother Mary's complexion is also dark in the statue. She has been made to look like our goddess of Sarna Ma [Mother Nature]. If the statue remains in place, after some decades our future generations will get confused between our Sarna Ma and Mother Mary," Tigga told Al Jazeera.

"As Christians we view Mother Mary as our mother, and as tribals if we see our mothers wearing a red-bordered sari we feel nice. So in that statue we got her draped in our local tribal attire, to which we are emotionally attached," Jesuit priest and social activist Fr Alex Ekka, a member of local Oraon tribe, told Al Jazeera. . ."

"It happens everywhere as part of enculturation of the local tradition. In Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Manipur and other states, Mother Mary is clad in local attire. In Africa her complexion is black."

I agree with so much of the above, and adapting/adopting local culture has been done for centuries by many religions. I truly hope this statue is not meant to confuse their people, but entice their people (no offense meant by the use of that word - it's how I feel, and I mean nothing improper by it). Real education about the Mother should be provided, not deception... and I did not read any quotes where deception is alleged.

"The Christian priests consider our Sarna belief system inferior and uncivilised. We have begun our protest against the sari-clad Mother Mary statue to send out strong messages that we love our religion and culture, and we shall launch a more aggressive movement against their agenda of conversion."

"Prem Shahi Munda, another Sarna leader, said their protest against the new statue should be seen as their struggle to protect the belief and culture of the nature-worshipping people. . . The Jharkhand state secretary of right-wing Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Gangaprasad Yadav, argued that tribal people were too naive and that they did not have any idea of their own religion. "So most often against such conversions by the church they cannot defend themselves on their own. So our [Hindu] organisations often need to step in to thwart the moves related to conversions by the church and save the tribals," Yadav said.. . . " If your own people are that naive and uneducated, then educate them. If you cannot do so, or will not do so, there are others who are willing to step up and offer what they feel to be true in their hearts. The first Caucasians to set foot in the Americas brought their beliefs with them, and although there remains a great deal of hard feelings and conflict about the Natives and what they suffered at the hands of the invaders, the situation is similar.

(PS - Their head priest stated, "She has been made to look like our goddess of Sarna Ma [Mother Nature]." Well, I myself have a statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on one of my own altars. Done with caring and respect, it's the same thing, just the other way `round.)


#7

[quote="Holly3278, post:5, topic:342918"]
I agree with everything but your last sentence. They act as if the Church were bullying them when in reality is them bullying the Church. Also, the threat of surprise attacks is really shocking.

[/quote]

You are astute. :)

My last sentence was clearly absurd, but cathartic and hopefully amusing since:

(a) it'd never be done, yet

(b) the imaginary visual of a vandal being harmlessly zapped and "counter-surprised" in a surprise attack -- is harmlessly amusing and would be apt per justice.

It's amazing how, if you have a worthy cause to promote, you can work your heart to try to get the media's attention to promote your cause. Threaten some sort of malfeasance in the name of some dubious justification (as the anti-Catholic group's leader did here) and the media - even down to the local newspapers - will fall all over themselves to "break" the juicy scandal to show what diligent journalists they are. :(


#8

[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:342918"]
aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/storm-over-virgin-mary-statue-20131015155128883213.html

I am disgusted by this second quote. The fact that they would commit terrorist attacks against a church because of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is absolutely disgusting, outraging, and horrendous! :(:mad:

[/quote]

This has to be some sort of false joke. I know it's not, but really! This is absolutely terrible! I completely agree with you. Mary is a part of all Catholics, no matter their race or ethnicity.


#9

It's fine if they disagree with the statue. It's their religion and they have the freedom to practice it and reject conversion attempts as they see fit. However, they should try to be as civil with it as possible. I hope they can at least try.


#10

There has been violent persecution of Christianity in some part of India, including murders and destructive attacks by Hindu mobs on Churches and the houses of Christians. So I was was one of the Catholics there, I would take these threats seriously.


#11

[quote="VanSensei, post:9, topic:342918"]
It's fine if they disagree with the statue. It's their religion and they have the freedom to practice it and reject conversion attempts as they see fit. However, they should try to be as civil with it as possible. I hope they can at least try.

[/quote]

Unfortunately they are not being civil. They have already threatened surprise attacks against the church if their request is not heeded. Also, they are bullying the Church. The Church is not bullying them and the Church has every right to seek to convert others. Indeed, that is one of the main missions of the Church, to gain converts to the one true Church which Jesus Christ founded.


#12

:signofcross:


#13

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