Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Apology In Honor Of Christian Martyrs Amongst The Leprosy Afflicted In India

It is very much to my regret that I have just read about the burning to death of Christan Missionary Graham Staines and his two sons whilst they were sleeping in their car in Orissa in 1999.  If this posting can, in some small way, honor their sacrifice then hopefully it will go some way to making up for my being sadly remiss in not being aware of tragedy.

According to the article, which discusses the life sentence handed down against one of the perpetrators, it advises that in fact Staines does not appear to have actively converted anyone. Conversion is against the law in India whereas propagation is not, but irrespective of that he, and his sons died as active evangelicals for Christ, and deserve all honor, and his wife every condolence..

The highlighted part of the article relates to The Leprosy Mission complaint that calling the people Mr. Staines worked amongst "lepers" is an insult to them and reinforces stigma. The United Nations and WHO have made it clear that calling those with the infection, or cured but with a disability "people affected by lerosy' will be a major step forward in removing the stigma of superstion and ignorance.

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