Friday, 28 November 2008


Churches and Christian organisations in India have condemned terrorist attacks across Mumbai that have left 119 people dead and 300 injured.
Armed men took hundreds of tourists hostage in the Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi Trident hotels late Wednesday night as part of a coordinated attack on India's financial capital. A number of hostages were freed from the Taj Mahal Palace on Thursday but it is believed that hostages are still being held at the Oberoi Trident.
An official with the National Council of Churches in India told Christian Today India that the group “condemns the heinous attacks and requests unity and peace at this time".
"As the country is going through a turbulent time, we request Churches and Christians in the country to join hands, to shed tears for the people of this nation. For peace and stability to prevail," he added.
Investigating officers say the terrorists were targeting foreigners, mainly Britons and Americans.
The Evangelical Fellowship of India expressed its “deep grief” at the attacks, which saw the gunmen open fire and launch grendades at locations across the city, including the two five-star hotels, the main railway station, a restaurant popular with tourists, and a hospital.
People take cover at the sound of gunfire outside The Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train...

EFI appeals to all sections to society to maintain calm and requests prayers for the family of those killed and injured,” said the organisation’s General Secretary, the Rev Dr Richard Howell.
Although a group of suspected Muslim extremists have claimed responsibility for the attacks, the president of Gospel for Asia, Dr K P Yohannan urged caution in laying blame with a particular group until a full investigation had been carried out.
"This is definitely a well-planned and executed incident to bring instability to the nation in the light of the national elections coming up," he said. "But I have real reservations about placing blame on the Muslims ... until there is a complete investigation of these horrible attacks, I am not ready to blame the Muslims. Anyone can take a Muslim name for their group."
Dr Yohannan said he was concerned that the attacks would spread to the rest of the country.
"India always treated foreigners with such respect and value," he said. "This is totally against the nature of Indians. The question is, will this spread over all the country?
"We know that only the Gospel of Christ can change human hearts, regardless of caste, race or religion. That is why we must pray for India at this time."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown assured a "vigorous response" to the attacks.
He said: "I have sent a message to Prime Minister Singh that the UK stands solidly with his government as they respond, and to offer all necessary help.
"Urgent action is under way to offer every possible protection to British citizens in the region."

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