Saturday, 31 October 2009

Bob Dylan - Believe In You [Live Toronto 1980]

I remember buying my first Bob Dylan cassette tape in the late 1970's. The album was called 'Slow train coming' and it was to be played constantly on my little cassette player for over a year- even after a year I still couldn't make out all the words on it!In fact I only discovered what they were several years later when I saw the sheet music in a local Music store in Belfast!

Nevertheless,the news was that Dylan had become a Christian and that his concerts had become something like gospel meetings. The first time I had heard Dylan sing was some years before when my brother played his most famous song 'Blowing in the Wind' from his greatest hits L.P. I remember asking him who on earth was singing and destroying such a beautiful song! But with this new album I truly began to appreciate his sound and in particular his lyrics. The track 'Believe in you' which was on this album describes the loneliness and rejection he was beginning to experience as a new believer along with his unequivocal dedication towards his new Master.It seemed the mark of a true disciple of Jesus and it struck a chord with many young believers at the time. Even today, by listening to it again you can feel the intensity and sincerity of the song as well as the singer.

So you don't have to wait so long to find out what the words are, I have included them below.

Believe In You
They ask me how I feel
And if my love is real
And how I know I'll make it through.
And they, they look at me and frown,
They'd like to drive me from this town,
They don't want me around
'Cause I believe in you.

They show me to the door,
They say don't come back no more
'Cause I don't be like they'd like me to,
And I walk out on my own
A thousand miles from home
But I don't feel alone
'Cause I believe in you.

I believe in you even through the tears and the laughter,
I believe in you even though we be apart.
I believe in you even on the morning after.
Oh, when the dawn is nearing
Oh, when the night is disappearing
Oh, this feeling is still here in my heart.

Don't let me drift too far,
Keep me where you are
Where I will always be renewed.
And that which you've given me today
Is worth more than I could pay
And no matter what they say
I believe in you.

I believe in you when winter turn to summer,
I believe in you when white turn to black,
I believe in you even though I be outnumbered.
Oh, though the earth may shake me
Oh, though my friends forsake me
Oh, even that couldn't make me go back.

Don't let me change my heart,
Keep me set apart
From all the plans they do pursue.
And I, I don't mind the pain
Don't mind the driving rain
I know I will sustain
'Cause I believe in you.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Apostles To The People By Hugh T. Kerr

Toyohiko Kagawa (1888-1960)

"The message of these expansive evangelists was simple and direct. Christian faith, they all agreed, whatever its personal rewards in terms of religious assurance, also promised education, health, and social progress to all sorts of deprived and oppressed peoples. In our less romantic age, we may smile at this simplistic creed, sugar-coated with token benefits, thinly hiding a political and economic policy of western imperialism…. But it would be futile to impugn the motives of these apostles to the people. Their record of astonishing achievements is available for all to examine."

AN epic chapter in modern Christian history is waiting to be assembled from the biographies of a dozen extraordinary pioneers of fifty to seventy-five years ago. From the turn of the century, 1900, to about 1925 and a little later, a steady succession of unusual emissaries provided spectacular Christian witness to untold numbers of people in many parts of the world.

E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973)

We are not talking about that enormous cloud of witnesses, men and women, young and old, of every country and denomination, who girdled the globe about the same time as representatives of the great foreign missionary movement sponsored by so many churches. Their names, and their faithfulness and endurance, are written in the book of life. That, too, is a chapter that needs re-writing for our day.

We are thinking, rather, of a special group of about a dozen who were distinguished not only for their mass evangelism but more especially for what might be called their benevolent philanthropy. Here is a partial roll-call:

James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey (1875-1927)
General Evangeline Booth (1865-1939)
G. Sherwood Eddy (1871-1963)
Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940)
Sam Higginbottom (1874-1958)
Sheldon Jackson (1834-1909)
E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973)
Toyohiko Kagawa (1888-1960)
Frank Laubach (1884-1970)
John R. Mott (1865-1955)
Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1933)
Robert E. Speer (1867-1947).


The message of these expansive evangelists was simple and direct. Christian faith, they all agreed, whatever its personal rewards in terms of religious assurance, also promised education, health, and social progress to all sorts of deprived and oppressed peoples. In our less romantic age, we may smile at this simplistic creed, sugar-coated with token benefits, thinly hiding a political and economic policy of western imperialism. Well, that may be part of the story, and the debunking of the foreign missionary enterprise has gone on apace in recent years. But it would be futile to impugn the motives of these apostles to the people. Their record of astonishing achievements is available for all to examine.

Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1933)

Though active just the day-before-yesterday, these extraordinary humanitarians are almost forgotten in our day. Often self-appointed and fiercely independent, these ambassadors to the poor, the oppressed, and the derelicts of society were untiring in their life-long witness that Christian faith uplifts, enlightens, heals, and empowers all who accept the message of Good News. Well-known in their own times, they should not be forgotten in our time, for they still stand as models of excellence especially in an age such as ours that belittles selfless service, mass evangelism, and ambitious programs of social betterment for marginal people.

What distinguishes this particular group from other mass evangelists of yesterday or today was their social and humanitarian conviction that Christian faith could make a real difference for multitudes of people in their quality of life. So they organized schools and colleges, they taught the illiterate to read and write, they provided health and medical facilities, they fed the undernourished, they combatted epidemic disease, they introduced new farming and agricultural techniques, they gave outcasts a caring community, and-most of all-they held out hope to the hopeless.

In many instances they were the only ones devising such programs. No one else was doing it, not government, not university education, not the free-thinkers or agnostics, not the humanists or artists, not the scientists or political theorists. The humanitarian movement of 1900-1925 was inspired by specific Christian principles, naive and guileless perhaps, but conceived and carried out on a grand scale.

Today our mass evangelists, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Rev. Ike, Sun Myung Moon, are mostly interested in preaching their brand of the faith, soliciting decisions and contributions from the churched and the unchurched. They are primarily concerned with personal religious experience, not social or humanitarian programs for the poor and the indigent of society. Some are interested in education and faith healing, and all would doubtless say they offered their hearers a chance for a better life.

Frank Laubach (1884-1970)
But the evangelists of the first quarter of the twentieth century, the ones we're talking about, seemed to reverse the expected sequence. They didn't usually ask people to accept Jesus Christ so they could receive promised educational or medical dividends. They appeared to be genuinely interested in helping people who needed help. It is true they also preached the gospel, made converts, and based their social programs squarely on their Christian faith. But unlike Billy Graham, for example, who says he is so busy winning souls for Christ that he has no time or inclination for social witness, these earlier mass missionaries were humanitarians first and evangelists second. Or, they probably would have preferred to say, their understanding of evangelism included social witness whether anyone was converted or not.

Hugh T. Kerr is Professor of Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Editor of THEOLOGY TODAY'

For the rest of this thoughtful and perhaps controversial( especially in regard to his critism of Billy Graham) essay go to

Monday, 26 October 2009

The Lord's Prayer as told by John Denver through the means of Native American sign language.

Enjoy this reflection by John Denver of the most famous and best of all prayers. I checked out the authenticity of the sign language from my good friend Scott Starr who is an authentic Native American Indian and passionate Christian.

Monday, 19 October 2009

John Wesley's Spiritual Journey

Wesley's Conversion
John Wesley was almost in despair. He did not have the faith to continue to preach. When death stared him in the face, he was fearful and found little comfort in his religion. To Peter Böhler, a Moravian friend, he confessed his growing misery and decision to give up the ministry. Böhler counseled otherwise. "Preach faith till you have it," he advised. "And then because you have it, you will preach faith." A wise Catholic once made a similar statement: "Act as if you have faith and it will be granted to you."

John acted on the advice. He led a prisoner to Christ by preaching faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sins. The prisoner was immediately converted. John was astonished. He had been struggling for years. Here was a man transformed instantly. John made a study of the New Testament and found to his astonishment that the longest recorded delay in salvation was three days--while the apostle Paul waited for his eyes to open.

The Moravians assured him their personal experiences had also been instantaneous. John found himself crying out, "Lord, help my unbelief!" However, he felt dull within and little motivated even to pray for his own salvation. On this day, May 24th, 1738 he opened his Bible at about five in the morning and came across these words, "There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should partakers of the divine nature." He read similar words in other places.

That evening he reluctantly attended a meeting in Aldersgate. Someone read from Luther's Preface to the Epistle to Romans. About 8:45 p.m.

"while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."

It took him some time to learn how to live the life of faith, for he was not always possessed of joy and thought he had fallen from salvation. It took time for him to see that it is not Christ and good works, but Christ alone who saves, resulting in good works.

As time went on, John Wesley was mightily used of the Lord to reform England. His Methodists became a national force. John rode thousands of miles (as many as 20,000 a year) preaching as only a man filled with the Holy Spirit can preach, telling the gospel to all who would listen. He acted "as though he were out of breath in pursuit of souls." Wherever he preached, lives changed and manners and morals altered for the better. It is often conjectured that his preaching helped spare England the kind of revolution that occurred in France.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

My Father is the Gardener — John 15.1 by Andrew Murray

A vine must have a Gardener to plant and watch over it, to receive and rejoice in its fruit. Jesus says: “My Father is the gardener.” He was “the vine of God’s planting.” All He was and did, He owed to the Father; in all He only sought the Father’s will and glory. He had become man to show us what a creature ought to be to its Creator. He took our place, and the spirit of His life before the Father was ever what He seeks to make ours: “Of him, and through him, and to him are all things.” He became the true Vine, that we might be true branches. Both in regard to Christ and ourselves the words teach us the two lessons of absolute dependence and perfect confidence.

My Father is the Gardener—Christ ever lived in the spirit of what He once said: “The Son can do nothing of himself.” As dependent as a vine is on a gardener for the place where it is to grow, for its fencing in and watering and pruning. Christ felt Himself entirely dependent on the Father every day for the wisdom and the strength to do the Father’s will. As He said in the previous chapter (14:10): “The words that I say to you, I speak not from Myself; but the Father abiding in Me does his works.” This absolute dependence had as its blessed counterpart the most blessed confidence that He had nothing to fear: the Father could not disappoint Him. With such a Gardener as His Father, He could enter death and the grave. He could trust God to raise Him up. All that Christ is and has, He has, not in Himself, but from the Father.

My Father is the Gardener .—That is as blessedly true for us as for Christ. Christ is about to teach His disciples about their being branches. Before He ever uses the word, or speaks at all of abiding in Him or bearing fruit, He turns their eyes heavenward to the Father watching over them, and working all in them. At the very root of all Christian life lies the thought that God is to do all, that our work is to give and leave ourselves in His hands, in the confession of utter helplessness and dependence, in the assured confidence that He gives all we need. The great lack of the Christian life is that, even where we trust Christ, we leave God out of the count. Christ came to bring us to God. Christ lived the life of a man exactly as we have to live it. Christ the Vine points to God the Gardener . As He trusted God, let us trust God, that everything we ought to be and have, as those who belong to the Vine, will be given us from above.

Isaiah said: “A vineyard of red wine; I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Ere we begin to think of fruit or branches, let us have our heart filled with the faith: as glorious as the Vine, is the Gardener. As high and holy as is our calling, so mighty and loving is the God who will work it all. As surely as the Gardener made the Vine what it was to be, will He make each branch what it is to be. Our Father is our Gardener, the Surety for our growth and fruit.

Blessed Father, we are Your garden. Oh, that you may have honor of the work of Your hands! O my Father, I desire to open my heart to the joy of this wondrous truth: My Father is the Gardener. Teach me to know and trust You, and to see that the same deep interest with which You care for and delight in the Vine, extends to every branch, to me too.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Blessed be your Name: Matt Redman

This song is based on the story of Job who when he lost everything declared the immortal words:

“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”'

I have included the story found in Job 1 below.

Job 1
1-3 Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was also very wealthy—seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants—the most influential man in all the East!
4-5 His sons used to take turns hosting parties in their homes, always inviting their three sisters to join them in their merrymaking. When the parties were over, Job would get up early in the morning and sacrifice a burnt offering for each of his children, thinking, "Maybe one of them sinned by defying God inwardly." Job made a habit of this sacrificial atonement, just in case they'd sinned.

The First Test: Family and Fortune
6-7 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, "What have you been up to?"
Satan answered God, "Going here and there, checking things out on earth."

8 God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There's no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil."

9-10 Satan retorted, "So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can't lose!

11 "But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He'd curse you right to your face, that's what."

12 God replied, "We'll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don't hurt him." Then Satan left the presence of God.

13-15 Sometime later, while Job's children were having one of their parties at the home of the oldest son, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing in the field next to us when Sabeans attacked. They stole the animals and killed the field hands. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened."

16 While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, "Bolts of lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds and fried them—burned them to a crisp. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened."

17 While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, "Chaldeans coming from three directions raided the camels and massacred the camel drivers. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened."

18-19 While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, "Your children were having a party at the home of the oldest brother when a tornado swept in off the desert and struck the house. It collapsed on the young people and they died. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened."

20 Job got to his feet, ripped his robe, shaved his head, then fell to the ground and worshiped:

21 Naked I came from my mother's womb,
naked I'll return to the womb of the earth.
God gives, God takes.
God's name be ever blessed.

22 Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God.(The Message)

The rest of the story can be found by using the link

The True Vine by Andrew Murray

All earthly things are the shadows of heavenly realities--the expression, in created, visible forms, of the invisible glory of God. The Life and the Truth are in Heaven; on earth we have figures and shadows of the heavenly truths. When Jesus says: "I am the true Vine," He tells us that all the vines of earth are pictures and emblems of Himself. He is the divine reality, of which they are the created expression. They all point to Him, and preach Him, and reveal Him. If you would know Jesus, study the vine. How many eyes have gazed on and admired a great vine with its beautiful fruit. Come and gaze on the heavenly Vine till your eye turns from all else to admire Him. How many, in a sunny clime, sit and rest under the shadow of a vine. Come and be still under the shadow of the true Vine, and rest under it from the heat of the day. What countless numbers rejoice in the fruit of the vine! Come, and take, and eat of the heavenly fruit of the true Vine, and let your soul say: "I sat under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste."

I am the true Vine.--This is a heavenly mystery. The earthly vine can teach you much about this Vine of Heaven. Many interesting and beautiful points of comparison suggest themselves, and help us to get conceptions of what Christ meant. But such thoughts do not teach us to know what the heavenly Vine really is, in its cooling shade, and its life-giving fruit. The experience of this is part of the hidden mystery, which none but Jesus Himself, by His Holy Spirit, can unfold and impart. I am the true Vine.--The vine is the living Lord, who Himself speaks, and gives, and works all that He has for us. If you would know the meaning and power of that word, do not think to find it by thought or study; these may help to show you what you must get from Him to awaken desire and hope and prayer, but they cannot show you the Vine. Jesus alone can reveal Himself. He gives His Holy Spirit to open the eyes to gaze upon Himself, to open the heart to receive Himself. He must Himself speak the word to you and me.

I am the true Vine.--And what am I to do, if I want the mystery, in all its heavenly beauty and blessing, opened up to me? With what you already know of the parable, bow down and be still, worship and wait, until the divine Word enters your heart, and you feel His holy presence with you, and in you. The overshadowing of His holy love will give you the perfect calm and rest of knowing that the Vine will do all. I am the true Vine.--He who speaks is God, in His infinite power able to enter into us. He is man, one with us. He is the crucified One, who won a perfect righteousness and a divine life for us through His death. He is the glorified One, who from the throne gives His Spirit to make His presence real and true. He speaks--oh, listen, not to His words only, but to Himself, as He whispers secretly day by day: "I am the true Vine! All that the Vine can ever be to its branch, "I will be to you."
Holy Lord Jesus, the heavenly Vine of God's own planting, I beseech Thee, reveal Yourself to my soul. Let the Holy Spirit, not only in thought, but in experience, give me to know all that You, the Son of God, are to me as the true Vine.


Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Call to Evangelize :John Stott

John Stott is both a theologian and an evangelist. I only started reading his books about fifteen years ago but since that time I have made it my aim to collect all that he has written. Today being in his eighties, he is now retired from ministry and suffers from ill health. Like St Paul of old, his background could easily have given him a great sense of superiority : he comes from an upper middle class family( his father Sir Arnold Stott was a Harley Street doctor), he has a top Cambridge degree and for the last 40 years has exercised a world famous ministry(it was Dr Stott who penned much of the Lausanne Covenant). Yet despite this he is one of the most humble people I have had the pleasure of meeting.He also never married, becoming, in the words of Jesus, 'a Eunuch for the kingdom', devoting his time to spreading the gospel through teaching and evangelism.His passion for Christ and the lost have been a great inspiration to many thousands of people including myself and I would therefore thoroughly recommend all his writings to you. Here I have included a few of his thoughts on evangelism which I hope you will be helpful.AK

'No-one can ...'

It is grievously mistaken to suggest that the purpose of
evangelism is to cajole sinners into doing what they can
perfectly well do if only they put their minds to it and
pull themselves together. This the Bible emphatically

Consider these two statements: 'No one can say
"Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit' (1 Cor. 12:3).
'No one can come to me unless the Father ... draws him'
(Jn. 6:44). We need to hear much more in the church of
this 'no-one can', this natural inability of men to believe
in Christ or to come to Christ. Only the Spirit can reveal
Christ to men; only the Father can draw men to Christ. And
without this double work of the Father and the Spirit no-
one can reach the Son.

It is quite true that Jesus also
said 'you are not willing to come to me that you may have
life' (Jn. 5:40, lit.), and that the human mind finds it
impossible neatly to resolve the tension between this
'cannot' and this 'will not'. But both are true, and man's
refusal to come does not cancel out his inability without
grace to do so.

The chief evangelist

Now who is to be the messenger?
The first and fundamental answer to this question is 'God
himself'. The gospel is God's gospel. He conceived it.
He gave it its content. He publishes it. The fact that he
has committed to us both 'the ministry of reconciliation'
and 'the message of reconciliation' (1 Cor. 5:18-19) does
not alter this. He acted 'through Christ' to achieve the
reconciliation and now acts 'through us' to announce it.
But he still remains himself both reconciler and preacher.
He has used other and more exalted agencies through whom
to publish salvation before partially delegating the work
to the church. Apart from Old Testament prophets, the
first herald of the gospel was an angel, and the first
announcement of it was accompanied by a display of the
glory of the Lord and greeted by the worship of the
heavenly host.
Next, God sent his Son, who was himself both the
messenger and the message. For God sent a 'word ... to
Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ' (Acts
10:36). So Jesus not only 'made peace' between God and
man, Jew and Gentile, but also 'preached peace' (Eph. 2:14-
17). He went about Palestine announcing the good news of
the kingdom.
Next, God sent his Spirit to bear witness to Christ. So
the Father himself witnesses to the Son through the Spirit.
And only now does he give the church a privileged share in
the testimony: 'and you also will bear witness' (Jn.
15:27, lit.)
It is essential to remember these humbling truths. The
chief evangelist is God the Father, and he proclaimed the
evangel through his angel, his Son and his Spirit before he
entrusted any part of the task to men. This was the order.
The church comes at the bottom of the list. And the
church's witness will always be subordinate to the

--From "Our Guilty Silence"

The consent of the mind

Evangelistic preaching has too often consisted of a
prolonged appeal for decision when the congregation have
been given no substance upon which the decision is to be
made. But the gospel is not fundamentally an invitation to
men to do anything. It is a declaration of what God has
done in Christ on the cross for their salvation. The
invitation cannot properly be given before the declaration
has been made. Men must grasp the truth before they are
asked to respond to it. It is true that man's intellect is
finite and fallen, but he must never be asked to murder it.
If he comes to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, it
must be with the full consent of his mind. Much of the
leakage of converts after evangelistic campaigns is due to
the evangelist's disregard of this. If it be said that we
cannot consider man's mind in our evangelistic preaching
because it is darkened, I can only reply that the apostles
were of a different opinion.

--From "The Preacher's Portrait"

Paul the persuader

Paul's presentation of the gospel was serious, well
reasoned and persuasive. Because he believed the gospel to
be true, he was not afraid to engage the minds of his
hearers. He did not simply proclaim his message in a 'take
it or leave it' fashion; instead, he marshalled arguments
to support and demonstrate his case. He was seeking to
convince in order to convert, and in fact, as Luke makes
plain, many were 'persuaded'. Luke indicates, moreover,
that this was Paul's method even in Corinth. What he
renounced in Corinth (see 1 Cor. 1 - 2) was the wisdom of
the world, not the wisdom of God, and the rhetoric of
Greeks, not the use of arguments. Arguments of course are
no substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit. But then
trust in the Holy Spirit is no substitute for arguments
either. We must never set them over against each other as
alternatives. No, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth,
and he brings people to faith in Jesus not in spite of the
evidence, but because of the evidence, when he opens their
minds to attend to it.

--From "The Message of Acts"

John Stott preaching in his mid eighties.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Christians Concerned over Acquittals in Orissa,India :Lax investigation, prosecution, lack of witness protection cited as reasons for injustiViolence:

NEW DELHI, September 30 (CDN) — Only 24 people have been convicted a year after anti-Christian mayhem took place in India’s Orissa state, while the number of acquittals has risen to 95, compounding the sense of helplessness and frustration among surviving Christians.

Dr. John Dayal, secretary general of the All India Christian Council, called the trials “a travesty of justice.”

Last month a non-profit group, the Peoples Initiative for Justice and Peace (PIJP), reportedly found that as many as 2,500 complaints were filed with police following the violence in August-September 2008 in the eastern state’s Kandhamal district. The violence killed at least 100 people and burned more than 4,500 houses and over 250 churches and 13 educational institutions. It also rendered 50,000 people, mostly Christian, homeless.

Police, however, registered only 827 complaints and arrested fewer than 700 people, even though 11,000 people were named as attackers in those complaints, according to a PIJP survey.

“The manner of the judicial processes in the Kandhamal fast-track courts is tragic where all too many people have managed to escape conviction for crimes as serious as conspiracy for brutal, premeditated murder and deliberate arson,” Dayal told Compass.

Among those acquitted was Manoj Pradhan, who allegedly led mobs that killed Christians and burned their houses a few months before he became a state legislator from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Facing charges in five cases of murder and six of arson, Pradhan has been acquitted in three cases.

On Thursday (Sept. 24), the judge of Fast Track Court-II, C.R. Das, acquitted Pradhan and another suspect, Mantu Nayak, on charges of killing Khageswar Digal for refusing to “reconvert” to Hinduism, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI). Digal was a 60-year-old Catholic and resident of Shankarakhol area in Chakapada Block in Kandhamal.

“The court acquitted the BJP MLA [Member of Legislative Assembly] and Nayak due to lack of proper evidence against them,” Special Public Prosecutor Pratap Patra told PTI.

The Rev. Ajay Singh, an activist from the Catholic Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, said Digal’s son testified in court that he was witness to the killing of his father and knew the killers, and yet the accused were acquitted.

“It was a brutal murder, possibly a case of human sacrifice,” Singh said.

Digal was dragged from a vehicle before being killed on Sept. 24 last year – one month after the assassination of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council or VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati by Maoists (extreme Marxists), which triggered the violence as Hindu extremists wrongly blamed Christians.

Singh spoke to the son of the deceased Digal, Rajendra Digal, who said his parents left their village after the violence and took shelter in the state capital, Bhubaneswar.

The elder Digal, who owned a grocery shop and 35 goats, returned to his village to see his house and livestock. After selling some of the goats, he boarded a public bus to Phulbani, Kandhamal district headquarters, to start his journey back to Bhubaneswar around noon on Sept. 24. As the bus started, however, some assailants allegedly led by Pradhan stopped the bus and dragged Digal out. They also broke his leg.

The attackers were said to have taken Digal to his village, where they looted his shop. Then they allegedly took him and eight of his goats to a nearby forest, where they feasted on the goat meat throughout the night.

When Rajendra Digal heard about it, he informed police, who allegedly took no interest in the complaint. Twelve days later, his father’s body, naked and burned with acid, was found 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the village. His genitals had also been chopped off.

Rajendra Digal said he believes his father may have been the victim of human sacrifice involving ritual feasting and torture.

For more on this article and a chance to email the Indian Prime Minister about this situation see the first comment.It will cost nothing but a little time.