Hearing the chanting women march by, Shyamala wiped her nose with her unwashed sari. She started to cry, again. Her feet are swollen and bloody, her stomach heavy. And she has a recurring nightmare.
"I am falling and falling down a big ditch. I see my newborn baby below me," she said, weeping. "And it is dead."
This article in Monday's Washington Post is a must read.
Conversions to Christianity have been happening fast among impoverished tribal communities in Kandhamal, a remote district with few links to the outside world or state services. The Christian population here, largely made up of traditionally nature-worshiping ethnic groups, has swelled from 6 percent in 1971 to 27 percent today, according to government census data.
The sad result is a growing violent backlash by Hindu's demanding the Christians convert to Hinduism. The Christians fear that they will be killed if they leave the refuge camp to return to their village and do not convert back to Hinduism.
The nightmare makes sense in a very real way as the woman is fearing the death or herself and her newborn baby. But on a metaphorical level, the baby may represent the new self who adheres to the new religion. Thus, the fear of the death is of the newborn faith.
Pray for the strength of faith for these martyrs.
Hat tip to Mollie at Get Religon