Religion Explains Unfortunate Events: Elephant Attack Edition

Back in September, the BBC reported on destruction caused by wild elephants in the Kandhamal district of Orissa, India:

Hundreds of villagers have been forced to take shelter in camps in the Indian state of Orissa after repeated attacks by a herd of elephants.

…Conservationists say this is because the natural habitats of the elephants are shrinking. They blame this on human encroachment, which means animals have to travel further for food.  It is, however, unclear why this herd of elephants migrated from the Lakheri sanctuary in a neighbouring district.

One man has an answer, though: step forward Rev Lal Rodinga Colney of Restoration India Mission, who declared the devastation to be a vengeful “miracle” against Hindus for anti-Christian rioting and killing that took place last year:

It is surprising that these will elephants are leaving the Christian houses and untouched. They are targeting mostly the houses belonging the persecutors. So people name them Christian elephants.

Also as the anti-Christians were suddenly appearing within 7-8 P.M. and destroying the Christian houses last year August 2008. Exactly like that these elephants are suddenly appearing within the same time and destroying the houses.

…Now 4 people have been killed by elephants and they are still in the district of Kandhamal.

Colney’s miracle tale was posted online by a former missionary named Luke Kuepfer, who adds further details:

Were these elephants summoned by God? One would wonder, as it was in the month of August a year ago around 7-8PM that Christians in this same area began to run for their lives while their homes were being destroyed by anti-Christian rioters. Exactly one year later, at the same time of the day, the persecutors are now running for their lives, from nothing less than a herd of wild elephants! These elephants first attacked a rock crusher machine owned by a key leader of the persecution movement. They then went on to destroy his house and farms. Gaining momentum, they rampaged through other non-Christian homes demolishing gardens and singling out the homes of persecutors, leaving Christian homes untouched. People ran to the police station to report the disastrous news. In one case, a police jeep that attempted to drive away the herd was attacked and the occupants barely escaped. Truly, God is the avenger of the helpless.

Colney wrote in a recent email to Luke, “God’s miracle is going on in Kandhamal now. People’s hearts are changing towards our God. Please pray… now is the time to harvest.”

The story has spread across various Christian websites, including that of the Catholic Diocese of Colombo in Sri Lanka; some sites express a sanguinary glee at the “retribution“, while others suggest that would be unwise. No-one, however, apparently feels the need to ask how exactly Colney came by his very specific information.

A few days ago, the Press Trust of India  provided an update to the main story:

With the death of a pregnant woman, Sanira Digal (28) and her 5-year-old daughter Ashalata in elephant attack yesterday at Pasoripada village in Brudukia GP under Balliguda Forest Division, the death toll due to elephant menace has gone up to 13, [official sources] said.

Presumably Colney and Kuepfer will praise the Lord for this continuance of “God’s miracle”.

The Kalinga Times reported in 2006 that

As the forest cover continues to dwindle in Orissa, the Naveen Patnaik Government has failed to contain the human-elephant conflict in the State.

…According to a written reply given by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the State Assembly… 39 persons were killed by elephants across the State during 2000-01, 59 in 2001-02, 43 in 2002-03, 37 in 2003-04, 64 in 2004-05, 42 in 2005-06 and 44 in 2006-07.

(Hat tip: Bulldada Newsblog)

2 Responses

  1. Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them 3 –do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?

  2. Peraji.Pen, on January 19th, 2010 at 17:47 Said:
    Dear Friends,

    It is good to evaluate this real story.
    When Human become animals…Animals become Human…What is wrong in it…It is a big shame for animals to compare them with these people… any way no other way.
    When man became inhuman and people in authority and of responsibility kept themselves as watch dogs for thees evil doers…what to do..? God can not be simply with them.
    God permitted the elephants to act Human Justice (as per in Old Testament IKings 13:11-31, 2Kings 2:23-24)For animal like people this is the only option for God…God has given enough time to repent…For human, God is having a different justice that is divine one; only people of love and forgiveness will understand that.Which is shown through His only Son Jesus Christ at the Cross…Amen.
    Peraji Pen

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