New Delhi: A rightwing Church weekly in India says it was God’s plan that Narendra Modi became prime minister and urged Christians to support the government through prayers as their duty.
“The Bible teaches us that all power comes from God and we should accept God-given powers. Nothing happens in the universe without God’s knowledge and permission,” says an editorial in the Sunday Shalom published by a Kerala-based Catholic renewal group. “Therefore, Narendra Modi’s victory happened with God’s knowledge and permission,” explains the July 11 editorial in Malayalam titled, “Narendra Modi, the Lord’s Servant.”
Signed by Chief Editor Benny Punnathara, a layman, the editorial says God can work through anyone and imparts his blessing even through someone considered as an enemy. “The thought that God, who can turn everything into good, can bless our land and Church through the Narendra Modi government should help us shed our anxieties and strengthen us to pray with hope.”
The weekly, wholly managed by lay people, begins the editorial by remarking that many have not recovered from the shock from the election results even a month after the Modi government came to power. “Almost all Christians must have prayed for a good government. As Narendra Modi took over as the prime minister some might have thought that God had not answered their prayers.”
“Power corrupts. If one party rules continuously for some time it is quite natural that middlemen and bureaucracy become strong and governance decays,” the editorial remarked and noted that coalition governments in the past 30 years could not rule well as they had to please their alliance partners. This led to massive corruption and big loss to the country.
The weekly sees the chance for an efficient and vibrant government this time since one party has managed to get absolute majority. “Therefore we should pray for the grace to accept the election results as God’s will and pray that God grant more graces to the new government to rule well,” the editorial says.
It says the rulers face temptations and pressure often. They need God’s grace, besides the will power, knoweldge and wisdom to overcome such hurdles and rule with justice and lover for the land.
“If we had prayed for a good government, we should believe what God has given is the best and accept the election results as from God’s hands,” the weekly says. “What God does is good. He can never err. It is God who decides what is good and how to spread goodness,” the editorial concludes.
Readers have reacted sharply to the editorial.
While some agreed with the editorial, a few suspected the weekly has some “ulterior motives.”
“Dear editor, what you have said in the article is correct. But you are none to call Modi, Lord’s servant. No one can call anyone such names. Every human being is our Lord’s servant,” says Philip Pazhempally, an advocate, in a letter to the editor. “What made you write this?…Can you vouch that you have no ulterior motives?” The letter ends cautioning the weekly not to “try to befool your poor readers.”
Another reader, identified only as Peter, asked whether God’s children should pay obeisance to Satan’s plan to find money for God’s plan.
Bijoy Jacob drew attention to ruthless dictators in the world asked if God had appointed them. “Does that mean God hates the citizens of those countries?” he asked. Courtesy : mattersindia.com