Claim: Buddhist extremists in India plan to burn down 200 churches and kill
Example: [Collected via e-mail, April 2010]
Urgent prayer request! Please pray for all the churches in India. Buddhist extremists in India burned down
Origins: This breathless warning about endangered Christian missionaries and churches in India has been circulating on the Internet since late February 2010. Those of the faithful concerned for their overseas brethren should breathe a bit more easily: this particular tale is a hoax. There have been no reports out of India of Buddhist extremists on the rampage, with twenty Christian churches left burning in their wake. Christians living in India who have been asked about this rumor are non-plussed; they certainly haven’t taken to hiding in small villages out of fear of marauding Buddhists.
As for the rest of this tale, as far as we can tell, no place on Earth (let alone just India) is named Olisabang, as a city, province, territory, or anything else. Also, the Republic of India is composed of
There are very few Buddhists in India, almost too few to count, which should immediately make any tale about Buddhists on the warpath in India suspect.
Approximately 80.5% of India’s population is Hindu,
There have been violent attacks on Christians in India, but they were carried out by Hindu extremists, most recently in 2008 in the Indian state of Orissa. Many Christian families in that area were forced to abandon their faith in exchange for their safety. Churches and houses were burned, and at least thirty Christians lost their lives. The 2008 wave of violence was touched off by the killing of a charismatic Hindu preacher known as Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. Although police blamed Maoist guerrillas for the swami’s killing, Hindu radicals held Christians responsible for his death.
Last updated: 7 April 2010
Hodge, Amanda. “Catholics Fear Hindu ‘Taliban.'” The Australian. 27 April 2009 (World; p. 11). Sengupta, Somini. “Hindu Threat to Christians: Convert or Flee.” The New York Times. 13 October 2008 (p. A1).