Christmas became a time of protest and fury for Christians in India and Pakistan after a TV hosts plus guests decided to ridicule Christianity.
In India celebrities Farah Khan, Raveena Tandon and Bharti Singh were booked by Amritsar police for “hurting religious sentiments” after Indian Christians led by Sonu Jafar, president of the Christian Front of Ajnala Block. He proposed an investigation under the Indian blasphemy laws section 295-A of the Indian Penal code, after mocking the word “Hallelujah” on a TV show took place in India on Christmas Eve.
During a discussion about the spelling error, Ms Singh made a play on her spelling mistake by explaining that pronunciations of words in Punjabi made spelling different. This brought about laughter especially when she thickened her Punjabi accent. However, when asked by Ms Khan what the word meant, she said the word was a derogatory, if not sleazy word, that should not be mentioned on a family show and inferred it was a term used by newly-wed couples giving her mispronounced utterance a very sexual connotation. At this point Ms Tandon decided to gyrate her hips in support of Ms Singh.
Ms Khan did make sure the correct translation was provided but then joined Ms Singh in a further base level discussion that included a phrase suggesting the three celebrities would go back to their homes later and “hele luya”, (a term that to her seemed to describe the movement of a male sexual organ). Ms Khan felt that the translation given by Ms Singh warranted 5 points.
Later all three of the participants issued very honest apologies through mainstream media and their personal Twitter accounts which assuaged the quite virulent anger manifested throughout the global Asian Christian community.
In Pakistan, Christians were horrified by words TV anchor and journalist Mubasher Lucman gave on his Christmas Eve video recording on YouTube entitled “is Christmas a myth or reality?”.
Though BACA did not find anything he said particularly offensive, we realise the timing of the video and misunderstandings of what was being said certainly raised significant ire in the Christian community who held protests, ran petitions and pursued blasphemy charges against Mubasher Lucman.
Christians from across Pakistan created videos in which they condemned Mr Lucman and shared videos containing their form of Christian Apologetics.
An interesting article on the matter that shared some of the animosity among Pakistani Christians can be read (here)
Of course, the glib tone of Mr Lucman did nothing to help the situation and with intent to rile Christians, he voiced an obvious error in stating that Christianity was a faith that began 100 years after Christ. Totally ignoring the day of Pentecost when 3000 people gave their life to Christ, following a sermon by the Apostle Peter at the temple in Jerusalem.
After several calls for his death, protesting and online abuse, Mr Lucman followed up with a sheepish apology. We don’t believe for one minute that he was genuine as he did seem to grin through-out.
We asked brother Leighton, a BACA missionary who has been commissioned to work on improving the somewhat out of kilter doctrine that is often taught in Pakistan, to prepare a response Lucman’s strange rant about Christmas and his response can be heard in this video:
Leighton will be travelling to Pakistan in February to recommence the outreach work he started with BACA over the last three years.
We hope to raise enough funds over the course of this year to fund a permanent role for him as a missionary for a period of 3 years.
We believe his work is essential in helping to steer Christian church doctrine away from its current legalistic form to one that focuses on faith and redemption.