Was there a massacre of Christians in [the non-existent] Olisabang Province, India, in February 2010 [and again(!) on April 1, 2016, or is it another cruel April Fool’s “joke”]?
There are numerous e-mails and blogs about it, but no hard news that I can find. Wondering if it is true or a fictional tale.
[From an e-mail post-and-pass-on request currently circulating on the Internet:]
In lndia, 20 churches were burnt down last night [1 April 2016] . Tonight, they intend destroying more than 200 churches in Olisabang province. They want to kill 200 missionaries within the next 24 hours. All Christians are hiding in villages…
Please pray for churches in India. Buddhist extremists in India burned down 20 churches last night. Tonight they plan to destroy 200 churches in the province of Olisabang. They plan to kill 200 missionaries within 24 hours.
Best Answer [Eliah J]: Now about answering this question that pertains to a chain mail or spam flooding the internet – I would call it a hoax. There is no such place called “Olisabang” anywhere in this world. And Buddhists are a minority in India (their numbers in India are probably fewer than that of Christians’ and so “Buddhist extremists” is an unheard of term in India.) Here is a link that could clear your doubts if my answer doesn’t seem convincing enough:
“Buddhist Extremists” and Other Hoaxes
[Also, from E-mail rumor spreads anti-Christian sentiment PUBLISHED ON 16 APRIL, 2010 BY RUTH KRAMER:]
Rev. Samuel Stephens with India Gospel League says this message is false. He writes, “If this weretrue, I would have been one among the first few to receive such information because of the presence of our extensive network of pastors and church planters spread over a good part of the country. Further, there are no provinces in India. We have states and districts. There is no state or district named Olisabang.”
Another fact that debunks the e-mail’s veracity: Buddhist extremist groups are prevalent only in Sri Lanka, not in India. Violent attacks on Christians and pastors and the destruction of churches by Buddhist extremists are becoming increasingly frequent and widespread in Sri Lanka.
However, IGL says Buddhists and Christians in India have lived peacefully and in amity with each other for years. Stephens notes: “I am ledto believe that this message is a deliberate, planned and mischievous attempt by Hindu extremists to damage the good relationship between Buddhists and Christians. It is intentionally sent out to create animosity between these two groups.”