Apparitions and signs in Asia

by Michael H. Brown

       In the same countries where persecution of Christians and natural disasters are occurring are also reports of heavy spiritual activity, including  exorcisms and alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary. 

       Just as Mary appeared at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina to warn of problems before the great ethnic war there and in Kibeho, Rwanda, just before the onset of a horrendous conflict there, so has she been reported in India and Indonesia.

       In India there have been sightings of the Virgin by a small child and members of a prayer group, according to Father Robert Lewis of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Halhikhera Post near Ajmer, Raj, southwest of Delhi. According to Father Lewis the message is similar to those of other apparitions. 

       "She calls all, bishops, nuns, and priests and says, 'I am present here and also my son,'" the priest reported to us several years ago. "Both will speak to each one here. She asks us to pray for the Pope five times pleadingly and says he will win with St. Michael's help. Our Lady calls all those who have [stopped] practicing because of persecution her 'flowers' and asks me to bring them all to her feet. She asks us to do sacrifice, to do penance and fast." Father Lewis quoted Mary as saying, "Lucifer is being crushed low and slow and waiting for Jesus to come and bind him forever."

       The priest also reported cases of possession due to a red powder or spice dedicated to a violent Hindu "god" called Kali. The powders are slipped into food, said Lewis, who exorcised one woman from South Kanara.  Added the priest: "These powders are called prasaads. The devas who are worshipped as gods or goddesses by pagans are actually devils because, in hundreds of cases of exorcisms, I have come across these devas or devils under various names confessing against their wills that they are coming from the depths of hell."

       It was just a few days ago that we reported panic in India in areas like Santhal Pargana over supposed demonic creatures preying on children and adults in the countryside (see previous account).

       As the spiritual war heats up it is difficult to know where the lines are drawn. Are these legitimate apparitions of Mary? Are they signs of battle with all the forces of darkness? Or are they themselves a deception? Apparitions have also been reported in Goa, where there has also been a call to repentance and a warning about "three black days."

       In Indonesia manifestations of Mary have been alleged in Waru, Sidoarjo, where statues are said to have teared and where messages warn of coming catastrophes in this nation that has lately been afflicted with earthquakes and massive wildfires that have consumed millions of acres and sent a pall over neighboring nations, including the island of Borneo, where the Sultan of Brunei, one of the world's richest men, became so desperate that he organized a prayer group to end it.

       So dense has the smoke been that children have had to wear masks to school and tigers have raced through villages, escaping burning habitats.

       This is also a region in which Moslems are currently persecuting Christians. An estimated 4,000 have been killed in Indonesia in recent months as jihad warriors in the Maluku islands are seeking to drive out Christianity. A delegation of Protestant and Catholic leaders from the islands, also known as the Moluccas, met with European Parliament members and European Union leaders in Brussels this week amid continuing reports of attacks by extremist Muslim troops. On Wednesday, an Indonesian senior official conceded for the first time that the situation is so grave that international peacekeepers might be necessary if the country could not quickly stop the violence. 

       The same is occurring in India, where Hindus are attacking the small Christian community, slaying priests and nuns at a time when coincidentally or not an archbishop from Delhi also died in a car accident. Churches in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka were bombed on June 8 and a Roman Catholic priest was murdered in the northern town of Mathura two days earlier.