Monday, December 21, 2009

Avenging Elephants

Elephant-ear-witnesses-to-be of hymns
and glorias, these ministrants all gray or
gray with white on legs or trunk, are a pilgrims'

pattern of revery not reverence — a
religious procession without any priests,
the centuries-old carefullest unrehearsed

Marianne Moore, "Elephants"

When Marianne Moore wrote the above lines in 1944, she didn't know the half of it.  It seems that over the summer of 2009, a year after the outbreak of persecution of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa, herds of wild elephants began attacking the villages where the persecutors and their ringleaders lived, destroying their homes and property -- and leaving those of local Christians untouched.  

The elephants traveled 300 km out of their sanctuary in order to destroy more than 700 houses in 30 villages.  Smaller elephants would scout out the target village, then return to the main herd; larger elephants would then come in and wreak destruction.  The villagers have dubbed these elephants, whose strikes are not random, "Christian elephants."

Read the story here.

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