By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife with BosNewsLife Special Correspondent Johan Th. Bos reporting from Amstelveen

ChristianUnion chairwoman Jacqueline Koops-Scheele has protested against Hindu festival in Amstelveen.

AMSTELVEEN, NETHERLANDS (BosNewsLife)– A small Christian party which made world headlines with protests against local government support for a Hindu religious festival has been re-elected in the municipal council of Amstelveen, a strategic town near the Dutch capital Amsterdam, according to local election results.

In a political skirmish picked up by on-line news agency BosNewsLife and other English language media, ChristianUnie (ChristianUnion) recently asked Amstelveen’s governing coalition why it financed a Hindu festival honoring a Hindu goddess from India, in the heart of this town of roughly 80,000 people.

Local officials said the ‘India Diwali Festival’, or ‘Festival of Lights’, was part of a policy to accommodate the Indian business community in Amstelveen, where several international companies have their global headquarters due to its location near Schiphol Airport and key highways.

Goddess Lakshmi was the main attraction at the October 10 festival, which symbolized the victory over evil, according to organizers.

But ChristianUnion chairwoman Jacqueline Koops-Scheele told BosNewsLife she was upset that the event had been sponsored by Dutch authorities at a time when many Christians living in India don’t have the same freedom as Hindus in Amstelveen to observe their faith.


Over 100 people were killed in anti-Christian violence sparked by Hindu militants in India’s state of Orissa last year, and there have also been Christians murdered or injured in other regions of the predominantly Hindu nation, according to church groups and rights organizations.

Many of the victims apparently refused to pray to Hindu gods or were targeted for converting from Hinduism to Christianity or mission activities. Several Christians have been detained by Indian authorities on “fraudulent conversion” charges.

Koops-Scheele said she was also “concerned about reports that millions of ‘Dalits'”, the ‘lowest caste’ in India’s ancient system of Hinduism, “face discrimination and poverty”. “They can not be touched under strict interpretation of Hinduism,” she added.

Additionally Koops-Scheele, a practicing attorney, wondered whether the 13,000 euros ($17,706) invested by Amstelveen in the Hindu festival violates Dutch rules on separation of church and state.


“The orange posters with pictures of the godess Lakshmi were distributed everywhere. Part of the opening was a prayer followed by a dance for the godess Lakshmi,” said her ChristianUnion, which maintained its one seat in the 37-seat Amstelveen council.

“Will the municipality now organize festivals for minority Indian Muslims and Christians?”

The discussion comes at a time when Dutch far right politicians have expressed concern about what they view as a “threat” to the Netherlands’ “Christian-Jewish traditions” because of “massive immigration” of people with different religious backgrounds.

Results of municipal elections Wednesday, March 3 and opinion polls suggested that anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders could become the next Dutch prime minister after making major gains.

His Freedom Party (PVV), which has campaigned against the “Islamization of the Netherlands”, received first place in Almere, a town near Amsterdam, and second in The Hague, one the country’s largest cities and the seat of the Dutch government.

If repeated in national elections on June 9, the Freedom Party could win 27 out of 150 seats, becoming the largest single party and putting him in line to become prime minister and form a new government, according to one opinion poll. (With additional reporting by BosNewsLife Asia Correspondent Santosh Digal).


  1. Having my ancestry in India, I can say with confidence that India is a failed third world country and will continue to be one for decades to come despite the ‘economic miracle’ it is currently undergoing. The state has been at best irrelevant and at worst compliant in containing herds of Hindu fanatics from ravaging minority groups like the Christians in Orissa, Sikhs in Dehli or Muslims in Gujrat. The fundamental right to justice and security that are the backbones of current western countries is simply absent to the ordinary Indian. The bureaucratic elite, composed disproportionately of high-class bramin Hindus, seem only to be concerned with Hindu cultural and religious dominance of the diverse people of India instead of desperately needed cultural and social reform of its customs.

    I am not going to judge whether banning Hindu festivals is right. All I’d like to say on this issue is that doing so would be taking a baby step in the direction of how things work in chaotic India.

  2. The violence in Orissa started after a Hindu Swami and three other people were assassinated in their ashram but armed gun men. This Swami was very successfully bring back christians to the Hindu fold and thus the Christian church in Orissa planned the Swami’s murder.

    It is sad that Christians tend to portray themselves as victims when clearly it is only Christians who are evangelizing in India and other places, and are intolerant of whoever comes in their way. The murdered Swami was the true victim here, victim of Christians.

  3. Dear Phil,

    Apparently the European Union delegations, human rights groups and about anybody else investigating the situation are all wrong. You also conveniently overlook that it were Maoist fighters, not Christians, who claimed responsibility for the murder of the Hindu leader last year in Orissa. Several Christians are evangelizing because in their view anyone has the right to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and eternal life, whatever his or her (religious) background. That’s however a free choice. Unlike militant groups, they do not use weapons to spread what they see as the Good News.

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  4. This is to Anon’s laughable remarks that India is an intolerant failed state. India is still nursing the wound from the barbaric Portugese Christian Killings of the Hindus in Goa and by the filthy devastation caused by two hundred years of rouge British rule which drained all the resources from India to succeed England’s Industrial revolution. In 1943 about 7 millions Bengali’s died because of famine created by the British. They had requisitioned all the food grains from the poor farmers under boot and had sent to their army fighting during II world war. Thousands of young Indians are hanged to death because they revolted against the Brtish rule. In Zallianwalabagh, Punjab Micahel-o-dire, a brtish major alone massacred thousands of innocent women and children celebrating Bashaki, a Hindu festival by spraying bullets on them, and later on, the Bastard was awarded by the British civilians for killing innocent women & children after returning to London. This is your filthy Abrahamic faith that teaches you to loot and and destroy in Africa, India, and other Latin American country. And please do not Practice YOGA, if you are a filthy ignorant narrow minded Christian like you. Naneste

  5. Dear Stefan Bos ,

    Every body has a right to follow a religion. CORRECT. But, while xian evangelists are trying to convert as a matter of right, they deny the same to Hindus who try to win back their own. In 2008 it was that the Swami was brutally killed, but in 2007 too he was assaulted and survived after months of treatment. Gospel For Asia had been maoning back before 2006: Time has come to teach him [swami] a lesson.

    Maoists are financed by the church and it top brass is mostly christian.

    Did the EU investigate the murder of the swami? Oh, NOOOOO.

  6. Anon know terribly little. Gujarat riots were precipitated after 59 Hindu pilgrims were burnt alive by muslims. 1984 Sikh riots were precipitated by assissination of Indira Gandhi, which some of the sikhs celebrated openly. In fact muslims were the major culprits. A xian MP, Jagdish Tytler, led big crowds in the riots. He supports a beard minus mustaches like a muslim.

  7. Heroes of 1971

    Gen Maneckshaw, Chief of Army staff. A Parsi

    Gen Jacob. Commander Eastren Army, drew detailed operational plans. A JEW

    Gen Arora, led the charge to Dacca and forced the surrender of Pakistani army. Biggest military surrender after WW-II. a SIKH.

    Bos and Anon must revise their lessons. They perhaps read xian yellow papers only.

  8. india is the only country where all kind of religious faith are respected. in hindu religion there is no such word called conversion. All are given equal right to think of god. In so called Hindu religion (which is old way of following) sanadana Darma every single person is given freedom to think of god in is own way. here every person is respected for is way of prayer. But christrian missinories are targeting the poor people and exployting their poverty and making them to follow a different faith on god. see if one person don’t have faith on his own birth faith then how he will get faith on the thing which he is being forced. so don’t blame others faith. see what good is there in that.

  9. Just to clarify, I am not a christian and do not necessarily agree with Bos. I say this because some of the ‘passionate’ Hindus in the comments section, who show a complete inability to introspect and to take criticism, seem to be grouping me with Bos. Christians have also committed mass atrocities in the past as well ie. Cough, cough, holocaust.

    It is when people define themselves based solely on their religious identity and claim to have a monopoly on the Truth that leads invariably to conflict. Religion has been used throughout time as a political tool to maintain control of its people and expand borders of empires. Disadvantaged populations of people flock to religion because that is the only source of hope they have. The true ‘evils’ that must be tackled are the systems in society which create these vast marginalized communities.

  10. Its not hindu who tell people only their path is right and all other got to hell.
    Its Christians who keep bragging hinduism is Pagan and yoga is demonic.
    Do you think these people should come to our country and tell us our religion is demonic,evil and even murder our religious leader and we are not suppose to react?

  11. @Chandan,

    “Nursing the wounds”? Its been 60+ years since independence. The British, as you rightly point out, murdered innocent people justified through principles of colonialism. Hindu nationalists murdered masses of people in Orissa, Dehli and Gujrat because to a Hindu they are simply not Hindustani. What I see in common in the two scenarios is innocent people dieing, in the first case justified through psudo-rationalist thought and in the second case through emotional fanaticism. In my view, the Hindu elite are no better than the British. They deliberately stop enforcing the law whenever it is convenient. The only way to maintain social harmony in the future is to put the prosecutions of Christians, Sikhs and Muslims on a pedestal as an acknowledgment to historical wrongdoing and a commitment to progress rather than sweeping the dirt under the rug and chanting “all is well.”

    Peace brothe’


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