Sunday, August 27, 2006

Convincing Friends you are Alive

Associated Press, "Villagers Shun man They Believe Is Dead", January 16, 2005 (Jim Sandell)

Keywords: death, resurrection

When Jesus rose from the dead, he had to convince his followers that He was really alive. Something Raju Raghuvanshi can relate to.

An Indian man is having trouble proving to his family and friends that he really is alive. Raghuvanshi was recently released from a short jail stint. When he entered his village, he was greeted by the sounds of neighbors locking their doors and shouts of "Help! Ghost!" If you ask his family and friends they will tell you the person they just spoke is a ghost sent to haunt them.

Raghuvanshi's problems began when he was sent to prison for a minor tax infraction. While serving his time, Raghuvanshi fell ill and was transferred to a prison hospital in another district. Some sort of clerical error occurred and word spread back to the man's family that he had died and his body had been cremated because no one claimed it.

The people in rural India follow an ancient system. They believe that if all the proper ceremonies are not performed a ghost of a person who dies will haunt the family. In a phone interview, Raghuvanshi says that is why his hometown is afraid of him. He says, "My family thinks I am dead. They will not permit me to enter my home because they think I am a ghost."

Raghuvanshi is currently living in another nearby village while he tries to convince his family that he is alive. He has enlisted the help of local police who are trying to convince Raghuvanshi's family that he is alive. Raghuvanshi says the best evidence he has is that his feet are still properly attached. Local beliefs state that the feet of ghosts turned backward. So far, none of his arguments have been effective.

Scripture: Luke 24:37-40

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