From Fox News
13-year-old dies after 68-day fast
By Jenn Gidman Published October 10, 2016 Newser
A member of India’s Jain community offers prayers during a protest in Mumbai, India, on Aug. 24, 2015. The Jains protested against a high court order banning the religious practice of fasting until death. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
For more than two months, a 13-year-old in India took part in an extreme religious fast, reports the BBC. Early this month she called off that fast, but she fell into a coma two days later and died of cardiac arrest on Oct. 4—and now her parents, well-off jewelers in Hyderabad, and other family members have been charged with homicide, cops tell AFP.
Aradhana Samdariya’s relatives insist she chose to embark on the 68-day fast of her own volition as part of a ritual in Jainism, an ancient Indian religion that believes “the way to liberation and bliss is to live lives of harmlessness and renunciation” and whose foundation lies in the “concern for the welfare of every being in the universe.” But others, including the children’s rights group that filed the complaint against Aradhana’s family, say the young teen was coerced, perhaps in the misguided belief it would make her father’s business more profitable.
Aradhana’s grandfather notes it’s not the first time the girl had fasted: He says she had pulled off an eight-day fast and a 34-day fast, and so was determined to go even longer this time, partly because she was interested in becoming a nun, per the Deccan Chronicle.
But a local NGO says the dad’s business was faltering and the family’s guru suggested having Aradhana fast for good luck. The BBC and AFP note she lived on nothing but boiled water during her starvation, while others, such as Firstpost.com, say not even sips of water are permitted during the most extreme version of Jain fasting.
Psychologists say that children are especially vulnerable to the guilt that may lure them into such dangerous practices. “The child is made to believe it is for the good of the family,” one expert says.
“What is sacrificed is the health of the minor.” (Fasting helped lead to disaster at an Arizona sweat lodge.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Teen Dies After 68-Day Fast, Family Faces Homicide Charges
Parenting and encouraging extreme Religious practices with very young children… Child abuse. But what are some of the parallels with Christian parenting and Religious Extremism?
- Westboro Baptist Church?
- Jesus Camp?
- Anti medicine and Vaccine?
One recent blog post from a young Christian parent of three, herself raised by Christian parents, touts the idea that Parents ‘own’ their children like biblical slave masters owned their slaves… WTF?
How is this any different? How many Christian kids have died that we never hear about?
Religions kill. Children are ‘willing’ only in the respect that they want to please their parents and copy their behavior. Kids will do just about anything for the love and approval of their parents. This 13 year old girl died to please and emulate and mimic the devotion of her parents and those around her.
“For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” –Jesus, Matthew 10:35-37 KJV
Why can’t we see that encouraging children to these kinds of extreme and unhealthy, mentally and physically, practices and beliefs is Child Abuse?
Parents have a responsibility to the safety and protection and the health of their children. It’s time for Parents to be parents who choose their children over their religion.