Attack on Graham Staines, sons 'satanic': brother
THE Sunshine Coast brother of murdered missionary Graham Staines believes demonic spirits drove a mob to kill his brother and young sons in India more than 20 years ago.
Don Staines said he was attending a wedding at the Church of England in Nambour when he first received news that his older brother and sons Philip, aged 10 and Timothy, aged 6, had been 'injured'.
"The Indians didn't want to give a message of death,'' he said. It was some time before he found out that they had all been killed.
Even back then, Mr Staines said he never blamed those who killed Graham for his death.
"It was a great shock but by the same token none of us had any hatred of those who did it because we knew it a spirit within them that drove them... it was a spirit of Satan.''
Mr Staines and the boys were burnt by Hindu fundamentalists while sleeping in their old Willy jeep station wagon in Odisha, India in January, 1999.
This week, a movie of his life story, The Least of These, premieres in New York, starring Stephen Baldwin as the humble Queensland missionary who worked with lepers for decades.
Mr Staines said his brother had a tremendous impact on some of the poorest people of India.
"His time of 34 years in the field was greatly used by the Lord,'' Don Staines said.
"There were 14 different churches (established) in the district in different villages.''
"He operated greatly in leprosy treatment which was something the Indian doctors did not want to do. He learnt how to treat their wounds.''
As an Australian, Graham loved to play cricket with the Indian boys, a skill he used to build rapport with local communities.
Mr Staines said he hoped the new movie would have an impact around the world in sharing the message that "God's love is above everything else'".
THE GRAHAM STAINES MOVIE
Stephen Baldiwn (The Usual Suspects), Shari Rigby (October Baby) and Bollywood star Sharman Joshi star in The Least of These.
The film's release date coincides with the 20th anniversary of the death of Graham Staines and his young sons.
Shot Hyderabad, India, the movie tells the Graham Staines sory through the eyes of a fictional young journalist Manav Banerjee (Joshi) who moves with his pregnant wife to Orissa, India in hopes of a better life.
When speculation mounts that Graham Staines (Stephen Baldwin) is illegally proselytising leprosy patients, Manav agrees to investigate undercover for the newspaper.
What Manav finds is a series of revelations that are difficult to fathom and even harder to explain, forcing him to make a choice between his own ambition and the truth.
In the end, his actions spark both a tragic event and a surprising reaction from the Staines family that is felt around the world.
Executive producer Victor Abraham said the movie beautifully illustrates the power of love, hope and forgiveness to overcome hate.
"It is the very edict of the commandment to love your neighbour as you love yourself."
Director Aneesh Daniel said, "It is the nature of the parable that said what you have done to the least of these, you have done to me also. Graham cared for the lepers because he was caring for Christ.
(His wife) Gladys forgave the accused because she was demonstrating that love."
The film features exclusive songs by well-known Christian artists including Michael W. Smith, Toby Mac and Nicole C. Mullen.