Archive for the 'Missionaries/Evangelists' Category



Dangerous Christian demand for Kandhamal to be split: A prelude to separating from India and genocide of Hindu minority people and religion

The demand for partition of the district shows how great a danger nefarious missionaries pose. They start out providing with social services, and talk about the love and justice of Jeus Christ,  induce unethical conversions through hook and crook  and end up with call for seperation with attendant violence, terrorism, division of society forcible conversion of non christians or if that is not possible genocide as historically witnessed in the Americas and other parts of the world.  Converted Nagaland in India with their slogan Nagalim for Christ is already demand a separate nation.

Christian missionary activity have to be recognized for what it is — extremely toxic, hateful, divisive, vile and harmful,  for the Indian state and derogatory and destructive  of local culture, norms and people.  It will spell the death of peace, harmony, stability that once characterised the region before the advent of violent genocide pro Christians.

http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Oct172008/national2008101795679.asp

Split Kandhamal district: Christians
From S T Beuria, DH News Service, Tikabali (Kandhamal):

The recent chain of incidents in Kandhamal has forced local Christians to put forward a demand for division of the tribal dominated district and creation of two districts out of it – one for them and another for the Hindus.

They have already submitted a proposal in this regard to the state government. The authorities, however, are yet to react on the demand.

“We want a separate district for us so that we can live happily and peacefully. We have already submitted a memorandum in this regard to the governor during his recent visit to Kandhamal”, said Lal Mohan Digal, an inmate of the Tikabali relief camp set up by the Kandhamal district administration for Christian riot victims.

Several other Christian villagers sheltered in the Tikabali relief camp have also expressed similar sentiments and said they will prefer a separate district as they realise that it may not be possible for them to go back to their respective villages with Hindu co-villagers. They added that hardline Hindu groups have threatened them not to return to their homes as they (the Hindus) want a “Christian-free” Kandhamal.

“The government is not doing anything to settle the matter. Therefore, the best option will be to divide Kandhamal and create two separate districts of Hindus and Christians”, said Julian Digal, another inmate of Tikabali camp.

No normalcy
The Christian villagers in the relief camps rejected the Orissa government’s claim that normalcy was returning fast to the riot-hit villages and many victims had already gone back to their respective homes.

According to Kandhamal district administration, earlier there were thirty thousand riot victims in different relief camps.

The number has now reduced to a little over ten thousand.

The camp inmates admitted that many riot victims had left the relief shelters. “However, they have not returned to their homes. They have fled to more safer places like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Many of them have also fled to other states”, said Subash Digal, who was working as a pastor in a Church.

Rejected
Meanwhile, the Orissa government has rejected the Kui Samaj co-ordination committee’s demand to withdraw the CRPF from Kandhamal.

Another demand of the Kui Samaj, a powerful organisation of the tribals in the troubled district, to transfer the recently appointed Chief administrator for Kandhamal, senior IAS officer Madhusudan Padhi, has also been rejected by the state government.

Church Backs Terrorism in the North-East

There is clear evidence which confirms that some international Christian organisations are backing terrorism and separatist movements in the north-east. These church backed organisations are providing funds, arms and ammunitions with the aim of creating a separate Christian state.

Tripura

The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) was founded in December 1989. Since its inception the NLFT has been engaged in an armed struggle to carve out a separate Christian nation – Tripura. The backing of the Baptist church right from the beginning has enabled this organisation to spread its base. Due to its terrorist activities, the organisation was banned by the government in 1997 but it continued its operations from across the Bangladesh border.

The priests of the Baptist church supply arms and ammunitions to these terrorist rebels. Nagmanlal Halam, the secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura was arrested by CRPF in April 2000 on charges of aiding insurgents and possessing a large quantity of explosives including 60 gelatin sticks, 5kg of potassium, 2kg of sulphur and other ingredients for making powerful bombs. Two junior members of the same church, who had been arrested earlier tipped the police off about the explosives which were meant for terrorist organizations like the NLFT. Mr. Halam confessed to buying and supplying explosives to the NLFT. Another church official, Jatna Koloi, who was also arrested, admitted that he received training in guerrilla warfare at an NLFT base.

It is now apparent that the pattern of forced conversions at gunpoint are irrefutably linked to the Baptist Church in Tripura. The NLFT is accused of forcing Tripura’s indigenous tribes to become Christians and give up Hindu forms of worship in areas under their control. For decades Tripura’s indigenous tribal population has been dragged out of their homes and forced to convert to Christianity under threat of violence. Whenever any of the tribals organize Hindu festivals or rituals, the terrorist groups attack to desecrate and kill the participants. There have been incidents of issuing a ban on the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja. The NLFT manifesto says that they want to expand what they describe as the kingdom of God and Christ in Tripura. The hill tribe ‘Jamatiya’ worship their traditional god ‘Gadiya’, who is supposed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, in the month of March. The terrorists have issued an order that the ‘Gadiya’ be prayed on the Christmas day instead.

The Baptist Church in Tripura was set up by missionaries from New Zealand 60
years ago. It won only a few thousand converts until 1980 when a mass scale ethnic riot was engineered by the Church in which systematic ethnic cleansing of Hindu and Buddhist tribals was initiated. Thousands of women were raped and kidnapped and forced to convert to Christianity. The terrorists receive military aid from extremist Christian groups in Australia and New Zealand. They also have ongoing exchanges with Islamic terrorist and ISI who push in arms from the Bangladeshi border.

When the RSS and other Hindu organizations decided to help the Hindus under attack in Tripura by aiding them in reconversion, hundreds of the RSS volunteers were attacked, threatened and blackmailed. Several of them were murdered and a number of them were kidnapped and held hostage by the Christian terrorists. In August 2000, Swami Shantikali Maharaj, the famous Hindu sage known for his social services was killed by the terrorists. In December 2000, Lavkumar Jamatiya, the priest of the ‘Jamatiya’ tribe was killed, two Hindu temples and one Buddhist temple were destroyed and order was issued to end all non-Christian methods of praying. In the year 2001, there were 826 terrorist attacks in Tripura in which 405 persons were killed and 481 cases of kidnapping by the rebels.

Nagaland

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), a separatist organisation has two main factions. Both the factions are headed by Christians and get financial support from World Council of Churches, a missionary organisation. China provides arms and ammunitions to both the factions.

The NSCN has its offices in New York, Geneva and Hague which display boards with legend ‘Peoples Republic of Nagaland’. It has twice raised its demand for an independent nation in the United Nations. The NSCN has its own government which collects money from the local people. One third of the salaries of the government servants is taken away as Nagaland Tax before disbursement. Most of the banks in Nagaland have closed down because of the huge sums extracted by this outfit. The letterheads and stamps of this unofficial government read ‘Nagaland for Christ’.

There is evidence of NSCN having ties with the ISI. The NSCN general secretary in an interview with the English daily ‘Hindu’ accepted that they were trying to create pressure on the Indian army in the north-east so that there was less pressure from the army in Kashmir.

Meghalay

The proselytising activities of the Christian missionaries during the 150 years of patronage from the British rule have resulted in the conversion of two-thirds of the people of the state to Christianity. After independence in 1947, many of the locals started reverting to their original tribal religion and lifestyle. The natives of the Khasi hills started to once again get associated with their roots. They formed an organisation called ‘Sengkhasi’. Shri Rejoy Singh Khongsha, an important official of this organisation, at first got threats and later was abducted by North-east Red Army, a separatist and terrorist outfit known to have direct links with the church. The church has been threatening the leaders of ‘Sengkhasi’ for their connection with the Hindu organisations.

The Church in the north-east is also known to be associated with smuggling across the borders and circulation of fake currency notes. In December 1998, Bedang Tamjen, a Jemi-Naga missionary was arrested for making fake currency notes.

The most shocking fact is that the Indian media has not even mentioned these facts in their coverage. Whereas even unconfirmed rumors about any attack on Christians are immediately touted as “an assault on minorities”, not a word is spared to enlighten the Indian citizenry about the religious terrorism that is taking place in the north-east.

Diwali: Satanic Baptists want to proselytize, conquer, convert, and subjugate Hindus

Southern Baptists Declare War on Hindus – Aggressive Proselytization Campaign for Diwali

http://www.christianaggression.org/item_display.php?type=ARTICLES&id=1059661197

Posted July 31, 2003, Author: Tej Rao and S. Mahabir, Source: Caribbean New Yorker, Oct. 29, 1999

For God so loved the Baptists that He gaveth them the right to conquer, proselytize, convert, and subjugate any nation or religion, by whatever means possible, including allurement, fraud, coercion and violence. This was our first thought when we read the article in the Washington Post October 21, 1999 ? the first paper to break the news on the resolution adopted by the Southern Baptist Mission to convert Hindus to Christianity.

The Southern Baptist Mission is the largest Christian Protestant group in the United States. That it is embarking on an aggressive proselytizing campaign to convert Hindus into Christianity is a blatant act of religious intolerance and insensitivity. The Baptist Mission targets the holiest Hindu celebration of Diwali to launch this new form of religious terrorism. The fanatic group has directed its 40,000 churches to carry out its atrocious campaign to convert Hindus. In a published pamphlet, the Southern Baptists? International Mission Board asks Christians to pray for the conversion of Hindus during their holiest week, Diwali.

The pamphlet, in its very first sentence states, “More than 900 million people are lost in the hopeless darkness of Hinduism?Pray that Hindus who celebrate the festival of lights would become aware of the darkness in their hearts that no lamp can dispel.”

It describes two Indian cities as follows: “Mumbai is a city of spiritual darkness. Eight out of every ten people are Hindus, slaves bound by fear and tradition to false gods?Satan has retained his hold on Calcutta through Kali and other gods and goddesses of Hinduism. It?s time for Christ?s salvation to come to Calcutta.” ?bla?bla?bla. The usual garbage they have been hurling on us for centuries.

These are without doubt, the baneful cries of the new crusaders. It is interesting to note how history can repeat itself. Now we hear the ominous rumblings of a desperate people, and desperate people are often violent. These new crusaders ? relics of an ugly colonial age ? have fired another salvo of hate into the flanks of the Hindus. The Southern Baptists? fanatical aggressiveness is tantamount to a declaration of war, and war is synonymous with violence. Poojya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, renowned Hindu scholar, founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam and host of Vishwa Hindu Parishad?s first Dharma Samsad in the US states (Hinduism Today, Nov., 1999), “conversion is an act of violence?aggressive religions have no God-given right to destroy ancient faiths and cultures? it is an act of violence because it hurts deeply, not only the other members of the family of the converted, but the entire community that comes to know of it. When the hurt becomes acute, it explodes into violence?humanity cannot afford to lose anymore of its existing religious traditions.”.

But Hindus have survived over a thousand years of violence through barbarous invasions and foreign oppression. We have had Alexander ” the great” and his fearsome Macedonian army in 326 BCE and before him Demetrius, king of the Greek Empire. Muslim conquerors, from the 8th century to the middle of the 19th century, unleashed murderous campaigns against Hindus, ruthlessly slaughtered millions of people, pillaged, desecrated, and demolished Hindu temples. Millions of Hindus were forced, at sword-point, to convert to Islam or face a gruesome death. Women were raped, murdered or sold into slavery.

The Portuguese were no less cruel. A.K.Priolkar?s book “The Goa Inquisition” gives graphic accounts of how Jesuit priests forcefully and violently converted massive numbers of Hindus to Christianity. Some converted Hindus would secretly pray to their Hindu God; those who were caught were savagely beaten and thrown alive into fires. It must very clear, that unlike Christian missionaries; Hindus have never been an aggressive people. Hindu missionaries have not gone to any country, sword in hand, to convert the pagans.

In a telephone interview with Poojya Swami Aksharananda, a prominent Hindu scholar in the Caribbean on the conversion plan of the Baptists?, he says, “The Christian obsession to convert members of other faiths to Christianity is based on the assumption of the inherent unworthiness of the other. It is only when the other is remolded in an image acceptable to the missionary that the other becomes worthy. Any speech that devalues, denigrates and caricatures others is an act of violence. Missionary theology is essentially a theology of violence. It diminishes not only the victims but also its authors.”

The erudite Swami Aksharananda continues, “We must urge all enlightened peoples of the Caribbean and the world, including those few in the Christian church who are outraged by missionary behavior tantamount to obscenity and who speak so unequivocally and eloquently for justice and humanism, to take a stand. We can no longer remain silent witness to the evils of missionary conversionism and the social and cultural dislocation that it causes in the Hindu community.”

The religious intolerance of the Baptists in secular America has met with almost no rebuke from the US authorities. Had the Hindus of India done this to Christians, the US and other Christian dominated countries would have declared war. This form of pseudo-secularism or secular double standards is hypocritical. Only a few weeks ago, the US office for International Religious Freedoms Abroad, headed by a Christian, criticized India for religious intolerance towards Christians. Now it is conveniently quiet about religious intolerance in the US. In conjunction with this office, the US embassy in India (probably in other countries as well) has embarked on compiling a laundry list of incidents of Hindu intolerance. India must make it clear that it will not tolerate the US interfering in its domestic affairs. According to an Indian Express (January 7, 1999) report, “alleged” attacks on Christians living in India “could invite censure and even sanctions under a new American law which has recently come into effect.”

Therefore, the master plan is to make converts. More converts mean more funds to the church treasury. It means more control and authority over more people. Essentially, it means that the church would have better ability to engage in domination and bondage. The truth of the matter is that in India, Christian missionaries have consistently violated the country?s constitution. The Judiciary has made it clear that “the right to propagate one?s religion doesn?t imply a right to convert another person.” In their fanatic zeal to make converts, they flagrantly violate the laws of other countries as well. The Christian Church is pumping millions of dollars for the sole purpose of reaping the rewards of conversion ? to increase their flock.

To achieve the aim of conversion, missionaries spread the lies that they are doing humanitarian service to the poor and down trodden members of society. In fact they are engaged in the age-old practice of purchasing the souls of the poverty stricken with trinkets and bells, old spectacle frames, old shoes, and used clothes. Mother Theresa, the woman with bloody hands, winner of the (Christian) Noble Peace prize, and the woman who was given a state funeral in India, her organization, the Sisters of Charity, was never interested in charity. They purchased and sold the souls of India?s poorest of the poor ? converting them to Christianity. For this the Catholic Church will soon make her a Saint. It is well known that charity and philanthropy are far from the minds (if they have any) of these false prophets. Sree Raviji Maharaj (Raviji) of Trinidad (Hindu scholar and activist) says “Christians have the will, the mindset, money and lack of conscience to execute their plan and the blessing of big and powerful nations.” If their purpose was of a humanitarian nature, could not the missionaries have delivered poor Hindus from poverty and hunger without tampering with their culture and religion?

An example of how missionaries take advantage of destitute Hindus is found in a Catholic publication called India and it Missions (1923). It discusses the spiritual advantages of famine. It quotes the Archdiocese of Pondicherry to his superiors in Europe: “The famine has wrought miracles. The catechumenates are filling, baptismal water flows in streams, and startling little tots fly in masses to heaven.”

Hindus never took advantage of peoples? destitution and poverty. Hindus have opened their arms to the Jews. A large Jewish population, found refuge in India during the holocaust days, and has been allowed to practice their faith freely.

The excuse of doing humanitarian service that missionaries love to employ must be rebuked swiftly and forcefully. Lest we forget, at this moment thousands of RSS (Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh) sevaks and sevikas are giving the prime of their lives in the service of Bharat Mata (Mother India). On a country basis, the RSS is the largest social service/humanitarian organization in the world. In India alone as many as 30,000 sevakaryas are serving in 579 districts of which 10 percent are doing humanitarian health-related work and 59 percent are engaged in humanitarian educational work. At any given time the RSS can avail itself of the service of 40,000 part-time Hindu workers and 42,000 Hindu volunteers. On the average, approximately 50,000 people received support directly from the RSS sevakaryas annually. Lest, some Christians conveniently forget, RSS sevaks have arrived at the scenes of disasters in India, even faster than the local police, engaging in emergency work, at far too many places to mention. In RSS emergency and disaster relief operations, Hindu RSS has never neglected Christians and Muslims. If that is not impressive, what is? So much for those who say that Hindus do not care for their poor? And let us be clear, this is only the RSS.

If Christians set up schools and colleges, so too have the Hindus. It was Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya who set up the now famous Banaras Hindu University. Vishwa Hindu Parishad alone runs thousands of schools and other humanitarian projects in India. In Trinidad, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha runs a number of schools. In Guyana, there were schools run by Hindu organizations until dictator Forbes Burnham nationalized them.

Perhaps the Southern Baptists have forgotten their bloody past or they pretend to do so, but Hindus remember it very well; it is etched too deeply in our psyche to be easily forgotten. It will take volumes to document all the atrocities Christians committed on humankind. But just to jog their memories a little, let?s go back to the crusades. Organized by Popes and Kings, Christian soldiers, as they swept across Europe to Jerusalem, devastated entire cities, murdering millions of men, women and children in the name of Christianity. They pretend to forget the Inquisitions, the witch-hunts when Christians plucked people from their homes and chop off their arms and burned them alive for alleged heresy. Christianity has wreaked more havoc on humanity than any other religion in the annals of history. But there?s more; remember slavery and indentureship, the World Wars, the Pogroms (organized massacre of 6,000,000 Jews), remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki?charred remains and deformed survivors, these were Christian bombs, by the way!

Was it Mark Twain who said “Among the most humorous things in this world is the White-man?s belief that he is less savage than the other savages?” And Mahatma Gandhi said “There is nothing but vilification of Hinduism in the books distributed by the missionaries?the advent of a missionary in a Hindu household has meant the disruption of the family. The missionaries are vendors of goods who target the most susceptible when they are most vulnerable, using just not dialogue but allurement and violence. If I had power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytizing”.

The Secretary General of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the largest Hindu organization in the world, Dr. Pravinbhai Togadiya, in an open letter to the Bishops of India on the eve of the arrival of Rev. Pope John Paul II to India, demand an apology for the Church?s past and ongoing misdeeds perpetrated on Hindus.

India has never invaded or initiated acts of aggression against another nation. Hindus do not proselytize or convert people of other faiths to Hinduism. Yet the ranks of Hindus have grown not only in India but all over the world. More and more Westerners are embracing the teachings of Hinduism, one that teaches universal love for humanity and for the elements of nature ? the essence of our existence. Our Upanishads declare, “Ekam sad vipra buhudha vadanti” (Truth is one, the wise see it differently). Hindus never make the error of even imagining that that their way is the only way to the ultimate truth and that no further inquiry is required. Hinduism teaches unity in diversity. Hinduism is the only religion that permits co-existence. In other religions, if you do not follow their path, you are a sinner condemn to hell. Thus, even Hindus like Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda would have gone to hell.

The Southern Baptists are not a fringe group by any imagination. It was established in 1845 and claims a following of 15 million in the United States alone. They have missionaries in various parts of the world including Unites States, Canada, India, Caribbean, etc. They claim to have active missionaries in 126 nations of the world. They must be taken seriously by Hindus. Conversions have no place in a civilized society. Hinduism must be defended by any means necessary.

Hindus use Christian conversion strategies to reconvert villagers

Hindus use Christian conversion methods to reconvert villagers

Pope Tells India His Church Has a Right to destroy Hinduism

When the Pope says he has a right to evangelize — that is from his point of view. But from a Hindu viewpoint, what the Pope is saying is  has the fundamental right to annihilate religion and replace it with the Catholic cult.  Even Hitler would have said, he had the right to commit genocide on Jews.  Both Hitler and the Pope are children of the same intolerant,  hate mongering Christian religion. In the  last bastion of ancient  that the pope wishes to destroy.

Published: November 8, 1999

Pope Tells India His Church Has a Right to Evangelize
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: November 8, 1999
Summoning all his moral authority, Pope John Paul II tried today to persuade leaders of other religions here that interfaith understanding should lead them to recognize the Roman Catholic Church’s right to evangelize.

”Religious freedom constitutes the very heart of human rights,” the pope, on a three-day visit to India, said at a interreligious gathering that included Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and representatives of several other faiths. ”Its inviolability is such that individuals must be recognized as having the right even to change their religion, if their conscience so demands.”

But that is an argument that many religious leaders in India accept only with difficulty. Christian conversions are at the heart of a political and religious dispute that has made the 79-year-old pope’s visit a tense one. Christian proselytizing is fuel for Muslim fundamentalists, but it is also a source of uneasiness between the pope and some of his more moderate and like-minded religious peers.

”Conversions are a fundamental right,” Samdhong Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk who is the speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, said after leaving the podium he shared with the pope. ”But what we fear is that between indoctrination and anybody’s inner-consciousness to choose his religion, there is a clean line.”

”Any kind of action to encourage, or to persuade or to motivate in favor of any particular religion, that is a form of conversion that we as Buddhists cannot recommend,” the monk said.

All the religious leaders who met with the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in a lecture room in the Palace of Science here praised the pope’s efforts to promote mutual respect and joint responsibility for addressing social ills. Shri Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, a New Delhi rabbi, draped a Jewish prayer shawl around the pope.

To fervent applause, Shankaracharya Madhavananda Saraswati, a moderate Hindu leader who has criticized fundamentalist protests against the visit, clasped the pope’s hand and held it high in the air, like tennis partners celebrating a Wimbledon doubles victory. Afterward, however, the Hindu leader also expressed private misgivings about Christian evangelization.

He said later that Hindus could not really ever be diverted from their original faith: ”Religion comes from the heart. Something may change outwardly, but what is inside remains with the human being forever. That does not change.”

The pope, who came to India to close a synod of Asian bishops, has declared the evangelization of Asia, where Catholics remain a tiny minority, to be one of the church’s top priorities for the next millennium. He said it was a ”mystery” why Christ is largely unknown on the continent and added, ”The peoples of Asia need Jesus Christ and his Gospel.”

In India, however, Hindu fundamentalists accuse Christian missionaries, who are most active in poor rural and tribal areas, of preying on the most susceptible in society — buying their souls with education, medical aid and economic assistance.

Anti-Christian attacks by Hindu fundamentalists, often encouraged by political extremists, have increased dramatically in the last two years, with more than 150 recorded incidents of church lootings, beatings, rapes and killings. In Orissa, the state that was recently devastated by a cyclone, a missionary and his two young children were killed in January.

The pope came to India with two agendas: He preached ardently for religious tolerance for all faiths, but also instructed his own to convert new followers. To even the mildest leaders of other religions, the two messages do not easily blend.

”Religious people are more busy with increasing the number of their followers rather than paying attention to the challenges that beset religion,” Acharya Mahapragya, head of the Jain faith, said at the podium. Speaking through a lavender-colored surgical mask — Jains are Hindus who revere all forms of life and veil their speech to prevent their breath from destroying living micro-organisms — he was the only leader, besides the pope, to address the issue of conversions publicly.

In the current climate, some Indian Catholics say, their simplest acts of charity are misunderstood. ”We help people with scholarships and medical aid,” said Bartholomew Abraham, 40, a businessman who traveled almost 1,500 miles by train to see the pope. ”If we were really bribing converts, after 2,000 years we wouldn’t still only be 2 percent of the population.”

The pope wants church leaders to adapt their pastoral style to suit the culture and customs of their native lands, and he showed the way today by presiding over a colorful sitar Mass for 40,000 worshipers in Nehru Stadium. The Mass coincided with the most important Hindu celebration of the year, Diwali, the festival of light, which was noisily celebrated all over New Delhi with fireworks. At the Mass, under a huge abstract poster of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, women in brown and gold saris danced before the altar while a choir of sitar-players performed Indian-style hymns.

Fearing disturbances during the Pope’s visit, the government tightened security throughout the city, bringing in 3,500 armed paratroopers to assist the city’s 55,000 police officers. Protests near papal venues were banned, and would-be demonstrators swiftly arrested.

But there were odd lapses. Before the Pope arrived, his bulletproof popemobile was parked, unguarded, at an entrance to the stadium, as people streamed past. Anyone carrying a ticket to the Mass could have slipped an explosive under the vehicle before passing through security.

At the altar, however, scrutiny was far more intense. One top-ranking Vatican official, who wore a cassock and had all the right credentials, was repeatedly stopped and searched by zealous security officers, a Vatican official noted. India is no stranger to assassinations by people in close proximity to the victim, including the killing of Indira Gandhi by one of her own bodyguards.

Bhai Manjit Singh Sahib, a representative of the Sikh faith, was delayed by security officers, who would not allow him to enter unless he surrendered his sword. After 25 minutes, he prevailed, walking in carrying a gleaming, four-foot silver sword, which he placed on the desk before him.

”The sword is a symbol of my religious authority,” he said indignantly after the event. ”It is not a question of security; it is a religious symbol, and I carry it with me everywhere.”

John Paul, who has symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other ailments, looked weak and physically spent on much of the trip. Usually, the Vatican is tight-lipped about the pope’s condition. But a pamphlet about his visit prepared by the archdiocese of New Delhi described with unusual candor some of the precautions taken to accommodate the pope’s ”poor health.”

The guidebook proudly described the ”elevator platform” built behind the altar ”as he is unable to walk well or climb too many steps.” It described the chemical toilet installed for his use during the three-hour Mass event, as well as special papal thrones to enable him ”to restrict the trembling of his arm.” It also explained that the seat was specially designed to allow the pope to rise without assistance.

The passage concluded, ”An ambulance and medical staff will be on standby just behind the main altar throughout the ceremony.”

Why Christian missionaries/evangelists loved the Tsunami: Conversion attempts in the time of grief

The answer is simple. It provides them with excellent opportunity to exploit the person’s suffering and vulnerability and  convert them to Christianity and destroy the native Hindu beliefs.  Love for Jesus is hatred for Hindu gods since they look upon Hindu religin as a false and evil religion.

Conversion attempts in the time of grief

Shobha Warrier in Nagapattinam | January 24, 2005 15:45 IST
Last Updated: January 24, 2005 16:17 IST

When I entered one of the rows of temporary shelters built for tsunami victims in Pattancherry village in Nagapattinam, I witnessed a minor scuffle in a corner.

Some inmates had surrounded a Christian priest and two nuns, and a war of words was going on.

“We are Hindus and we want to live as Hindus. Why do you want to convert us?” some young men shouted at the missionaries.

The priest said, “We are not here to convert people. We were only offering prayers for your peace of mind.”

But flashing some pamphlets distributed among them by the three, the inmates snorted, “What does this mean?”

The priest had no answer.

“Why do you enter our houses and pray?,” they asked. “Your nuns do this when our women are alone at home. We know how to pray.”

The young men were extremely furious. The priest was unruffled. But the nuns were shaken by the sudden surge of animosity from the muscular men.

The scuffle went on till the three were forced to leave the place.

Day two:

As I was visiting the areas close to the sea that were badly affected by the tsunami waves, I saw another angry scene outside another temple in another village.

Police jeeps were seen parked outside the temple in Samandapettai. So was a van.

Villagers were complaining to the police about a missionary group to which the van belonged.

They said the group had taken away to another place their belongings and the relief they had got from nongovernmental organisations and the government, which they had kept inside the temple, because they refused to listen to its missionaries.

“They want to try their luck at some other place. Since we resisted, they took away our things. We won’t allow this to happen,” they said. “Why don’t you arrest all of them?” the villagers asked the police.

The villagers’ torrent of angry words continued. “We have lost everything to the sea. They said they would help us if we followed their religion. What logic is this? Are they here to help us or change our religion?” The police couldn’t cool their tempers.

The group said it did not take away the belongings of the villagers and insisted that the contents inside the van belonged to it.

That evening, some villagers came with the news that the police had arrested the priest they had confronted the previous day. Apparently some angry villagers had gheraoed him, and forced the police to arrest him.

“He shouldn’t be doing this when we are grieving, when we are suffering. Everything has its time and place,” a villager said.

When I wanted to talk to the panchayat president and locals of the Karakkalmedu village at Karaikkal, they called me inside the village temple. That was where they met outsiders. The temple has become the centre of activity in the village.

Before we started talking, one of them opened the door to the sanctum sanctorum and pointed to a mark left by the strong tsunami waves. They told me that water stopped at the feet of their deity and then receded. “We might have suffered, but our Goddess saved us.”

This belief had taken the villagers all the more closer to their deity.

“That is why it hurts us when others come and tell us that it was because of our God and our belief that we suffered. We won’t let anyone exploit us when we are down,” the panchayat members asserted.

The business of Christian faith in India

The business of faith
7 Sep 2008, 0407 hrs IST, Amrita Singh ,TNN

There was a time the Christian missionary spread the word of god in a simple and direct way. He would step off a boat, make friends with locals and after years of effort, count a sizable flock.

Cut to 2008 and it’s a different scenario altogether. Church planting agencies, as they are called, have taken over the evangelical role. They ensure that growth targets are set and new churches built. There is quantifiable growth. In the four years from 2003, 22 new International Churches of Christ were built. The Adventists has concrete plans to build 500 new churches too. The Presbyterian Church of south India, which is funded by the UK-based Mission to the World, also has a goal of 500 new churches in the next decade.

The growth means the existing flock has to dig ever deeper into its pockets because the new churches are funded partly by members and partly by foreign donations. Senthil Joseph (not his real name), who goes to church occasionally, says: “Even though I am not a regular, I have to make donations for the new churches. In the last 10 years, since I moved to Delhi, 10 new churches of my (Syrian Christian) sect have come up and every time I have to pay a heavy donation.”

Most Christian denominations use the name-and-shame method to force their flock to donate generously. Joseph says: “The amount given is published in the annual telephone directory of the community for every one to see.”

The commercial thrust has made the last decade one of the most successful for the growth of Christianity in India. According to a forecast by the World Religious Council, India’s 25 million-strong Christian population could balloon five-fold by 2050.

Church planting agencies have never been busier. These agencies are described by the Indian Evangelical Mission as “specialists in taking Christianity to places where it has no presence and training people to establish new churches there.”

One of the most effective church planting agencies working in India is the US-based AD 2000 and Beyond Movement. It is impressively organized, having mapped the whole of India by caste and identifying those most likely to be receptive to their message. AD 2000 lists nine Indian tribes as Priority-I, possibly because they are so poor they’re deemed most likely to convert.

The nine tribes identified by AD 2000 are: Bhilala, Binjhwari, Chero, Kawar/Kamari, Lhoba, Majhwar, Panika, Shin or Sina, and Sikkimese Bhotia. AD 2000 identifies thickly-populated, politically important and moderately poor northern India as “the core of the core of the core”.

In a sign of some of these church planting agencies’ sense of purpose, AD 2000 has drawn up detailed plans to target all of India’s 75,000 postal pin codes with the ultimate goal of a church in each.

So, how do church planters work in the 21st century when the days of the itinerant missionary are long gone? Helen, a missionary who has worked among Bhils in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh says the first step is to send a reconnaissance team to the target area to find out if a church is already under construction. The team would also need to study the area and understand its problems.

Armed with this basic information, modern missionaries are expected to work out a sound socio-economic plan for the area. This could include simple things to make the lives of locals better, such as starting a school, a health centre, new self-help groups. It is only after a minimum of five years of such groundwork that a Christian denomination actually starts to talk to local leaders about building a church.

The proposed church would initially be paid for by bigger ones in the cities but it is expected to become self-supporting and entirely locally-managed within 15 years. After that, it is time for the missionary to move on and adopt a new place.

Tit-for-tat religious conversions haunt India

Tit-for-tat religious conversions haunt India
Fri Oct 10, 2008
By Alistair Scrutton

CUTTACK (Reuters) – Siman Nayak’s shaved head is a stark reminder of a fate suffered by many Christians in eastern India in a battle over forced conversions to Hinduism that has left thousands of refugees fearing for their lives.

At least 35 people have been killed in a string of religious attacks in Orissa sparked by fears of forced conversion that have also sent more than 20,000 mainly poor, lower caste villagers into refugee camps and shelters.

“They told us if you do not become a Hindu we will hack you to death,” said Nayak as he sat in a shelter, in the Orissa town of Cuttack, where about 60 refugees live and sleep in one room.

His eyes wide with anger, Nayak said he was one of 13 villagers who were surrounded by Hindus waving axes and shouting for revenge after the death a few days before of a Hindu leader in an attack they blamed on Christians.

That killing, in Kandhamal district, sparked some of the worst anti-Christian riots in India in decades.

“They pulled out swords and axes, and called the village barbers,” said Nayak.

“They took us to a temple and told us to put our head before god. They fed us rice and ghee from temple offerings.”

Kandhamal district, a poor and remote tribal region in Orissa, has been the focus of controversy surrounding Christian missionaries since British colonial times.

The number of Christians rose by 66 percent from 1991 to 2001, the latest census data shows, and is now at more than 10 percent of the population, compared with 2 percent across India.

Controversy over conversion, which spans many parts of India, also reflects a tit-for-tat religious battle for hearts and minds. While Orissa’s victims were mostly Christians, fear of conversion is the same on both sides of the communal divide.

For years, many Hindus feared missionaries enticed the poor to Christianity with promises of schools, hospitals, and money.

“Conversion was easy because the government gave the poor and tribals minimal facilities. So the space was easily found,” said Prasanta Patnaik, a former newspaper editor in Orissa.

AGGRESSIVE MISSIONARIES?
Patnaik said he knew of cases two decades ago when some villagers were given quinine tablets to entice them to Christian “miracles”. He says missionary work now is less aggressive.

But in the past few decades, tales like these sparked a backlash from a Hindu group which “converted” many people back to Hinduism through a purification ritual.

It was a vicious cycle that was to spark disaster.

“Kandhamal has become a point of experiment for both Christian and Hindu fundamentalists,” said Basanta Mallik, a reader of history at the Utkal University in Orissa.

That movement to Hindu conversion was led by the elderly Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. It was his killing in August that has sparked nearly two months of communal riots.

Refugees said they fear they would never return home.

Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar in Orissa earlier this month described forced conversions back to Hinduism as “systematic”.

Some blame Hindu political groups. Some blame lax police. Others blame underlying, decade-old ethnic and land conflicts.

But there is little doubt that deep-seated religious fears are at the root of the problem.

Some homes now have saffron flags on their roofs to distinguish them from Christians.

Some refugees know villagers have converted to Hinduism. In supposedly globalised India, others receive phone calls from old neighbours telling them to come back, but only as Hindus.

Lalita Digal, a 25-year-old refugee recounted how her house, clothes and rice stores were burnt to a cinder. Her in-laws were then surrounded by people with sticks and axes.

“My in-laws said let us say we are Hindus to make sure we are spared.” She said they were sat around a fire, given new clothes, cleanly shaved and had their hair cut. Then they were forced to recite mantras over a coconut.

A few miles away Ashok Sahu, a Hindu leader and a former inspector general of police, says such claims are exaggerated. The root of the problem, he says, is Christian conversion.

“Christians can go back provided there is no fresh conversion by the Church,” he said over a cup of tea in his upscale house.

“Peace and fraudulent conversion cannot coexist.”

(Additional reporting by Jatindra Dash and Matthias Williams in New Delhi)



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