Deceptive conversions through Christian charity organizations – need for government investigations

Conversations with foreign-funded charity
Sun, Oct 12 02:58 AM

Has the time come for the Government to set up a National Commission to investigate religious conversions in India? Certainly. Let the Nation know how many conversions have taken place from-and into-Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and other faiths since 1947. Let the commission throw light on the districts where, and how, significant changes in religious demography have taken place, and whether conversions have created resentment and social disharmony in their wake.

An unbiased commission would reveal three irrefutable facts: (1) Christianity accounts for the largest number of
converts; (2) Christian organisations conduct service activities-schools, hospitals, poverty-alleviation programmes, relief during calamities, etc.-with exemplary dedication and professionalism. However, some of them, though not all, make the conversion agenda a part of their seva agenda; (3) Foreign funds supporting these charitable activities have greatly aided conversions.

Take, for example, the following information, pertaining to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), available on the website of the Union Home Ministry. During 2005-06, Rs 7,877 crore was received by way of foreign donations to various NGOs, up from Rs 5,105 crore in 2003-04. Tamil Nadu (Rs 1,610 crore) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs 1,011 crore) were among the highest recipients. The highest foreign donors were Gospel Fellowship Trust USA (Rs 229 crore), Gospel for Asia (Rs 137 crore), Foundation Vincent E Ferrer, Spain (Rs 104.23 crores) and Christian Aid, UK (Rs 80.16 crores). The largest recipients were World Vision (Rs 256 crore), Caritas India (Rs 193 crore), Rural Development Trust Andhra Pradesh (Rs 127 crore), Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (Rs. 95.88 crores) and Gospel For Asia (Rs. 58.29 crore). The funds received by some of these organisations have trebled or quadrupled in just three years since the formation of the UPA Government.

If the official Christian population in India is barely 3 per cent, why do Christian NGOs receive the largest share of foreign funds? From Christian organisations that are known to support evangelism in many Asian countries?

In my travels in Karnataka, my home state, I have seen significant conversions to Christianity having taken place in recent years wherever World Vision and other foreign-funded NGOs started their charitable activities. Kannada newspapers in the past few weeks have carried graphic accounts of how proselytisation is packaged with charity, especially targeting vulnerable sections of society. There is resentment in Assam against World Vision’s flood-relief operations in Majuli, a large island in the Brahmaputra and a sacred seat of the Vaishnava monastery of Sankara Deva, the great reformist saint.

Tripura is one of the Indian states where, as the CPI(M) Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has himself acknowledged, the foreign-funded Baptist church supports subversive activities, including the conversion of tribals. The church-backed separatist outfit, National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), gunned down 16 Hindus at a marketplace in West Tripura district on January 13, 2002, on the eve of Makar Sankranti, an incident that went largely uncommented by the national media.

The Internet has many reports about Buddhist resentment against World Vision and other evangelical bodies operating in Mongolia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar and even Tibet, “using unethical methods, under the guise of being charitable organisations, to buy converts in Asia”. The Australian, a leading newspaper of Australia, reported on December 24, 2005: “Tensions between Muslims and Western aid workers have begun to erupt in Aceh as the tsunami-devastated Indonesian province (where 170,000 people died) slowly recovers. Islamic activists have claimed that aid workers are secretly attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity, pointing particularly to World Vision, the International Catholic Mission and Church World Service.”

Lt Col A.S. Amarasekera, a Sri Lankan Buddhist activist, has expressed the following fear: “While everyone is focusing their minds on the LTTE problem, we Sinhalese Buddhists are pitted against another force as dangerous: the dangers that the Sinhalese Buddhist way of life will have to face due to conversions in the near future. What happened in South Korea, where the 80 per cent Buddhist population was reduced to 18 per cent in five decades, will be repeated here¿ It (is) proved beyond reasonable doubt that World Vision, an American-funded Christian evangelical organisation, was surreptitiously trying to convert Sinhalese Buddhists into Christianity.”

The recent attacks on churches in Orissa and elsewhere have been justifiably condemned by all patriotic individuals. However, as I stated in my column last week, a distinction must be made between a violent campaign against our Christian brethren and a non-violent, democratic campaign against organised conversions using foreign funds. I happened to participate in a remarkable inter-religion conference on conversions organised by the Vatican in collaboration with the World Council of Churches, Geneva, a Protestant body, in Lariano (Italy) in May 2006. Let me mention here some of the recommendations in a report unanimously adopted by the conference.

• “While everyone has a right to invite others to an understanding of their faith, it should not be exercised by violating other’s rights and religious sensibilities. At the same time, all should heal themselves from the obsession of converting others.”

• “Freedom of religion enjoins upon all of us the equally non-negotiable responsibility to respect faiths other than our own, and never to denigrate, vilify or misrepresent them for the purpose of affirming superiority of our faith.”

• “Errors have been perpetrated and injustice committed by the adherents of every faith. Therefore, it is incumbent on every community to conduct honest self-critical examination of its historical conduct as well as its doctrinal/theological precepts. Such self-criticism and repentance should lead to necessary reforms inter alia on the issue of conversion.”

• “A particular reform that we would commend to practitioners and establishments of all faiths is to ensure that conversion by ‘unethical’ means are discouraged and rejected by one and all. There should be transparency in the practice of inviting others to one’s faith.”

• “While deeply appreciating humanitarian work by faith communities, we feel that it should be conducted without any ulterior motives. In the area of humanitarian service in times of need, what we can do together, we should not do separately.”

• “No faith organisation should take advantage of vulnerable sections of society, such as children and the disabled.”

• “We see the need for and usefulness of a continuing exercise to collectively evolve a ‘code of conduct’ on conversion, which all faiths should follow.”

Why shouldn’t there be a sustained and sincere all-religion debate in India on an anti-conversion law in the spirit of the above recommendations?

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8 Responses to “Deceptive conversions through Christian charity organizations – need for government investigations”

  1. 1 Toby Goodman November 29, 2008 at 4:23 am

    This whole post is a pack of lies. I don’t know how you ignorant heatherns expect anyone to believe any of this crap.

  2. 2 Toby Goodman November 29, 2008 at 4:29 am

    All of these posts are lies by the agents of Satan.

  3. 3 sarah December 16, 2008 at 4:31 am

    i support everything said.. christians are a real threat to our country’s unity… the solution can be that we can also start such organisations of charity and convert back our people.. i’v such ambitions to start organisations acros the country.. and moreover, before these christian organisations can infiltrate filth into the young generations, it shud b made compulsory for all kids among hindus to study our holy scripts, bhagvatgita and puranas, so that no evil words can misdirect them… these christians rather than promotin love (that they say their religion is all about), they promote hatred.. look at the person who commented above, some nonsense about satan and stuffs.. this is wat they’v been taught, that they r supposed to ‘hate’ people who dont follow christianity because they are satanic… complete NONSENSE.. like political parties in india.. curiously clever acts.. making ppl have misconcepts of other religions and praising themselves.. well God has made the whole world.. wdr hindus or Xtians or muslims.. a religion that believes that there are satans among ppl, seems to be worshipping a satan who divides the world and its people.. but i’m glad the younger generations now know christians for wat they are..

  4. 4 Hugh March 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I came across this article by accident, but I felt compelled to comment. I am a Christian in America. I do not know of these things you’ve written about personally, but I can tell you that those who are preaching hate, subversion, lies, and violence in the name of Christianity are not preaching the principles of Christianity set forth by Jesus Christ.

    Those people are using religion as a tool to further their own evil intentions; they are not Christians, despite what they might call themselves.

    True Christianity, so plainly laid out by the life of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, is love, compassion, and humility. The behavior you speak of in your article is clearly not in line with those principles, and is thus not Christian.

  5. 5 True December 5, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    I met someone online and then introduced myself, I politely asked her about her last name cause her last name sounds strange considering the fact she was (Christian)! her last name was M.-Kumar!! so thankfully she replied and said that her husband family name is Kumar…but from all the Kumars!! he is the only Christian and the rest are Hindus…and then I came to understand that he left India (for the very first time in his life!!!) with her to her native Country! my guess and I think this is what the logic leads to, he converted in to Christianity and probably married her! for Economical reasons! my simple conclusion, the Churches never dry from tricks to change other’s believe, using Charity, their followers or even force a new crusades to achieve their goals.

  6. 6 Paul Krist July 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Christian evangelism is worse than Islamist terrorism since the former cannot be easily identified in its grotesque combination with charity and good deeds which are used as a mask, while appearing to be legal. All religious conversions must be banned by United Nations declaring that religious conversion is NOT any fundamental right and is NOT included in religious freedom, and that the economic ulift of under privileged or suffering people everywhere shall be the committed responsibility of only Non-governmental organisations NGOs) which explicitly respect the truth that all faiths are equally (or equally untue)leading to the same goal, whatever that may be, which depends only on one’s expectation, called so but rooted in ignorance-cum-faith. Mass movements all over the world must be started to drive out evangelical armies who have made religious propaganda and denigration of target groups’ professed religiouns. It is certainly due to the Christian church that the science and technology came to be misused for the over-comfort and over-ease resulting in the final analysis, in criminalisation of society and governments of the West which use wars as a pretext for aggression to grab resources in other countries on its own terms. Christianity, industrialistion and modernisation have come to be used as synonymous due to the distortionist propaganda of the church. The evangelical armies must be driven out to “re-convert” the West and save it from excessive materialism and spiritual degeneration after they themselves set an example that they are free from vices which every religion in original form preaches against. The trillions, or quadrillions, of dollars worth of properties clandestinely bought by these armies of evil — bringing mountains of dollars of Western money illegally and through donations for fake charities which are used for Chritian conversion) – must be confiscated by the respective nations.

    In South Korea, these vile forces destroyed virtually all its original culture based on indigenous beliefs and Buddhism, and made that country a colony of the West for geoplitical purposes. In Sri Lanka, all the echelons of power have been grabbed by the church through conversion, making it appear that that country’s original culture based on Buddhism represents primitivity, ignorance and atheism. In India, millions of the mercenaries — that is how you spell missionaries — trade religion for material succour which has nothing to do with spirituality which transcends all religions and binds all humanity together and binds it to ecology. There the vile church forces of numerous denominations and masquerading as charities, relief organistions, and the like, exploit the poverty and sufferings of people to exchange it for token relief with world’s most intolerant and primitive religion.

  7. 7 Sandeep April 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    1. It is the Christian society that upliftsd the lives of the desperate, needy and disowned.
    2. The above article is nothing but a fear of loosing grip on people bound in decades of oppression.
    3. Let us help or you help. Do not try to manipulate your own perceptions and be paranoid.
    4. Conversions are not a result of charity but a result of revelation of truth.
    5. If you are so worried about ignited knowledge of poor…then India can go no further.
    6. In response to other foreign national comments, there is always a freedom of choice and if u dont choose to be a christian then it is okay. But you have no right to defame our Love.

  8. 8 Ayub Anjum May 26, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Dear Brother


    I am sharing with you our ministry work for the poor Christians of Pakistan.

    Fruit of the Spirit Ministry is Christ-centered, mission-oriented, Spirit-filled, Bible-based missionary organization revolving among the community with the purpose to reach those people with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, who have still not been reached with the gospel of truth.

    Fruit of the Spirit Ministry Preaching and Orphanage Ministry is a Christian Organization in Pakistan working for slaved, orphaned, neglected and surrendered children in Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan helping 41 children with food, living and education, and help the children through schooling them at home and in public schools.
    During door to door, house to house, street to street, village to village mission and gospel sending trips, we came across a serious issue with poor families and their children, and the Fruit of the Spirit Ministry is agreed upon receiving and hearing the call to start doing what God has shown and stared in us since 1999.

    Toba Tek Singh is an area where there is a prevalence of landless laborers who are mostly Christians. In areas like Toba Tek Singh, due to the low family income, these laborers are forced in times of crisis to approach land owners or loom owners to ask for loans.

    Although the loans taken by the laborers are small, the exorbitant interest rates (5-10% a month) and the lack of valid records of repayment make debt bondage continuous. The form of debt bondage in this area, which is enforced through violence, meets all Free the Slaves criteria for slavery. The children of the families in the debt bondage are forced to work along with their parents during daytime, leaving no time for education. Fruit of the Spirit
    Ministry has targeted 3 villages with high level of bonded laborers and has started prayers and intercessions to open up the doors to establish schools in all the three villages serving 50-75 children each, ages 6-10.
    We are very grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ, for He has allowed us, and moved us within our spirits, to keep on going even in the times of trials, difficulties and hurdles. Our goal is to have one formal Orphanage House where the children may live peacefully and rejoice in the blessing of God for a lodging which they may trust to be their own home. We ask that friends, individuals, and ministries pray along with us for this very purpose.
    It has been exciting to see the children growing physically and in the love of Lord Jesus Christ.
    God has made a place for these children at Fruit of the Spirit Ministry where they can be placed out of harm’s way. God has also promised in His Word that He will not leave us as orphans (John 14:18) and we are seeing the literal evidence of that promise through Lord’s grace upon the Fruit of the Spirit Ministry. It is our desire that these precious little ones would be brought up to know their Heavenly Father who is mindful of every sparrow that falls and who has had His hand on them, protecting them and putting into place a plan for each of their lives.
    Fruit of the Spirit Ministry is blessed to serve the Lord in the community where the Christians are discriminated and persecuted on the extreme level of being considered untouchables.

    Short Term:
    1. To remove 50 children from bonded labor in Toba Tek Singh.
    2. To place these children into a fully functional school
    3. To prepare these children for the 5th grade level official examination so they can enter the state schools
    4. Bring awareness to families in bonded labors regarding their exploitation by money lenders

    Long Term:
    1. To eradicate bonded labor from Toba Tek Singh (three villages)
    2. To provide proper funding for all three schools
    3. To create gradual but profound change of the perception of debt bondage in Toba Tek Singh.

    Sunday School Ministry

    The fall 2007 Sunday school emphasis will encourage Sunday school members to solidify relationships with people within the church and build new relationships with those outside the walls of the church.

    Our Purpose is:

    (1) Teach the Word of God until pupils are sanctified wholly and maturing in Christian discipleship.
    (2) Help Christians mature spiritually by involving them in soul-winning ministries, reaching and teaching others to be disciples and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
    (3) Identify and visit un churched people, inviting them to enroll in a small group and attend regularly.

    God bless you.

    Ayub Anjum

    Christian Colony Latif High School Road,

    Toba Tek Singh 36050


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