The culprits of Christian terrorism are not limited to foreign "aid" and charity NGOs or openly evangelical organisations. They also include the local Christian Churches, as active in India as local Christians are in other Asian countries. Indian Churches have sprung up either since colonial days under the Anglican British and Catholic Portuguese and French, or they go back somewhat over a millennium in the case of older Syrian congegrations, or they are new Fundamentalist denominations set up by missionaries and their converts.
...when asked how aping conversion for a bowl of food could be considered a "real" conversion, Paul has a quick, if rather optimistic, answer. "Embracing Christ through 'food,' 'shelter' or some other way may be considered a full conversion," he says, because "their children," being raised in the Church, "will soon be one-hundred-percent Christian."
In India, considered one of the richest "harvest grounds" in the Unreached Bloc, the methods that missionaries like Paul employ have stirred seething bitterness and resentment among the "heathen" public. Perhaps no mission tactic galls more bitterly than the intentional targeting of any society's most vulnerable members--its children.
Missionaries have long capitalized on the leverage they exercise over India's young through thousands of church-run hospitals, schools, and orphanages. For example, in a 1923 report to Rome gleefully titled "The Spiritual Advantages of Famine and Cholera," the Archbishop of Pondicherry related how a famine had "wrought miracles" in a local hospital where "baptismal water flows in streams, and starving little tots fly in masses to heaven." A hospital is a "ready-made congregation," the report contended, where there is "no need to go into the ... hedges and compel them to 'come in.'" Thanks to infection, they "send each other."
Thirty years later, a government inquiry exposed the wile by which the baptismal water had been made to flow so easily. Catholic priests had been instructed to learn something of medicine in order to gain access to the bedsides of sick Hindu (and Muslim) children. There, on the pretext of administering medicine, priests secretly baptized the children before they died. (5) What is troubling are the reports that this practice continues today, with formulas of baptism whispered and holy water sprinkled surreptitiously over non-Christian patients even in the hospices of such well-known orders as the Missionaries of Charity.
With the promise of providing their children an education, a Catholic priest from the neighboring district of Nagaland reportedly charged parents 10,000 rupees per child (about US$250 each) for tuition, room, and board at the St. Emmanuel Mission Convent in Rajasthan, some 2,500 kilometers away in India's northwest. That price was high, but parents considered it a bargain for a "sahib-run" (i.e., Western-style) school. Some parents later developed misgivings, however, and traveled to Rajasthan to visit their children. On arrival they were shocked to discover that the children were not enrolled at St. Emmanuel's. In fact, they were not in any school at all--they had been placed in an orphanage. The priest who ran the orphanage said he had paid 5,000 rupees per child to a fellow priest--from Nagaland--and allegedly demanded compensation to the tune of this sum before releasing the children to their families.
Both Rome and its Protestant competitors have been particularly aggressive in efforts to convert the tribals. Exploiting customs that make female children economic burdens on their families, missionaries reportedly induce tribal mothers to relinquish baby girls shortly after birth. Often the mothers are promised that rich Westerners will adopt their daughters and they will live a "much better life." The mother is typically paid about $70 for her child, who is then adopted by Western parents for a "donation" of $2,500.
...many ex-Hindu converts seek to demonstrate their faithfulness and worth to their new creed by affecting open hostility toward the faith they abandoned. This hostility is usually expressed through contemptuous labeling: calling Hindus "heathens" and Hinduism "demonic" or "evil." Too often, contempt escalates into physical aggression: disrupting Hindu festivals, harassing recalcitrant family members or neighbors, and desecrating Hindu temples and relics.Link
Tension between converted tribals and their Hindu neighbors gained national press coverage in Dangs, a district in Gujurat state. The conflict grew so intense that villages and even families were being rent apart, in 1999, India's National Human Rights Commission convened a special investigation into the conflict. Some of the most damning testimony that investigation heard was given by Ghelubhai Nayak, a respected social scientist and disciple of Gandhi, who has worked in tribal welfare in Dangs for over fifty years.In his testimony, Nayak said that the conflict at Dangs was rooted in the work of Christian missionaries. In the preceding three years, Nayak stated, there had been at least fifteen instances in which Christian converts, "under the influence of their preachers," desecrated idols of the Hindu saint Hanuman, who has been venerated as an incarnation of the Hindu god Siva, a servant of Vishnu, by the Dangs tribals for generations. In one incident, he said, the converts urinated on a statue of Hanuman; in another they "crushed Hanuman's idol to pieces and threw it away in the river." In addition to the desecration, Nayak testified, converts had raised the ire of their Hindu neighbors by repeatedly, publicly denouncing Hindu saints as shaitans, or "Satans." This was done, again "under the influence of their preachers." The native clergy, it seems, were themselves ex-Hindus...
Arunachal Buddhists allege militants harassment - Assam Tribune online, August 23, 2004:
GUWAHATI, Aug 22 – The Buddhist community of the region has expressed deep concern over the rising incidents of harassment and persecution of Buddhist tribals by militants and security forces alike in the remote locations of Arunachal Pradesh. The twin militant outfits, NSCN(IM) and NSCN(K) have demanded annexation of land from the Buddhist and other indigenous faith followers of Rima Putak, Thikhak Putak, Motongsa and Longchong villages in Tirap – Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh and issued a decree for their conversion to Christianity. The militant outfits have left the villagers with two options – embrace Christianity or face capital punishment. With death staring at their face, most of the adult members have fled the villages to escape torture from both sides, resulting in disruption of agricultural activities."Every citizen or individual has the inherent right to profess and practice his religion". Apparently not when Christians are in charge.
...Buddhist leaders of both the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have strongly condemned the heinous atrocities committed by the militants on the peace-loving Buddhists and tribal cult followers and sought the immediate intervention of the Centre and the state to ensure the security of lives and properties of the affected people.
They opined that India being a secular nation with composite culture, every citizen or individual has the inherent right to profess and practice his religion.
Church backing Tripura rebels - BBC News, 18 April, 2000:
The government in India's north-eastern state of Tripura says it has evidence that the state's Baptist Church is involved in backing separatist rebels. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said state police had uncovered details of the alleged link after questioning a church leader.Once again it turns out that conversions only took place when the people were most vulnerable.
Mr Sarkar said that allegations about the close links between the state's Baptist Church and the rebel National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have long been made by political parties and police. Now for the first time, he said, hard evidence supporting the allegations had been found.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 in the aftermath, of the state's worst ethnic riot, the number of conversions grew.
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. Last year, they issued 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.
Hindu preacher killed by Tripura rebels - BBC News, 28 August, 2000
A tribal Hindu spiritual leader has been killed by separatist rebels in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura. ...the NLFT, broke into a temple near the town of Jirania on Sunday night and shot dead Shanti Tripura, a popular Hindu preacher popularly known as Shanti Kali.
The separatist group says it wants to convert all tribespeople in the state to Christianity.
The BBC correspondent in the region says the killing has created tension between the majority of tribals, who are Hindu or Buddhist, and the small number of Christian converts.
Genocide, financed by Evangelical groups
Hindus have been, and continue to be killed by Christian fundamentalists in droves, in what is clearly a church backed enterprise. The Hindu casualties in a single attack by the NLFT outnumber the Christians killed in religious violence for an entire decade in the whole of India.From: Persecution of Hindus in North-East India - Christian fundamentalist uprising in the volatile North-East
American Baptist and Evangelical groups have long been said to be financing the propagation of Christian religious bigotry of the most obscurantist kind in India's Northeast and tribal belts. Much of this bigotry has resulted in armed separatism, terrorism and ethnic cleansing of tribes refusing to become Christians. Why is this long standing allegation of funding of terrorism by Church groups never given media coverage nor investigated? Indeed, the US based Baptist World Alliance, that many people unwittingly donate money to, clearly has links to The Baptist Church groups in Tripura and other insurgency racked areas in North-east India...
Large-scale conversions triggered a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign sponsored by the Church which led to migration of Reangs and Brus from Mizoram to Tripura and Assam, who have since been languishing in different make-shift camps and demanding safe return and rehabilitation to their ancestral homeland.Its Christian minister makes it clear he wants to spread such terrorism to the rest of their country:
...There are now 45,000 refugees in the two states - about 36,000 in Tripura and another 9,000 in Assam.
...The recent bomb attack was intended to scare away Reangs who wish to participate in the upcoming elections in Christian dominated Mizoram.
...chief minister of Mizoram, Zoramthanga, told a Welsh missionary on Wednesday that he wishes to see Christian domination of all of India by sending forth as many as one lakh missionaries (100,000) from his state.Link
And the usual:
- Temple demolition:
- Christian-dominated Nagaland demolishes its only Hindu temple and Hindu Minority leaders Enraged over Kohima temple demolition
- Christian CM Plans to Demolish Part of Tirumala Temple:
Varanasi and Tirumala are always on the hitlist of Christian evangelicals. Soon after assuming power as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy, himself a fundamentalist Christian appointed Christians and sold-out Hindus to the executive board of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).
This evangelized TTD team now wants to demolish the original temple structure in the main temple in Tirumala and construct netra dwaralu (hatchways). Though the priests objected to this citing Agama Sastras and highlighted temple security mismanagement, the evangelized team is going ahead with its plan.The same TTD team was responsible for destroying 1000 pillar structure and allowing 7 churches to be built on 7 hills.
13 Year Old Hindu Girl Sexually Abused by Pastor in Christian Orphanage
Active deculturisation: stealing land and temples made to subsidise Churches
In India deculturisation goes under the name of secularism, giving the word a totally different meaning. Oddly, only the indigenous religions are actively being deculturised, whilst Christianity (and Islam) is played up:
...in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, most cash-rich temples are controlled by State Governments. The contributions made by devotees are taken by the State treasury, and the Hindu community is deprived. Not only are donations to churches and mosques untouched, but the contributions of Hindu laity are diverted for upkeep of churches and mosques, and even finance the infamous Haj subsidy! Indian secularism thus discriminates against Hindu dharma and Hindu aspirations. It is high time we liberate ourselves from this false secularism and give due respect to ourselves and our native ethos.Link
In effect, their government is discriminating against their indigenous religions in favour of Christianity and Islam.
This is explained by the fact that Christians are in charge in at least several Indian provinces:
17. There seems to be a large element of land-grab in the actions of Christians in India. They buy land, get it ceded by the authorities, and then grab the hillsides by painting crosses on rocks and claiming the area as Christian.Christianity Overwhelming Buddhism in India's North-East - The Buddhist Channel, April 21, 2005
The Christian churches are the largest landowners in India after the government. Much of this land is alienated temple land that was given to them by the British in the 19th century. They also own large amounts of prize commercial property in the cities.
...American churches like Pentecostals and Evangelicals ... seek to provoke the Hindu community at every opportunity. They simply grab land in the towns and districts by painting crosses and Christian slogans on stones and hillsides and then claiming the property as their own.This activity is especially evident in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In Arunachal Pradesh where proselytizing and conversion are illegal, Christians claim whole villages and put up signboards that say "Non-Christians Not Allowed" at their entrances. These Arunachal converts originate from Mother Teresa’s institutions in Assam where they are indoctrinated and baptized and then sent back to their villages to convert the elders. In Tamil Nadu Christian slogans appear on Hindu pilgrim routes to Tirupati and on the route around Arunachala Hill at Tiruvannamalai that pilgrims circumambulate on full moon days. ... The theoretical ground for this "good deed" has been laid years ago by Catholic theologians and missionaries like Fr. Raimundo Panikker and the Benedictine monk Abhishiktananda. They have already claimed the holy hill and all of India for Christ in their writings.
There has been a strong impact due to the proximity of the north-eastern tribes to the people of other faiths owing to the large-scale proselytisation to Christianity over the years. Conversion causes total disruption of social conduct and norms of the tribes.
For instance, customs like prohibition of cousin marriages and sagotra marriages, almost all tribals observe similar restrictions in matrimony, whereas the converts defy this with a vengeance, resulting in tension and hatred among the converts and the non-converts living in the same village. This is more so in the north-east where alienation from the original faith is very pronounced because of the strong-arm tactics of the Church.
No doubt, over the years Buddhism has got mixed up with the mainstream Hindu culture and is still going strong despite the changes. The cause for worry for the Buddhist and other tribes in Arunachal Pradesh is the spread of Christianity in the state by force, fraud and through other allurements.The alarming rate of conversions threatens the entire socio-religious fabric of the tribal society, since the number of Christians in the strategic north-eastern has swelled to over two lakhs from a mere negligible presence. The north-east is supposed to be the gateway for cultural interaction to countries of the South-East Asian region.
Using inculturation to attract potential converts
Although on one side Christian Churches are trying to rob Indians of their religious traditions through deculturisation, on the other end, they are claiming this indigenous religious traditions as their own. Either they falsely pretend such things are part of "generic Indian culture" and not restricted to religion, or they practise inculturation by trying to blend Christian doctrines under the veneer of local religious customs.
- Christian yoga to be topic of talk
Since Yoga transcends any particular religion, the Indian Christians adopted some of its practices.Christian yoga, like Christian witch, is an oxymoron. Yoga is an Indian indigenous religious (that is, non-Christian) practice. There is no such thing as Christian yoga, which most Churches specifically condemn, along with meditation, Tai Ch'i, and other eastern practices. Good thing for these confused Christians that the Inquisition has temporarily been put on hold.
Though it uses inculturation in the east, the Catholic Church has warned its flock in the west against eastern practises:
Last December the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [formerly known as the Holy Inquisition] warned about the dangers of blending Christian prayer and Eastern methods of meditation (e.g., Zen, Transcendental Meditation and yoga).It is indeed well-known how the 'church Fathers combated early "errors"'. The Roman Church and Cardinal-turned-Pope Ratzinger have herewith hinted at a warning. Once Asian countries are made nominally Christian, re-enter the great purge: the Inquisition. Then there'll be no more talk of inculturation and such nonsense, which at the present is only being tolerated as a means to achieve the conversion of Asia and Africa.
Early in the document the author, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, describes how the church Fathers combated early "errors" that affected the way Christians thought about prayer. He says, "Such erroneous forms, having reappeared in history from time to time on the fingers of the church's prayer, seem once more [today] to impress many Christians, appealing to them as a kind of remedy, be it psychological or spiritual, or as a quick way of finding God."
- The section Christian hostilities today on the page Towards A Real Hindu-Christian Dialogue
- Catholics Take Up Hindu Practices To Entice Converts
- Christian Churches Adopt Hindu Ceremony To Woo Converts
- Jesuits in Saffron and Sanskrit
Although taking over non-Christian religious practices had been considered heresy by the Vatican since the early Church councils, there is no doubting that Christianity gained all its practices entirely from the Roman, Greek and other pagan religions in the beginning. Doubtless once their mission in Asia is completed, such heretical practices will yet again be purged. This was the case when the various early heretical Christian sects were persecuted as soon as the early Christian emporium was consolidated following the destruction of pagan religions in Rome and Greece. It also happened after the Christianisation of Ireland was completed. And the final stamping out of all traces of Zoroastrianism (Mithraism) happened during the Inquisition and persecution of the Templars.
While the Catholic Church in India is taking over Indian religious practises, they and other Christian organisations are simultaneously working with the "secular" communist government to destroy indigenous practises amongst the adherents of the Indian religions.
A communist was appointed as head of an old religious language university in a communist-administered province in India - however he did not even know the language in question:
He [Panikkar, a communist] was recently given the position of Vice chancellor of a Sanskrit University in Kerala; the appointment was made by the Marxist government in Kerala. There has been some negative repercussions about this appointment because Professor Panikkar does not know Sanskrit and has never studied Sanskrit.Link
It turns out that in this province, the Christian, communist and Moslem groups work together to form the majority. The province's communist government had also been criticised by its Hindu population for having variously placed Christians, Moslems, and communists in charge of running indigenous shrines and temples. Imagine the government here placing local churches in the hands of non-Christian religions and communists.
Once it has run India's religious culture into ground on one end, the Roman Church will on the other end no doubt claim that it alone preserved indigenous Indian language, knowledge and traditions - as it regularly, and falsely, claims about ancient Rome and Greece.
Targeting subgroups for strategic conversion
...the International Missionary Board (IMB), a wing of the Southern Baptist Convention, stated in a recent newsletter...:Link"Did you know that the Sonar people of Maharashtra, India, are the primary crafters of gold and silver Hindu idols? These idols are the most powerful stronghold that Satan has upon the Hindu worshipers in India and around the world. When the Sonar people embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, the subsequent change in their livelihood could have a huge ripple effect in the world of Hinduism. As one international Christian worker said, "When we reach the Sonar with the gospel, we will see the collapse of Hinduism." Pray that the gospel would flow through and permeate the Sonar culture like molten silver fills a mold."
Project Thessalonica is a sub-project of Joshua Project II. Joshua Project II set the scope and strategy for converting the "heathen" of the world in 10-40 window (regions that lie between the latitudes of 10 and 40 degrees north) whereas project Thessalonica (called PT) prioritizes the tasks to be taken. Joshua Project II strategized the methodology called 'Adopt-a-peoples' wherein every mission agency or church adopted a 'people group'. Tribals were the first and easy missionary targets. Unfortunately the missionary activity didn't weaken Hinduism as the church strategists had anticipated - many of the converts still celebrated and attended Hindu festivals and continued to follow Hindu traditions. As a counter measure Project Thessalonica was started in 2004.Link
Project Thessalonica aims to stop or limit Hindu activity by converting people who form the pillars of Hindu culture, festivals, traditions and activity. Traditionally missionaries hate any public expression or display of heathen religions in the form of festivals and temples. Missions want to ensure that no new temple construction activity starts. With this objective they are converting masons, craftsmen and others involved in temple construction activity.
The First Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee adopted towns where the annual Kumbh Mela takes place and has been actively converting the locals so that visitors face extreme hardship during their next visit trying to find services and supplies. Another mission group is adopting boatmen of Kasi where Hindus drop rice balls in river Ganges as an offering to their forefathers. The boatsmen are being trained in other fields so that they abandon this profession. They are making environmental groups raise the voice so that Ganesh processions, Kumbh Melas and Jagannath Rath Yatras are limited.One big worry seems to be the extremely popular Hindu television programs. Christian agencies have decided on buying these prime slots at a premium and are actively working with programming sources. Over the past 20 years, missionaries also appear to have invested a lot in handling the political leadership, so much so that their activities appear to be almost immune to the ruling political party. It seems that a good section of media is also on their side to such an extent that any group opposing their activity finds itself identified as a militant or extremist group in the news media.
"Secularism" grants Christianity - a minority religion - power over the vast majority
Defamation is another area where India's weird brand of secularism always comes to the aid of the minority, non-indigenous religions. Whereas newspapers defame indigenous beliefs, deities and religious leaders on a regular basis, no criticism, however factual, is allowed about Christianity (for instance, stating the fact that Syrian Christians arrived in India several centuries later than claimed). Otherwise, they're instantly decried as not being secular or as being fundamentalist Hindu. The same results if people protest defamation of their native religions.
9. If you criticize Christians in any way, their immediate response is. "We are a tiny minority of two per cent of India’s population, and see how much social work we are doing." How do you respond to this?Although the officially admitted statistics on the number of Christian adherents in India puts the population to between 2% and 3%, the World Christian Database in 2005 has put it to 6%. Something the missionaries and Indian Churches are not willing to state publicly.
The question of numbers of population, which for Christians is something like three per cent, is very misleading. Not long ago India’s millions were ruled by a cadre of 30,000 Christian foreigners. It is not a question of numbers but of institutional wealth and influence, of organization, political ambition and high ideological motivation, and, especially, of undue control of institutions like education and health care that counts. And then there are the special constitutional privileges for minorities that make Hindus second-class citizens in their own land, and the uncritical sympathy for all things Christian in the English-language press.
It is an absurd situation. No country in the world allows a minority community to dictate to the majority the way India does, or to allow a foreign-trained minority community to proselytize in a society that has never proselytized and cannot protect itself against the psychological and emotional assault and material inducements that go with proselytisation. No country in the world would allow virtually unchecked the foreign money and expertise that flows into the Indian churches, much of it under the guise of social aid, when the bigoted leaders of these churches have declared over and over again that they intend the religious and spiritual annihilation of the Hindu community.
See World Christian Database: India is now 6% Christian. Tsunami tests secular dogmas - Daily Pioneer (an Indian online newspaper):
Much of the current tension in Indian society is on account of "secular" politicians mollycoddling the two monotheisms and suppressing legitimate Hindu aspirations. While secularism in a Hindu context permits the existence of other faiths, it cannot tolerate negation of Hindu identity and culture.Indian politicians seem to be going down the same path trodden by South Korea's heads of state.
At least the Indians don't have to contend with the insincere apologies that Koreans repeatedly received from Christians for vandalising Korean shrines. Perhaps they only work on Korean Buddhists and Shamanists, or perhaps the lack of apologies in India is due to the country's 'secularism'.
Secular government headed by a Catholic creates laws banning "witchcraft" in India
A recent stream of media reports about abuse due to "witchcraft" are used as an excuse by the country's secular government, led by a Catholic, to create a bill banning such practises. However, the laws themselves are so general that there are fears that they can in future be applied to harmless indigenous practises as well. Stories of abuse in remote areas are used to enact non-specific laws that can curb a wide range of indigenous religious rituals and practises, many of them not harmful to anyone. Hindu religious organisations have protested such a ban, realising that it implies a lot more than merely banning dangerous practises, saying:
"The many so-called offences in this Bill are covered by the Indian Penal Code. For example, under the pretext of expelling a ghost - if anyone assaults a person by tying him/her with a rope, then there is Section 319-329 for causing hurt, Section 320 for grievous hurt, Section 336 is for endangering life and personal safety, Section 508 is for making a person do something by threatening that not doing the act would subject him to divine displeasure, Section 117 is for impersonating a public servant, Section 497 is for adultery and Section 417 is for cheating.Link
Then there is so much overlap between people's fears of black magic and the common rituals that people adhere to as a matter of faith.
But as Samant points out the Bill has no proper definition of what it means by the practice of 'tantra' because of there is no clarity, then many books on 'tantra-shastra' in Buddhism, in Jainism and in Hinduism will be covered by this Bill. So, books might land up getting banned along with the practice.
"Why is a new law needed to deal with these cases, when the Indian Penal Code encompasses everything that the Bill calls a crime?" asked Ramesh Shinde, spokesperson, HJS.Link
"Also, the government claims that crimes related to superstition have increased alarmingly. But using the Right to Information Act, we found out that in the last five years only 17 such crimes have been registered," said Shinde.
Indians following pre-Christian religions ought to be very wary of such bills instituted by the Catholic in charge of their country, since the same kind of laws were enacted against the ancient Romans under Constantine, whilst anti-pagan laws got progressively more oppressive under his successors.
India now targeted for conversion by all denominations
During his 1998 visit to India ... Pope John Paul II bluntly stated that the Christianization of Asia is "an absolute priority" for the Catholic Church in the new millennium. He openly linked the Vatican agenda for that region to its conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.From: Sins of the missionaries: evangelism's quest to conquer the world
The Vatican's eagerness to repeat its conversion successes in the American continent begs the question of whether the Vatican has learnt from the genocides it perpetrated there. Or for that matter, whether the Vatican ever studied its own history. All its apologies are just so much hot air.
The Pope refuses to apologise for the Church's past crimes in the country (though an apology won't bring back the dead or undo tortures). Whereas he apologised to Christianised populations like those of the Americas, he probably doesn't want do the same for India, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and other affected Asian nations that are not yet Christian.
After all, apologising to still-heathen populations would be admitting the Church's error and guilt in having used force in the past to "save" them, thereby putting a serious damper on any voluntary conversions in future.
Sonia Gandhi ... surrounded herself, as soon as she became Congress party leader, with a clique consisting only of Christians -- eg. Vincent George, Tom Thomas, Tommy Thomas, Margaret Alva, Ajit Jogi, Purno Sangma. I am told she has always been an avid church-goer, named her son Rahul John Paul Gandhi (presumably after the most fiercely fundamentalist Pope in recent times), made sure her daughter married a Catholic; and, in general, made no bones about her strong preference for Christianity.Link
Sonia Gandhi, a Catholic from Italy, was married to a former Prime Minister of India who was part of India's leading political Gandhi dynasty. He was assassinated in the 90s by a female Christian suicide-terrorist of the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. The power and respect Sonia Gandhi now has in India derives from her marriage into the respected Gandhi family. Non-Christian India now finds itself under the leadership of a Catholic who has heard Pope John Paul II's recent call to evangelize Asia.
It seems very like a 50s Vietnam (terrorised by Catholicism) in the making. But in bringing the massive unsaved population of India under the Christian faith (or at least Christian control, initially), she is aided by all the other Christian denominations. This includes the very evangelically-active Protestant, Syrian and Fundamentalist Christian organisations in India, shady "developmental" NGOS, and Christian organisations hiding under the Globalisation banner of multinational companies. It appears they've also enrolled the aid of other "secularists" to gain enough political and social clout in this huge country: communist and Moslem groups.
Bush's Conversion Agenda for India: Preparing for the harvest - from Tehelka (an Indian publication).
is a very revelatory article that showcases how highly organised evangelism today is, backed and funded as it is by the American government itself. Although it mainly deals with India, it also discusses U.S. Evangelism with respect to all "unreached" countries currently targeted through such schemes as Joshua Project. It also reveals how USAID uses missionaries for information gathering (The Venuzuelan government was right to accuse them of spying). So the effects of the Bush-endorsed faith-based initiatives affect not only the US.
About this report by Tehelka:
The lions of Indian activism climbed on rooftops with their megaphones when Tehelka previously exposed allegations of corruption... However, given their hush silence over this latest Tehelka report, one wonders whether these Indian lions have turned into Western lapdogs and become the bearers of global evangelism.Link
U.S. Foreign Policy and Religion in India gives some more insight into the current situation of Evangelical activities in India funded by the US Government.
The first-mentioned article Bush's Conversion Agenda for India also reveals the following, which affects non-Christian peoples the world over:
Richard Land, a key leader of the Southern Baptist Convention... is a key member of the U.S. government's Committee on International Religious Freedoms.When the oversight of a committee claiming to be concerned with religious freedom is so obviously biased towards Christians, it explains why Christians alleging persecution are always lent an all too willing ear and are immediately believed. On the other hand, Christian persecution of non-Christian religions tends to be ignored, keeping us in the dark about what is happening to the world's indigenous religions and their adherents.
Richard Land is not the only Evangelical Christian to be involved in the inappropriately named International Religious Freedom, which ought to be renamed International Christian Freedom:
A good example is Robert A. Seiple, the American ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom. Is the man a seasoned diplomat, sensitive to other cultures and religions, as would be expected for the post? No, he was for eleven years the head of World Vision, the largest privately funded relief and development organization in the world, which is a Christian charity and connected to various missionary activities. Seiple was formerly President of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a Christian missionary, which on the Protestant side is dominated by the Baptists. A person with such a background is inappropriate for the role that he has been given, which would be like giving it to a Catholic priest. It reflects an American religious bias not a diplomatic sensitivity and objectivity. Not surprisingly, his report on religious freedom in the world highlights oppression of Christians but ignores oppression perpetrated by Christians, as if Christian groups were entirely innocent of any wrong doing anywhere!From: Missionary Activity & Secularism: Pope's Visit
The heavy Christian bias of the International Religious Freedom explains why this organisation has not publicised the Christian oppression and persecution of Korean religions of the last two decades.
See: What Dorothy Watts says about their "Business of conversions" in India
Visa abuses are serious violations in most countries. However, undeterred by laws, missionaries resort to using tourist and business visas to engage in their illegal activities in Asia. Compared to genocide though, perhaps Asians ought to be thankful that bypassing visa restrictions are the least troubling amongst Christian transgressions.
Fables of Christian Persecution, misrepresentation in world media and double-standards
Alleged Hindu persecutions of Christians which never took place occur wherever the Churches crave attention. In this way they receive funding from shocked donators sympathetic to their cause, and get additional international lobbying and media coverage, as well as defaming the non-Christian religions.
Until such cases were disproved, the local secular Indian media carried headlines that made these fictional allegations appear factual. Some of the following cases were reported in international news too, where they have not been retracted. (It is unknown if the Indian media had made retractions.)
The first to draw a lesson should be the press. In Chapter 10, Justice Wadhwa takes up "Other Proximate Incidents." The first of these is the alleged rape of Sister Jacqueline Mary on 3 February, 1999. "Orissa nun raped in moving car," the headlines declared, Justice Wadhwa records. "Orissa's second stain: nun raped," shouted the Indian Express, "Nun gangraped by men in sari in Orissa," hollered The Telegraph. The village "has become the rallying point of Christians of the area," the papers proclaimed. "The press, on the basis of some statement made by the pastor of the Church highlighted the role of some Hindu fundamentalist organizations," writes Justice Wadhwa. "....It was termed as a planned attack on the Church. It was said that there was a role of communal forces.... Electronic media was not far behind. It was highlighted as an anti-Christian attack." "Do not treat this as an isolated incident," the papers quoted teachers of a Christian convent school saying, "A communal conspiracy is suspected to be behind the rape."From: Who Killed Australian Missionary Graham Staines?, which also looks into the unpublicised aspects of this missionary's murder.
There indeed was a conspiracy, and a communal one at that. The whole thing was a concoction -- by those whose agenda it is to paint Hindus as communalists on the rampage, and the RSS, BJP etc. as organizations which are orchestrating a "pogrom". "Investigations, however, revealed that what Sister Mary said in the FIR was not true," records Justice Wadhwa. "It was a made up story. Investigations found that there was in fact no rape of Sister Mary.... B. B. Panda, D(irector) G(eneral) (of) P(olice) stated that the 'rape of the nun' case was projected and highlighted all over the world and was also projected as an attack on Christians when in fact it was not true, and the case turned out to be false."
The second incident occurred on 7 February, 1999. Two children, aged 10 and 19, were found murdered, a third had sustained injuries. "This incident again attracted a great deal of publicity in the media, including electronic media," writes Justice Wadhwa. "Newspapers came up with the headings, 'Two Christians killed, one injured in Orissa,' '2 tribal Christians done to death in Kandhamal,' and 'Orissa hunts for Christians' killer'. Additional D. G. P. John Nayak reportedly said that the communal angle to the attempted rape and murder could not be ruled out...." "A certain political party even blamed the State and Central Governments," Justice Wadhwa recalls, "and stated that the inaction of the State Government in the Manoharpur missionary killing incident (the killing of Staines and his sons) and the alleged rape of the nun in Baripada encouraged miscreants to commit yet another crime in Kandhamal." "In short," he concludes, "as per various reports that appeared in the newspapers, the incident was taken as an attack on the Christians."
And what turned out to be the truth? "Ultimately investigation revealed that the crime was committed by a relative of the victims who was also a Christian," the Commission notes.I'll come to the third incident in a moment, for it concerns an institution other than the press. The fourth incident occurred on 8 December, 1998. Tribals attacked the police station at Udaygiri, stormed the jail, dragged two undertrial prisoners out, and lynched them to death in front of the police station. After that, they burnt houses belonging to members of a particular caste, Pana. The incident too was projected as a Hindu-Christian encounter. It was nothing of the kind. The tribals were being harassed by criminals who happened to be from the Pana caste. The police had been doing nothing. One day the criminals robbed tribals of all their cash as they were proceeding to seek employment. That ignited the flash. But a Hindu-Christian clash it became!
The same article also shows how earlier Christian crimes against non-Christians went unreported, whilst retaliatory crimes got all the media attention:
And he [Justice Wadhwa] quotes the account that The Economic Times correspondent filed after visiting the village. The 22 March, 1999 issue of the paper reported, Justice Wadhwa writes, "that roots of the Ranalai village incident in Gajapati district of Orissa in which houses of Christian families were burnt down by Hindu tribals of nearby villages lie in the economic disparities prevailing between the two communities. The report further said that tension had been building up since the night of February 9, when 23 houses of Hindu families were burnt down by criminals belonging to the Christian community of the nearby Jhami Gaon.... The report further stated that 'The unfortunate incident was largely unreported and totally ignored by national and international media'."Same Link
...most of the Muslims, Communists and Christians in India have ganged together politically against the Hindus, under the banner of the Congress party, and much propaganda has been spread in the sympathetic English-speaking Indian press, which has been picked up by the predominantly left-leaning media and academia in the West.Link
Sometimes it is stated that the tribals are neither Hindus nor Christians, but the Christians have a better claim to convert them into their fold. Repeated and forceful propaganda to this effect has been going on with the powerful backing of Westernised intellectuals in India with the result that this idea has many takers in India and abroad. "Indigenous peoples movement" organised by the World Council of Churches has also been propagating this idea that tribals are not Hindus, despite the fact that they have been worshipping Hanuman, Ganesh and other deities belonging to the Hindu pantheon.Link
'tribals are never Hindus unless they misbehave.' [Link]
About the terrorist situation in the north east of India:
The Hindu casualties in a single attack by the NLFT outnumber the Christians killed in religious violence for an entire decade in the whole of India.Link
Instead of analyzing why such terrorist attacks by Christian missionaries will naturally lead to resentment on the part of the poor Hindus Bengalis and Tribals, the Indian media is busy in its political game of trying to establish non-existent links between the rare attacks on Christians and the ruling party in India. When Hindu activist organizations decided to help the Hindus under attack in Tripura by aiding them to preserve their culture, hundreds of the volunteers were attacked, threatened and blackmailed. Several of them were murdered and last year a number of them were kidnapped and held hostage by the Christian terrorists. To this day, it is not known if those men are still alive. The media was deafeningly silent. When one Christian missionary, Graham Staines, was killed, with his 2 sons in Orissa, 2001 (in what was admittedly a horrendous crime) it was an international story. Newspapers everywhere, particularly the Indian media wrote about it for weeks on end, making it into a sensational story of the Rise of Hindu Fundamentalism.
As seen from Sri Lanka to Cambodia, government measures to curtail unethical conversions always result in Christians complaining about being persecuted or being discriminated against and not being given their rights. The same seems to have happened in South India, when a law to prevent forced conversions was heavily protested. After Christians organised to complain about "persecution", and through getting the international media's help in lobbying for them, they got their wish and the law was repealed. It is however strange that they should protest a law against forced and unethical conversions, unless this is an admission of the kind of methods Christianity has always employed in swelling its numbers.
The result: Tamilnadu CM: Anti-Forcible Conversion Law Fully Repealed
Hypocrisy: Christians don't like to lose their flock
Mizoram, now a Christian majority place in India, where some of its people are thought to be one of Israel's lost tribes:
- Taste of Their Own Medicine: Judaism threatens Church in Mizoram, Manipur
- Mizoram Officer: Conversion to Judaism is the "Work of Satan":
The news of orthodox Jews in Israel accepting Mizos as the descendants of Manashe, one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, has created a controversy in Mizoram.It doesn't seem to matter what country Christians originate from, Europe or Asia, or when they were converted, more than a millenium ago or last century: they are anti-Semitic.
The orthodox Christians believe this would lead to the Mizos going away from their adopted religion of Christianity.The Mizos were converted to Christianity by Welsh protestant missionaries, who came to Mizoram in 1894.
P.C. Biaksiama, a former Central Government officer, who resigned his job to take up Christian research work, has said this was the "work of Satan with the aim of converting the Mizos from Christianity to Judaism, the religion of Jews."
- Conversion: Christianity’s convoluted case
Christian leaders are perturbed over the exodus from Christianity to Judaism, claiming this will "destroy the social fabric of both the tribes." Though missionaries have consistently showed contempt for similar concerns of Hindu organisations, Dr P.C. Biaksiama of the Christian Research Centre in Aizawl, Rev. Chuauthuama of the Aizawl Theological College and Rev. Colney of the Mizoram Presbyterian Church Synod now demand a social movement against conversions.
Dr Biaksiama has gone so far as to say that not only the Church, but the Central and state governments should recognise the arrival of the Rabbis as a "religious and cultural invasion". In a language akin to that of so-called Hindu fundamentalists, the Christian theologian argues that it is only the promise of "better living standards" in Israel that is luring many tribals to join the Bnei Menashe. Perhaps this is a tacit admission that these tribes have failed to substantially improve their lot after abandoning their traditional gods and customs and adopting the religion of the erstwhile colonial masters.
- Israel halts Indian conversions, BBC news, 9 November 2005
Israel has stopped converting people in north-east India who say they are from a biblical "lost tribe" following complaints from the Indian government.
- Lost Jewish Tribe Upset By Church Backed Conversion Freeze
Members of a tribe in India's northeast who claim to be one of the biblical 10 lost tribes say they are upset over a freeze in their conversion to Judaism following a protest by the Indian government.
In South India, a well-respected Hindu religious leader was accused of murder (of another non-Christian). After imprisoning him without evidence - during which time the local media devoted all its efforts to defaming him and took the opportunity of accusing him of new crimes too - he was eventually tried and released because there was still no evidence. Strangely instead of exhonerating him if he were innocent or imprisoning him if he were guilty, he was exiled to another state, and not allowed to return to his monastery.
The other part of this whole "mystery" is that this monk, prior to all this, was actually highly active in preventing conversions by visiting lots of villages and doing community work. And he was keeping people interested in their own indigenous beliefs. In fact, his village travels and work strongly curtailed missionary successes in his province to such a great extent, that the murder case must have seemed like a miracle to all the confounded Evangelical organisations operating in the region. Except that miracles don't happen.
On the one hand, there's a vegetarian monk, on the other hand, a Christian-controlled media backed by a "secularist" government trying to anticipate the popular vote in an increasingly Christian province. It's worth bearing in mind, that defaming leaders of indigenous religions, arresting them without evidence or murdering them is a trademark of Christianity, even in present times. See examples in Korea and Sri Lanka.
The missionaries benefitted greatly from the defamation of the monk and his religion, and his exile - because if he isn't allowed to return, then he can't pick up his community self-help programmes where he'd left off. After all, missionaries need poor people in these countries to be dependent on and grateful to Christian charity, and not help themselves. And no one except Christian missionaries are allowed to help them.
But the underlying motive is said to be a religio-political conspiracy, with possibly an international angle. His Holiness was a thorn in the flesh of evangelists, and he was reportedly furious when Jayalalitha [minister of the province] withdrew the anti-conversion law following her rout in the Lok Sabha elections. Days before his arrest, he had also railed against the Endowments Act whereby government exercised control over temples. He supported the demand for removal of non-believers from temple managements and wanted use of temple finances for purely Hindu religious causes (that is, funds from Hindu temples should not fund Haj subsidy or Church maintenance).
Swamiji [the monk] hit the conversion industry where it most hurt. He aimed at building a temple in every Dalit village and in giving personal darshan in each village. His Chandrasekharendra Maha Vishwavidyalaya, a Deemed University, controls several educational and medical institutions, which serve the villages and challenge missionary monopoly in these sectors.
- Dalits: Kanchi leads the way (Nov, 2004) - The Pioneer, Sandhya Jain
About the monk's village travels and charity before the arrest. Dalits appear to be one of the oppressed classes in India. The monk was becoming popular and making positive reforms in his religion.
- Justice must be seen to be done (Dec, 2004) - The Pioneer, Sandhya Jain
About the strangenes of the arrest, the case, the behaviour of the media
- Saraswati punished for countering Christian propaganda (Mar, 2005)
- Arrest has led to more conversions (Jun, 2005)
- Christian Aggression
- a site about Indians and Sri Lankans who follow their indigenous religions and oppose the aggression perpetrated by Christianity against their cultures and beliefs. It has a great many articles, a whole lot more than can be inspected for coverage here.
- Focus - Examining evangelism in Sri Lanka and South Asia
- Sins of the missionaries by Stephen Welch, Free Inquiry, 2004.
- US foreign policy and religion in India and The conversian agenda for India