September 20, 2008

Are christian groups really troublesome?

Filed under: Life as I know it — Celia Rexselin @ 5:46 am

Yesterday, My friend and myself had a discussion on the recent attacks on christian groups. He was for bajrang dal group telling me that Christian organization were actually asking for trouble by forcibly converting people.

Some of the accusations were

1) Proclaiming that only their religion is right and every other religion is satanic.

2) Trying to offer services (education, health) and lure innocent people.

While all these accuasations are there from the beginning and some really happened in earlier centuries (say prior to independence or duing the christian crusades), I don’t think this really happens these days.

I started comparing the ‘Art of Living’ courses with this recent trend. My manager recently tried to tell me the benefits of this course as he had attended the same. After that, he said that he was a changed man and was able to leave the past and live in the present. This infact, can be called as canvassing. Can I say that he was trying to force me on to that course and attack? That would be really absurd.

As a fellow person, he thought that he benefitted from something and he wanted to share it and let his colleagues also experince. As such, the thought is noble. It is upto me to decide whether I really want to go to the course or not. Only when he tries to force me to join the course AGAINST MY will I can say that it is wrong. Isn’t the same happening in religion also? Can someone tell me what is the difference here that warrants attacks against monastries and nuns?

But I do have a word for those people who might have heard any such religious messages from christian priests. When you hear something, think over it. See whether they talk about just religion or whether about love, sacrifice, care for others etc.  See whether they have respect for others. Good pastors do that.  Christianity is not just a religion but a way of life. If you do like it, go for it. If somebody wants you to come to his church so that he can get all your offerings and money, then DON’T GO FOR IT. They are probably cheats. In those cases, ignore their message. IF they keep coming to your home, ask them not to come or otherwise, you might want to inform the police.



  1. […] If you liked this post then you may like this one […]

    Pingback by Message — September 20, 2008 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  2. The question is whether people willfully convert to Christianity after experiencing the sacrificial contribution of missionaries or they convert for the sake of enjoying the benefits.

    One more dimension is to be noted, what about those reconversions which are forced by Hindu outfits?
    Are these reconversions forced , then those who blame christians for conversions are equally to be blamed for reconvesions as well.

    Comment by Aaha — September 21, 2008 @ 10:11 am | Reply

  3. Very interesting and timely topic..Would like to share a personal expereince Bindu. A cousin of mine[from a farming background] worked for a missionary school as teacher and the head priest was asking him to convert with sweet talk,but that was not working and hence he was neglected for job confirmation,bonuses etc,., the pressure was kept on n on until he finally burst and thrashed that head priest..the case was settled out of court. this happened just 3 years back and not pre independence era. There are people from poorer section who fall for this sweet talk or pressure bcoz fianlly what matters is a good living and these guys r ready to do that thanks to dollar power.

    The fact that people are paid for conversions is an open secret.Until the governtment brings in some supervisory body to check the flow/usage fo foreign funds the problem will persist.

    Comment by nautankey — September 22, 2008 @ 11:52 am | Reply

  4. hey.. Good post yar..

    Comment by ALBERT — October 1, 2008 @ 4:49 am | Reply

  5. Hey ,

    I differ with the views of Nautankey that Christian org receive foreign funds for forcible conversion.
    Recently in Times of India , there was a news that VHP receives more funds from abroad than anyother christian organisation.Moreover christian organisations stand only in 5th place.
    While surfing thru channels on TV , i could see a lot of christian programmes coming early morning almost in all regional and national networks. These programmes can’t come for free , ofcourse with foreign funds supporting them.
    But hardly i couldn’t find much from pro-hindu outfits , where is their money going, who is monitoring them?,

    Comment by Aaha — October 2, 2008 @ 2:43 am | Reply

  6. If as mentioned by Nautankey, conversions are out of payments, it must be child’s play to produce the evidence. After all, in these tehelka days, if some groups can raise 500+ size mobs to drive out entire villages and communities into the forest, it must be a piece of cake to raise 1000 dummies interested in conversion and have them produce the inducements in court.

    As a matter of interest, the highest receiver of religious donations from abroad go to Saibaba and Mata Amritanandamayi – first is a proven fraud and 2nd is the cleanest of all organizations.

    Comment by thetalkativeman — October 3, 2008 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  7. @Aaha – One thing that is clear is these hindu outfits aren’t one bit concerned about those who actually convert.

    * They don’t care whether the individuals are socially oppressed or neglected.

    * They are not bothered about the health or education of those who convert.

    Only when it comes to a point where they see that they can’t have their hold on the oppressed by the name of religion do they go wild. They want to get them back into their hold and ‘forced conversions’ is a pseudo name that they give to justify their demands.

    Comment by Bindu — October 7, 2008 @ 4:32 am | Reply

  8. @Nautankey – I should say that this is also true because in every religion, there are crooked people.

    I have heard the below incidents from some of my friends.

    * Some CSI schools resort to evangelism in school by inviting preachers and they try to send a wrong message to the young students.

    * In some christian instituitions, promotions are given based on religion. But the same holds true for some hindu/muslim/regional organizations as well.

    For example, in my husband’s company, telugu people get quicker promotions than others.

    But at the same time, I would also like to point out about the school(St.Anthony’s) in which I studied. This being a convent, wasn’t biased towards any religion.

    In all general assemblies, sacred verses were read from the bible, bhagavat gita and kuran.
    Can the same example be cited for any hindu/muslim run schools?

    Fundamentalists exist in every society. Ignoring them is the best way to handle them. Resorting to violence and targeting innocent nuns/priests is not the way to handle this.

    Comment by Bindu — October 7, 2008 @ 4:39 am | Reply

  9. @ttm – The fact that conversions are out of payments may have been true in the past centuries. Even if that is the case, every individual has every right to follow the religion of his choice. Denying freedom, is a constituitional crime.

    These days, conversions happen due to personal experience. Most of the times, it is due to some miracle in the family. For instance, A.R.Rehman converted to islam.

    There are also instances of christians converting to hinduism to gain social priveledge. Example: One of the christian families I know, converted to Hindus and changed their caste to S.C just to enjoy caste rights. Again, its their choice. Whether its right or not, who are we to question them?

    Comment by Bindu — October 7, 2008 @ 4:44 am | Reply

  10. @Ms.Bindu,

    Some points rightly said,

    but whats the benefit for Christians to convert others to their religion by shedding so much money.

    Look these stats below:

    Christain missionaries from abroad ( most cases )are the most firsts
    1) in establishing schools
    2) medicare facilities
    3) orphanages

    all of the above are not even contemplated during pre independence era by most leaders , if conversion is being done with a business motive then is the money generated from all the above goes back abroad to those who funded it , certainly not as we get info from variuos sources.

    Then why is this sacrifice – Just because it was said by Jesus – “Be doers of good expecting nothing back”.

    Comment by Aaha — October 9, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  11. First of all ‘Art Of Living’ is not a religious course; it helps to imbibe good habits into an individual. So I am not seeing any harm if the course is taken by any religious people and if you visit their website or campus this course is taken by people irrespective of religion.
    Every religion has got great books, followers and institutions; and if an individual say that a religion is inferior then it is him that is inferior not the religion. So regarding religious conversions people change religion undoubtedly for the sake of money and benefits. Here everybody is benefited like converted individual and also the conversion initiator. But I would like to remind words by Shirdi Saibaba “Changing ones religion is like changing his/her father.”. Religion comes from ones father; if one changes his/her religion then its like changing his father and finally insulting his mother.
    I would also like to question why some foreigners are following Hinduism or attracted towards Hinduism. As no temple or house is offering money to foreigners; and when asked about this it is the devineness of the religion that attracted them.
    So basically each religion offers what ever it has in return during the conversion. Christianity money and Hinduism culture & devineness.
    Sorry for a very long comment but this remembers me one incident from my childhood. Our dhobhi in my native place and she has been converted by the nearest church. She gets 10kg of rice every month + Rs 50. If the church is really serving people then why are they converting people by offering money. Then how come it he called service; I really like Mother Therasa and great nuns who sacrificed their lives but why are they encouraging religious conversions.
    For your information, I did all my schooling in a Christian missionary school and used to visit church on my interest almost every week.

    Comment by Swamy — October 17, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  12. Swamyji kicked up a controversy by quoting sai baba’s words ” changign one’s religion is like changing one’s father” which seems so inferior for a so called self cult man.
    Now even the slightest respect i had for him is lost by his inferior comments, which only reflects his true image (several people and news article called him a crook -) but with these words he proved his true nature.
    Even when so many christians are killed by violent hindu mobs, not a single christian organisation irrespective of any denomination made any such provocative statements against hindus.Now this proves the point as to who is cultured. Some hare krishna followers in the US had actually dropped attending the bhajans upon seeing the intolerant and barbaric behaviour of some in orissa. A religion grows not just by words but also by those deeds who follow it .
    State of Orissa implemented anti conversion bill long back, despite this not a single case of forced conversion is reported before that fateful day when a VHP leader was killed.
    The so calle pro hindu outfits are only now citing this excuse of forced conversion as a means for slaughtering christians.
    This word “forced conversions” was coined by RSS, VHP and Bajrang dal only recently in the near decade.
    So do they mean it crept only in this decade and not before.

    Surely it seems like a political game – just like divide by saying whatever , create enemity , create a group and rule.

    Comment by Aaha — October 20, 2008 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  13. Nalla irukku.

    Comment by velusamymohan — November 3, 2008 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

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