Analysis Division, Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF)
The observations of the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission referred to above clearly recognize the issue of conversions to Christianity through allurements. As opposed to allurements, on the negative side, “divine displeasure” is put forth to induce people to convert to Christianity. In both cases, evangelists need huge sums of money to implement their conversion agenda. The money comes into the country in the form of foreign contributions from donors, located primarily in USA and Europe.
This article attempts to explain how powerful global Christian missionaries carry out their nefarious designs to break India, exploit all kinds of chinks in the Indian armour, such as health issues, poverty, education at the individual level as well as gaps in the govt machinery to reach their targets to trap Hindus into Christianity.
THE ‘ATROCITIES ON DALITS‘ NARRATIVE
The ‘Atrocities on Dalit’ narrative is the bedrock of all conversion activities both for justifying conversions and seeking donations to fund conversions. It is an important component of the larger Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) and the Aryan Dravidian divide. The academic face of the evangelist-conversion lobby continuously generates literature on the above topics, holds symposiums, seminars to keep the AIT theory alive.
When the initial round of Christian missionaries landed in India three centuries ago, evangelism and conversions were promoted through the classical method of preaching the Gospel and screaming profanities about Hindu Gods and Hindu ways of worship. This was followed up by setting up educational institutions and hospitals through which a combination of service and evangelism were carried out. All these attempts met with limited success and, therefore, the AIT was introduced to create a divide in Hindu society and project one section of the Hindu society as the “oppressed Dravidians” at the hands of “invading Aryans”. This strategy worked well and it was further refined to equate oppressed Dravidians with Dalits.
Having prepared the ground for conversions through AIT and the ‘Atrocity on Dalits’ narrative, evangelists make extensive use of the latter to justify conversions and to raise money for their activities in India. In almost all the fund-raising speeches made by Indian evangelists abroad or their principal collaborators, the ‘oppression of Dalits by caste Hindus’ finds a prominent place. A figure of 300 million “oppressed Dalits” is thrown at the audience which strikes an instant chord with the prospective donors.
Hindu religion and Hindu caste system are projected in great detail with a twisted interpretation to highlight ‘Atrocities on Dalits’. Donors are clearly told that ‘oppressed Dalits’ are the target group for evangelism and conversion. No mention is made either of the extensive Constitutional and legal safeguards that have been enacted to protect the life and dignity of the people of Scheduled Castes in India, or the huge financial resources allocated each year for all round development of Scheduled Caste people.
Photographs, professionally-produced videos of extreme poverty, slums and naked children are shown to prospective donors. In one video, children are shown working under hot sun in stone quarries. The narration goes on to say “..1,300 Dalit children have been rescued from here and being given regular education. Another 500 await rescue.” This video was released by a prominent Europe-based evangelist organization that funds multiple evangelical and conversion-oriented NGOs in India. One such NGO supported by them in the state of Andhra Pradesh has an annual FCRA inflow of Rs. 65.00 crores and a strength of 12,000 students across its various educational institutions.
Of course, care is taken not to mention that India has tough laws to prevent child labour and use of child labour in stone quarries or mines was prohibited several decades ago. Even then, if a whopping number of 1,800 children are actually working in stone quarries, there is no way it would have escaped the attention of the administration and the media. As such the story spun by evangelists appears to be an outright concoction of lies.
PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND MANPOWER TO CARRY OUT CONVERSIONS
Funds thus garnered abroad through fabricated and misinformation campaigns are then brought into the country to set up an elaborate network of churches, pastors, training colleges, Christian literature printing/distribution. The number of churches planted all over the country is mind boggling. In Maddulaparva village in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, there are 11 churches though officially there is not a single Christian living in the village. A single NGO – Serve India Ministries, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, has an ambitious target of planting 1,00,000 churches and have a trained evangelist force of 20,000. Another NGO – Advancing Ministries of Gospel (AMG), Chilakaluripeta, Andhra Pradesh has an annual FCRA inflow of Rs. 1.78 crore towards salaries of ‘National Workers’ an innovative term used for ‘Gospel Preachers’ (Source: FCRA returns submitted by the NGO at www.fcraonline.nic.in). If the targets for church planting and conversions of all the evangelical ministries are combined, the figure will cover all villages in India several times over.
Another set of evangelists has emerged in India in the last couple of decades. These are the “Miracle Cure” pastors who have built up massive evangelist empires through their magic cure of chronic illnesses, psychiatric illnesses etc., which are purportedly cured through the power of prayer to Jesus. These types of evangelists have a huge field force to procure gullible people for their massively attended meetings where they sell blessed anointed oil/scarves etc., which are supposed to cure any ailment.
Needless to say, these are priced exorbitantly and bought blindly. In addition, gullible people who attend these types of churches are converted to Christianity and forced to shell out 10% of their total earnings as ‘tithe’ – a Biblical tax. This is collected ruthlessly from old age pensions, daily wage earners and other poor people. Fear of incurring wrath of god in case of non-payment is drilled into these hapless people, further dragging them down into the Christian trap.
Christian Medical College, Ludhiana is a premier institution of Punjab
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS / ORPHANAGES:
This is one of biggest source of foreign funds inflow into India for purposes of evangelism. Funds are sought in name of orphan/destitute children with individual children offered for sponsorship by a single family abroad. Donors are shown photographs of children reading Bible, attending gospel meetings, youth conferences to emphasize to donors that their donation will be used to bring up orphans the “Devout Christian way”
Setting up educational institutions has been one of the oldest methods of attracting non-Christians towards Christianity. Initially there were weekly special classes titled ‘Moral Education’ where children were told about Lord Jesus and his ‘supreme sacrifice’. Gradually, it grew into daily prayers, then twice-a-day Gospel prayers and then extended to weekly attendance at the Church. Parents from poor families are attracted by prospect of free education, boarding and lodging for their wards and an illusion that their children are getting English-medium, western education. Little do they realize that their own children will be brainwashed by the evangelists into hating their ancestral faith and one day become their bitter enemies. One NGO in its newsletter claims as follows:
“I went home to my village. My mother decided to arrange my marriage but she was looking for Hindu grooms. I did not want to marry a man who followed Hindu customs and worshipped idols, so I went back to … and sought guidance from the … again”.
The aid obtained in the name of various educational support programmes is given out only after the children undergo gospel preaching sessions. This is in addition to the daily dose of Christian prayers. Here we can find minor children being used to preach the gospel to even younger children. These photos are then shared with donors who pour in more money for more evangelism and conversions.
With the advent of the Internet and social media, evangelists have come up with new techniques for conversion. With the assistance of their overseas associates, they have set up web sites where photos of children from India are displayed with the cost of sponsorship and beseeching slogans like “Will you sponsor me?”. No thought is given to the privacy of minor children. It is also doubtful if these children are really orphans and whether the parents of these children have been informed of this fund-raising activity using photos of their children and if any consent is taken at all from them.
The intention to thrust the Bible and Gospel preaching on each and every child passing through their educational institutions is unmistakably evident from this prayer: “Pray for the new students who have come to IREF and hear the Gospel for the first time this year. May they come to know our Savior throughout the academic year and allow the Holy Spirit to move within their hearts. “
In other words – “Enter our school as a Hindu, exit as a full blown Christian.” Instead of praying for their students to become successful in their future endeavours in their lives, the only thought in the mind of this evangelist funded school is how to expose children to Christianity.
Same institution in another prayer says :
“Please pray for IREF staff and students as they prepare to close the 2019-2020 academic year in March and April. Many of these young people return to idol-worshipping families for the summer holiday and need your prayers as they stand firm for Christ” Source: https://irefusa.org/march-2020-newsletter/
In other words, the evangelist NGO is worried that their year-long drilling of Gospel and Bible preaching into the innocent minds will be nullified by time spent with family. This is an indicator of the rabid nature of evangelists operating in India and their hatred for idol-worshipping Hindus.
In order to regulate the flow of foreign funds in name of orphan support/child support, NGOs obtaining FCRA funds for these purposes should be monitored and controlled by the Govt. of India through Women & Child Welfare Ministry. Clearance should be given on a case-to-case basis with annual renewal, subject to submission of full details of the children/orphans and their guardians every half year. It has been observed that the numbers of orphans/children are highly exaggerated while seeking funds abroad. The surplus funds are diverted for evangelism/conversion/church-planting activities. All this will be curbed if due diligence and process of periodic verification as suggested above are adopted.
Violation of rights of minor children should be continuously monitored by the NCPCR – National Commission for Protection of Child Rights through surprise inspections/checks of institutions about whom complaints are received.
HEALTHCARE EVANGELISM: LEPROSY- MONEY SPINNER FOR EVANGELISTS
In the initial days, the evangelists set up large mission hospitals where health care was bundled with evangelism. This activity continues but with focus on specific diseases like leprosy. Leprosy is a money spinner for evangelists. Almost every evangelist claims to be serving leprosy victims. The disfigurement caused by leprosy, loss of fingers makes great photos and evoke strong sympathy amongst prospective donors.
However, leprosy is a vanishing disease and the number of active leprosy victims as on date is less than 1 lakh across the entire country and is further coming down year after year. After the present NDA government came into power, an extensive strategy to identify and treat leprosy at an early stage has been implemented and met with great success.
But in the web sites of evangelists, the figures are shown in millions! There is an urgent need to ban inflow of FCRA funds to evangelist NGOs for treatment of leprosy victims and their rehabilitation. Only standalone NGOs working exclusively in the area of leprosy should be allowed to get funds from abroad.
Using Distribution of Aid for Conversions
Having raised money from abroad citing healthcare support, the same is used to further the single-minded agenda of the evangelists – conversions to Christianity. Distribution of such aid is made conditional on accepting Christianity or listening to Bible/Gospel meetings each time they are given medical aid or nutrition support. Even under the present Covid-19 crisis, food/rations were given out only after the recipients went through Bible preaching.
This is the worst possible exploitation of human suffering. Even while distributing aid in government run hospitals/premises, evangelists brazenly conduct Bible sessions/Christian prayers. They have neither fear of law nor respect for human dignity. The pictures below are from aid distribution by Advancing Ministries of Gospel (AMG), Chilakaluripeta, Guntur Dist., Andhra Pradesh.
Any natural calamity that leaves a trail of destruction, grief and human tragedy, be it floods, cyclones or earthquakes are God’s gift to evangelist to raise huge money from abroad and use it for their conversion activities. Even Covid-19 has been used to seek funds from abroad by evangelist NGOs. While seeking such aid, evangelical organizations make several false statements such as “denial of aid due to their (Christian faith)”. This shows that those indulging in conversions are obtaining funds by maligning entire country and its democratically elected government. One such example is given here.
Another oft repeated narrative is “severe persecution of Christians especially after the present Hindu nationalist government came to power”. Pictures shown above are typical of this narrative. Unverified stories of brutal attacks on pastors and Christians are regularly mentioned in fund raising speeches, newsletters, Christian radio/TV broadcasts. Huge network of Christian media is ever ready to twist normal crimes as “Christian Persecution”. All these persecution stories are circulated amongst prospective donors and donations sought to counter such persecution.
Aid is provided to the weak and conversion engineered
As against allurements, evangelists regularly resort to invoking the formula of divine displeasure like incurring the wrath of God for idol worship, worship of false gods and Satanic forces to scare people into submission. Of course, all these refer only to Hindu gods and Hindu methods of worship. In their fund-raising speeches abroad, Indian evangelists and their foreign counterparts regularly refer to “unsaved people destined to land in hell”, “dark people”, hell-bound sinners incurring the wrath of Satan worshipping cows, monkeys, stones trees, frogs – all derogatory references to Hindu worship practices. Prospective donors are made to believe that their donations help people reach heaven by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal saviour and salvation from original sin.
Prospective converts back in India are told “you are destined to hell” and the only way to avoid eternal hell fire is to convert to Christianity. Those who are disillusioned after being converted and want to return to their original faith are also threatened with “incurring the wrath of God” and discouraged from doing so. Though threatening people with wrath of god is a crime under section 508 of the Indian Penal Code, those indulging in conversions through this route don’t bother about violations of law.
CHRISTIAN CONVERTS DECLARING THEMSELVES AS HINDU-SC TO CORNER BENEFITS
Disastrous impact of conversions on national integration, social and religious harmony have already been experienced across the country. Converts to Christianity are concealing their change of religion and continue to declare themselves as Hindus to make use of the Constitutional benefit of reservations in jobs/educational institutions and other benefits available to SC/OBCs.
The situation is alarming in states like Andhra Pradesh where it is estimated that 20% of the population has converted to Christianity but officially the percentage of Christians in the state is pegged at 1.40%. A study of demographic data over the last 60 years reveals shocking facts. While there is a huge jump in number of churches per village/town and high level of evangelist activity is visible, the Christian population of Guntur district has come down from 4.15 lakhs in 1961 to 0.89 lakhs in 2011.
Where have all the Christians vanished? A study of changes in the Scheduled caste population of the same district gives a clue. The percentage of SCs in total population of Guntur district in 1961 was 5.24 which shot up to 19.59 % in 2011. The inescapable conclusion is that existing Christians have declared themselves as SC’s between 1961-2011. Thus, genuine SCs are the biggest victims of this massive conversions to Christianity in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
There is unmistakable proof of urgent need to take appropriate legislative/administrative steps to regulate religious conversions. While several states have passed “Freedom of Religion Act”, a lot more needs to be done. There is an urgent need for enacting such a law at the national level. In particular such a law should:
Define clearly who is a Hindu, Christian or Muslim.
When conversion is deemed to have taken place from one religion to another religion.
Otherwise, we will have only “Hindus who believe in Jesus Christ and attend church” and no Christian population at all on record. The financial clout and intentions of one religion cannot be allowed to destroy another religion and the socio-cultural identity that defined a nation for thousands of years.
(LRPF is a Hyderabad based legal advocacy group. E-Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org)