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Bush’s Conversion Agenda for India: Preparing for the harvest …

Author: VK Shashikumar
Publication: Tehelka
Date: February 2004

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A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. Well-funded, superbly networked, backed by the highest of the land, seized of its moral supremacy, it has India as one of its key targets, reveals VK Shashikumar in a disturbing exposé

This could be the plot of a fevered thriller. A jingoistic president, multi-million dollar corporations, high technology, a grand if furtive mission, networks spanning the globe, and biblical invocations.

Only it’s real. And its got India in its crosshair.

Religious expansionism has not witnessed this scale, scope, and state resources in a long time. Detailed investigations by Tehelka reveal that American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated and strategised religious conversion plan. The operation was launched in the early 1990s but really came into its own after George W Bush Jr, an avowed born-again Christian, became president of the United States in 2001. Since then, aggressive evangelists have found pro-active support from the new administration in their efforts to convert some sections of Indian society to Christianity. At the heart of this complex and sophisticated operation is a simple strategy-convert locals and then give them the know-how and money to plant their own churches and multiply.

Around the time that Bush Jr moved into the Oval office, a worldwide conversion movement, funded and effected by American evangelical groups, was peaking in India. The movement, which began as AD2000 & Beyond and later morphed into Joshua Project I and Joshua Project II, was designed to be a sledgehammer-a breathtaking, decade-long steamroller of a campaign that would set the stage for a systematic, sophisticated and self-sustaining “harvest” of the “unreached people groups” in India in the 21st century. It was just as the operation was taking off that the script changed. Much to the delight of American evangelicals, one of their own, George Bush Jr, became the occupant of the White House.

In a major policy decision taken very early into his presidency, Bush, on January 29, 2001, unveiled a “faith based” social service initiative that included a new White House office to promote government aid to churches and Christian faith-based organisations. This, in effect, threw the massive weight of the federal government behind religious groups and religious conversions. The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was set up in the White House in the first week of February 2002 and a man called Jim Towey was appointed director. (A snap introduction to Towey: he was the legal counsel to Mother Teresa in the late 1980s.)

Though Bush’s initiative to fund “salvation and religious conversion” is stalled in the Congress over constitutional and civil rights concerns, he has pushed for its implementation through executive orders.

White House-Christian Coalition nexus

The American press is replete with reports on Bush’s largesse to faith-based organisations. They say it’s his “return gift” to the Christian Right for having loyally supported his presidential campaign. The Christian Coalition, founded by American TV evangelist and head of the multi-billion Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Pat Robertson, played a crucial role in the 2000 election. Recently, in his TV programme, Club 700, broadcast on CBN, Robertson created a stir by announcing that he is confident Bush will win the 2004 election in a “blowout” because God has told him so.

Indeed, Bush is keen to retain what we call the votebank and Americans ‘the base’. After all, the Far Right Christian evangelists have also been the most loyal backers of his hardline militarism in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

But there is another, perhaps more important, reason why Bush is keen on supporting his evangelist friends who run huge transnational missionary organisations (TMOs). In the decade 1990-2000 they ran a global intelligence operation so complex and sophisticated that its scale and implications are no less than staggering. This operation has put in place a system which enables the US government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse. This network in India, established with funding and strategic assistance from US-based TMOs, gives US intelligence agencies virtually real time access to every nook and corner of the country. (See ‘List of TMOs Active in India’)

Since Bush’s ascendancy to the presidency this network of networks has multiplied rapidly in India. Bush supports conversion in India because he supports those American TMOs who fund and strategise conversion activities in this country. Organisations like the International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Aid, World Vision, Seventh Day Adventist Church and multi-billion enterprises run by evangelists like Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and Roger Houtsma, amongst many others, were instrumental in running a coordinated conversion campaign in India under the banner of AD2000. These later became the Joshua Project and when the decade-long movement officially closed down in March 2001, Joshua Project II was launched to sustain conversions and intelligence-gathering. Graham’s TMO, Billy Graham Evangelist Association, supports conversion activities in Gurgaon, Haryana, and Kolkata.

When AD2000 was conceived for India, the plan was based on a military model with the intent to invade, occupy, control, or subjugate its population. It was based on solid intelligence emanating from the ground and well-researched information on various facets of selected people groups. The idea was to send out spying missions to source micro details on religion and culture. The social and economic divisions in the various Indian communities were closely examined. Given the oppressive and institutionalised caste system in the Hindu society, American evangelical strategists chalked out plans for reaching these various “unmixable” caste groups. The many faultlines running through the country-divisions in terms of ethnicity, caste, creed, language and class-were all factored in during the generation of ethnographic data.

North India was designated the core target of American evangelists. It was described as the “core of the core of the core” of a worldwide evangelical movement conceived by fundamentalist American missionaries. This movement that took shape over the 1990s, has now taken off because of a unique collaboration between the American government and US-based evangelical mission agencies. In the 1990s this movement was shaped by the World Evangelical Fellowship (an international alliance of national evangelical alliances), working with the AD2000 movement. It brought together a wide variety of individuals and organisations, under the single goal of achieving “a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000.” Its focus was missionary mobilisation and church planting in India and other regions of the world where the Christian population was negligible. This movement was also a massive intelligence gathering exercise funded and supported by American missionary organisations that were responsible for the election of George W Bush.

Global evangelism plans

AD2000 first attracted attention at a convention of international evangelical missions called Lausanne II in Manila in 1989. The movement then spread rapidly around the globe to help catalyse evangelism. The strategy behind the movement was to establish pioneering global partnerships to eventually provide a church within every “unreached people group”. Ralph Winter, founder of the US Center for World Mission, characterised the movement as “the largest, most pervasive global evangelical network ever to exist.”

This movement, spearheaded by Luis Bush from the movement’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, US, was planned for large conversion of people living within the “10/40 Window”. Incidentally, Billy Graham, a Christian fundamentalist and rabid evangelist, who was responsible for George W’s “born again” Christian status and whom the president considers as his godfather was the honorary co-chairman of the AD 2000 movement.

The 10/40 window is the rectangular area comprising parts of North Africa and large parts of Asia between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude where 95 percent of the world’s “least evangelised poor are found.” AD 2000 movement mobilised and funded evangelical operations in India. Further, they sponsored the May 17-25, 1995, Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE) in Seoul, South Korea, where nearly 4,000 Christian leaders from 186 countries, including India, gathered to draw up secret and covert evangelical plans. Many American evangelists now describe GCOWE, Seoul, as “the most strategic Christian gathering in history.” That year also saw the transformation of the movement to a higher plane in the name of Joshua Project.

The first GCOWE consultation was held in Singapore in 1989. The first five years of the decade (1990-2000) were the years of seeding the clouds with the vision of a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000. This involved the building of a new kind of partnering relationships, a grassroots networking structure…a “network of networks.”

While AD2000 spied out the land and its inhabitants to get an accurate picture of opportunities and challenges for conversion activities in India, they also framed subversive strategies to implement their plans. Concepts like PLUG, PREM and NICE were conceived. PLUG refers to the target group-people in every language, urban centre and geographic division. PREM refers to the techniques to use-prayer, research, evangelisation and mobilisation. NICE refers to how the work is to be done-networking, taking initiative, and using an evangelist to spur existing groups and cohorts in their efforts to convert people to Christianity.

Local networks

For Indian evangelical groups, access to American technology meant faster and more secure communication with their patrons. And, of course, the availability of the Bible in local languages, In fact, in today’s India, the Bible is available in almost all languages and dialects. If the translation of the Bible was a symbol of huge transnational exercise, the massive distribution of gospel literature was nothing less than a distribution marvel. In India, a coordinated gospel literature distribution exercise was staged to reach 600,000 villages by the end of 2000. Finally, American evangelical organisations that also run cash-rich television channels pumped in money to buy slots on Indian television networks. In fact, Pat Robertson, who recently stepped down as the chairman of the Christian Coalition and the owner of the CBN set up a studio in Hyderabad to help Indian evangelicals minister through television programmes. These programmes are broadcast on various networks in India where CBN buys time.

The Joshua Project, started by a splinter group of CBN, was also a large-scale intelligence operation that brought together American strategists, theologists, missionary specialists, demographers, technologists, sociologists, anthropologists and researchers to create the most comprehensive people group profiles in the 10/40 Window. In fact, the ethno-linguistic profiling of the people groups in India, probably, cannot even be matched by data with the government of India. The logic behind this massive intelligence gathering operation was to “make a priority of establishing as a minimum, a pioneer church-planting movement within every ethno-linguistic people of over 10,000 individuals by December 31, 2000.”

The launch of the Joshua Project in the mid-1990s resulted in scores of American research teams arriving in India to lay preliminary roadmaps for the church-planting mission. Everyone came on tourist visas and, on their arrival in India, their respective mission partners took them in. This partnership with Indian researchers resulted in the production of enormous field data on various people groups in the country. This, in turn, led to the identification of areas and regions where evangelical activities could be carried out in a focused and methodical manner.

Joshua Project II is a continuation and expansion of the original plan. Its professed aim is to “highlight all the least-reached peoples (non-Christian) of the world and to help build ministry networks and partnerships focusing on these people.” The constant research and updating of ethnographic data from India should ring alarm bells within the intelligence agencies in India. In fact, the project maintains its “peoples lists” in cooperation with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptists, as will be seen later, have traditionally worked hand-in-glove with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). India’s ethno-cultural data collected by the project is categorised by them as ‘Security Level 2’ because there is a danger to Indian and foreign missionaries if data relating to their conversion activities is made public.

The main target: India

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Map from the Joshua Project of the Adi Karnataka ethnic group, one of the most heavily targetted groups in India.

As part of AD2000, Christian organisations in most countries, including India, had an embarked on an ambitious National AD2000 Initiative. In India the Evangelical Fellowship of India was central to the fulfillment of the goals set by this initiative. According to the founders of AD2000 (and that includes Bush’s pal Billy Graham) north India is the ‘kairos’, the key. India is where the era of modern missionary effort began nearly 200 years ago with the arrival of William Carey, the father of modern evangelical missions. However, the nine north and central Indian states of Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were considered areas of immense strategic importance for the following reasons:

The Gangetic belt is one of the most heavily populated regions of the world. Forty percent of the Indian population lives here; New Delhi is the capital and centre of political power in India;

It is the most socially deprived area of India (the Hindi belt has a literacy rate of 30 percent, infant mortality is double the national average and the government of India officially designates four of these states as BIMARU (sick));

This area of India is known as the heartland of Hinduism, a religion that boasts of some 33 million gods; and It has the smallest Christian presence in all of India. According to the 1991 census, the Christian population of North India is 0.5 percent of the total population.

Clearly, north India was strategically important for the missionaries. What made things easier for them was the new buoyancy in India-US relations. Therefore, it was open to researchers and their research plans. Billy Graham and his ilk openly admit that they dispatched spying missions to India. “Just as Joshua sent out the spies to survey the land and report on its condition before the children of Israel moved out in obedience to God’s command, many more missionaries and Christian workers are finding research information invaluable in laying their plans,” say the AD2000 and Beyond Movement documents. Over the past eight years, tremendous energies and resources have been spent on spying out the land and its inhabitants.

The India Missions Association (IMA) in partnership with Gospel for Asia, another big American missionary outfit, researched and published very informative and accurate books that unraveled the intricate mosaic that is India. Some of those books are in Tehelka’s possession. One of the big achievements of the Chennai-based IMA was conducting a detailed India-wide PIN code survey. India’s postal service is one of the world’s largest and it is important to understand why American mission agencies picked on India’s postal system to devise their covert conversion strategy. The Indian postal system has a network of 1,52,786 post offices-89 percent of them in villages, which means one post office for 23.12 sq. km of rural land and one for every 3.16 sq. km of urban stretch, or one for a village with 4,612 people or one for 12,924 people in a town or city.

PIN-code theory

The 6-digit PIN code introduced in August 1972, identifies and locates every departmental delivery office. The first digit represents the zone, the second the sub-zone, the third digit shows the postal sorting district, the fourth digit indicates the mail route and the last two digits indicate the specific post office of destination in that zone. For this purpose the country has been divided into eight zones and each region in each zone has been assigned a particular postal circle in the first two digits of a PIN code. The Delhi circle, for instance, is 11. The digits 45 to 49 represent the Madhya Pradesh circle and 60 to 64 are for the Tamil Nadu circle.

This neat division of India through the postal codes is seen as a boon for strategising missionary work, coding the data emerging from the field and flowing it back to missionaries on the job. Given below are a few way in which pincodes have helped evangelical work:

There is no easier way of locating workers than attaching pincodes to them Media contacts can be linked easily with workers Sorting “harvest forces” and mailing lists is easyThe codes make distribution of gospel literature faster and easier Urban areas have more postal codes than rural areas. This helps in planning effectively to plant churches in each area.

To really come to grips with the implications of IMA’s PIN-code theory one has to understand the ‘Joshua Project II Data Background’. The report of the Joshua Project II is self-explanatory: “Joshua Project II provides a “blue-print” of the unfinished task of world evangelisation. It came out of the process of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement focusing on a list of approximately 2000 people groups that most need a church planting movement. The peoples listed here are over 10,000 in population and less than two percent Evangelical and less than five percent Christian adherent. Data has been compiled from many sources including: Southern Baptist Convention, Operation World, Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse, US Center for World Mission and the AD2000 movement.

“The mission of Joshua Project II is to highlight the peoples of the world who have the least exposure to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Joshua Project II seeks to accomplish this through information sharing and networking… the mission of the Joshua Project is threefold.

  1. First, to gather, manage and distribute strategic population, progress indicator and ministry activity information to maximise the visibility of the least-reached peoples to the Church. The goal is a comprehensive, accurate, validated, public ally available list of all the ethno-cultural people groups of the world.
  2. Second, to be a least-reached peoples networking resource to the Christian mission community.
  3. Third, to enhance the flow of information between Great Commission organisations by using standardised data coding.”

In India’s case this “standardised data coding” has been married to IMA’s survey. This has been used to such a degree that even the diverse language groups of India have been divided into PIN codes. The ability to send evangelists that are familiar to language and culture greatly facilitates the speed at which conversion can happen. It is also cost effective since tactics can be formed at home base. This also enables any Christian missionary organisation anywhere in the world to source any ethno-cultural or ethno-linguistic data on India at the click of the mouse. So let’s say if one of Bush’s Christian evangelical cronies wants to check out which missionary organisation is working with the Banjaras in Nalgonda, Khammam and Krishna districts in Andhra Pradesh, all he has to do is plug into this highly guarded database. It will tell him how many Banjaras were converted to Christianity over a specified period, the names of Indian Christian researchers working in community and which evangelical ministry coordinating the exercise of “saving souls”. Just about any detail he wants is available on demand. Obviously, it flows the other way as well. So assuming that somebody at the CIA headquarters wants information on a particular district or region all that needs to be done is to call up Bush’s mentor Rev Billy Graham. Graham will in turn log into databases maintained by a network of American Evangelical Missions. All this can happen in seconds and this is how technology has made evangelical activities so potentially dangerous.

Laptop evangelists

Latest cutting-edge web technologies are used to keep in touch with various “unreached people groups” through key local interlocutors. They also track on a regular basis status indicators like number of evangelists working within a people group, the number of Christian adherents, church growth and mission agency progress indicators. All this information is then used to “promote networking and partnerships focusing on least-reached peoples in order to promote the flow of strategic ministry activity information between individuals, churches, denominations and mission agencies.

Tehelka’s undercover operation managed to set up networking contacts with the Joshua II project. Evidence of the meticulous nature of this data is available with Tehelka. The amazing network that has been established can be illustrated with the following anecdote. B Shreeprakash and B Jayaprakash from Kayamkulam, Kerala, came across the December 1998 issue of the National Missionary Intelligencer published by The National Missionary Society of India, Royappettah, Chennai, while waiting for an appointment with a doctor. That sparked off an amateur investigation exercise, the contents of which were put down in their report titled ‘Conversions in India’. Here’s an extract:

“As part of this work, an address namely, ‘Workers Together’ in US was contacted. To my surprise, a pastor of the Brethren Church, contacted me from my own town, his residence was only 1km away from that of mine. He called me over telephone and invited me for a personal meeting. On visiting his house, he handed over to me an oxford Edition of the Bible, printed in New York, and a few booklets and pamphlets. What astonished me was, that the pastor had with him, a copy of letter which I had sent to US. On enquiring about how the nearness of my residence with that of the Pastor was understood by the party at Bangalore, he showed me an official directory of the list of the evangelicals working in India, with their family photographs and complete details arranged in order of PIN codes. Another directory of their worldwide network was also shown to me.”

There cannot, perhaps, be a better example to understand the effects of marrying the IMA’s survey with Joshua Project’s database. The message is this-an American missionary agency will go to any length even if it means converting just one person. A letter written to an agency in the US is re-directed immediately to Bangalore and the agency in Bangalore in turn tracks down the nearest evangelist and directs him to take upon the task of ministering the gospel to the newest seeker. In fact, the mission goal of IMA, according to its general secretary, Ebenezer Sunder Raj, is: “We need a church within cycling distance, then within walking distance and finally within hearing distance.” The Church growth figures that are with Tehelka clearly indicate that this mission mandate is on in full swing.

Data on India: the CIA connection

The “spying out” missions that generated the vast ethnographic data of the Indian people also involved detailed study of Dr KS Singh’s ‘People of India Project’ that was launched in 1985 by the Anthropological Society of India (ASI). Under Singh’s leadership, the ASI undertook an ambitious project to chart one of the most far-reaching ethnographic studies in the 20th century. Five hundred scholars spent over 26,000 field days to compile information for these volumes. This gigantic research work came handy for American and Indian strategists to draft their evangelical plans for India. According to Luis Bush, “Never before has this kind of information on India been so carefully surveyed, prepared, well published and distributed…We do not believe it is accidental. God is allowing us to “spy out the land” that we might go in and claim both it and its inhabitants for Him.”

The data collected by experts from Wycliffe/Summer Institute of Linguistics, World Vision (WV) and the International Mission Board/Southern Baptists to compile the Joshua Project Peoples list included a detailed and comprehensive list of the people groups in India as well. Though this may appear normal international research activity – generating ethnographic profiles of non-Christian people groups in the 10/40 window – there are unseen dangers inherent in the compilation of such accurate people-group profiles.

The CIA has publicly admitted to having used Wycliffe/SIL and the Southern Baptists for covert intelligence operations in many parts of the world. The cosy relationship between the Wycliffe and CIA is documented exhaustively in a book Thy Will Be Done written in the 1990s by Gerald Colby and Charlotte Dennett. The book documents joint CIA-Wycliffe missions to source anthropological data from Latin America. Here’s a quote from the book: “SIL had helped gather anthropological information on the Tarascan Indians that ended up in Nelson Rockefeller’s intelligence files. The files contained cross-references to reveal behavioural patterns among Indian peoples in everything from socialisation (including aggressive tendencies) and personality traits, drives, emotions, and language structure, to political intrigue, kinship ties, traditional authority, mineral resources, exploitation, and labor relations. Rockefeller called these data the Strategic Index of Latin America.” The question that will rattle not only the Indian government, but also outrage the Indian citizens is whether the American-funded “spying missions” carried out by Indian and foreign missionary agencies through more than a decade has resulted in the preparation of a ‘Strategic Index of India’ at the CIA headquarters?

Wycliffe, the Southern Baptists and World Vision have all been active in India as well. Could it be mere coincidence that Southern Baptists who are amongst President Bush’s most loyal supporters, played an active role in the “spying out” missions? In fact, Colby and Dennett’s book features a missionary of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, William Carlsen, who admits that he gave an eight-hour briefing to the CIA on Thailand’s tribal areas. In the mid-1970s when the CIA’s penetration of American missionary agencies made international headlines, the agency passed a self-limiting executive order to refrain from using foreign missionaries for intelligence gathering operations. Incidentally, it was George Bush Sr who in his first action as the new CIA director declared on February 11, 1976, that he would ban the practice of enlisting “clergymen and newsmen as intelligence agents.” But this was just public grandstanding, doublespeak to save the CIA not only from embarrassment, but protect its operations in Latin American countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. As soon as this announcement was made the CIA granted itself a private waiver. This was confirmed in April 1996 when the then CIA director, John Deutch, testifying before a Senate intelligence committee, said that the agency could waive the ban in cases “unique and special threats to national security.”

Faith-based policies of White House

Surprisingly, Bush’s supporters like the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), made laborious protests then to condemn the collaboration between missionaries and the intelligence agency. “Any foreigner living in a foreign culture already comes under a natural suspicion. If this policy is reversed, it would totally erode the ministry of missionaries,” said Jerry Rankin, the then president of the Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board. In effect, this amounted to a plea to the CIA to keep their most well publicized (and hardly noticed) secret guarded!! The very fact that CIA has been courting religious missionaries in India and elsewhere is testimony to the fact that US funded evangelical missions have an unparalleled reach to the remotest corners of the country. Christianity Today in its issue of April 29, 1996, carried the following comment by the NAE President Don Argue: “For intelligence agencies to seek any relationship whatsoever with our religious workers must be unequivocally prohibited.”

Yet, as recently as January 15, on a visit to the Union Bethel AME Church in New Orleans (this is a predominantly African-American congregation) Bush touted his faith-based initiatives. These initiatives are designed to break the constitutional sanctity of the separation of the State and the Church. Bush is desperate to entangle and enmesh faith-based organization as providers of various services. The Americans United For Separation of Church and State and some other inter-faith organisations have challenged the Bush plan for religious conversions. Americans United, founded in 1947, is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, DC. But, the Bush administration has relentlessly pushed its religious agenda. It has now become inextricably linked with not only its social services policies domestically, but also with US foreign policy and the disbursal of aid to US-based TMOs. “President Bush shows little appreciation or understanding of the separation of church and state. Bush is closely aligned with ultra-conservative Christian groups that have opposed church-state separation for years. It is obvious they have great influence over his domestic and foreign policy agendas,” Rob Boston, assistant director of communications, Americans United, told Tehelka.

These TMOs, themselves have been instrumental in influencing the faith-based policies of the Bush administration in the first place. Therefore, they in turn, by virtue of being Bush loyalists have carried the ‘Bush Religious Agenda’ to other countries, including India. While within the US this agenda “strikes at the heart of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment” of the US constitution, in the rest of the world, specially, India, it has vitally subverted its security and integrity. “The Religious Right organisations and fundamentalist Protestants groups have way too much influence over the Bush administration. Sadly, many Americans do not follow foreign policy decisions (with the exception of the war in Iraq) and are either not aware of what is happening or, more often, simply do not care. As a result, we are on the verge of dismantling the wall of separation of church and state in America-a policy that, if enacted, is bound to have negative repercussions around the world as fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity increasingly become the basis for foreign policy,” said Boston.

Crusade in India

India is key to the Bush religious agenda. His government has given grants to Christian charities that are involved in conversion activities in India. On October 3, 2002, the US department of health and human services announced that television evangelist, Pat Robertson’s charity, Operation Blessing, would be given demonstration grants through the so-called Compassion Capital Fund. Robertson’s organisation and the other “intermediaries” were free to distribute this federal grant (essentially American tax payers’ money) to religious groups and community groups of their choice to provide social services. In other words, there was no restriction on how the federal grants were to be used. In an interview to Newsweek three years ago Robertson said, “I’ve got 10 good years left,” and “my heart is on missions, and on getting people into the kingdom of God. That’s the main thrust of my life.” In the same interview, Robertson recalled fondly a recent crusade in India: “I spoke to a crowd of 500,000 people!” he said. “Eighty-two acres of people! The response was overwhelming.” Robertson’s Operation Blessing is very active in India through CBN India headquartered at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad.

Incidentally, Robertson deftly defrauded the Indian government because Indian laws do not permit issuance of visas to Christian missionaries. In response to an unstirred question (NO. 969) in the Lok Sabha on February 27, 2001 the minister of state for home , Vidyasagar Rao, responded that “no new missionaries are allowed after 1984. However, short term visas are being issued to the foreigners who are coming only in administrative capacity, to review working of their organisations etc.” Certainly, Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition in the US and head of the multi-million Christian Broadcasting Network, might have had “administrative” reasons to travel to India. But he, surely, did not have either the permission or the right to evangelise.

The Indian government has been caught napping. Rev Bush, head of a decade-long global evangelisation programme, visited India in January 2003. He was a guest of the Evangelical Fellowship of India and presumably traveled to India on a tourist visa. In the early years of 2000, many evangelists entered India fraudulently. Amongst them were extremist Christians like Don Noble, president of Maranatha Volunteers International affiliated to a fundamentalist Christian group, the Seventh Day Adventists and Pastor Michael Ryan, director of Global Mission, the Seventh Day Adventist church’s international outreach department which co-ordinates India evangelistic initiative. The US state department website makes no bones about the fact that American evangelists enter India by employing fraudulent means.

In the context of the fact that Robertson is one of America’s most rabid Christian fundamentalists, Bush’s largesse to him certainly has implications for India. In an interview broadcast on his own TV channel this is what Robertson had to say on one of the religions followed in India: “Hinduism and many of the occult activities that come out of the Orient are inspired by demons and demon worship…There’s this concept that all religions are the same and all are good. That is not true. The worship of the Devil is not good.” Robertson’s friend and fellow evangelist, Jerry Falwell, also a TV preacher, ignited anti-American violence across many countries in November 2002 when he called the Prophet Mohammad a “terrorist” on American television. In Jammu and Kashmir, Falwell’s emarks were published in local newspaper. As word spread protestors spilled out into the street pelting stones and shouting anti-American slogans.

The Oval Office centre

According to Americans United, “Robertson’s Operation Blessing, a $66 million-a-year agency, also has a controversial history…The controversy over Operation Blessing stretches back to 1994, when Robertson used his ‘700 Club’ daily cable television programme to raise funds for the charity. Robertson told viewers Operation Blessing was using cargo planes to aid refugees from Rwanda who had fled into the neighbouring nation of Zaire (now known as Congo) to escape a violent civil war…In fact, Robertson was using his planes to haul mining equipment in and out of Zaire for African Development Corporation, his for-profit diamond mining company.”

Incidentally, Robertson sought the Republican nomination for president in 1988 and later founded the Christian Coalition, a political group that has worked tirelessly to elect Republicans to public offices nationwide. Bush’s presidential election victory has been, by far, the coalition’s biggest success till date. After having installed a Christian fundamentalist as the President of America, Robertson stepped down as the president of the Christian Coalition in December 2001. The Washington Post, in a dispatch on December 24, 2001 noted that the religious right had found its “center in Oval office”. The writer of this dispatch, Diana Milbank wrote, “A procession of religious leaders who have met with him testify to his faith, while Websites encourage people to fast and pray for the president.”

For American evangelicals, Bush is “God’s man at this hour”. The Bush administration’s faith based initiatives-‘charitable choice’ as it is often called-was one of his key campaign planks during the 2000 presidential campaign. In fact, as Texas governor, Bush had become a fervent advocate of this policy that enabled Christian religious organisations to evangelise while providing publicly financed service.

As president, Bush has expanded the ‘charitable choice’ approach to virtually all aspects of government aid-national and foreign. “In every instance when my administration sees a responsibility to help people, we will look first to faith-based institutions, to charities and to community groups that have shown their ability to save and change lives,” Bush told a rally in Indianapolis on July 22, 1999. Evangelists all over the world were and still continue to be happy with the language used by Bush, full of Biblical references and metaphors, as it is. “Saving Souls” is a common and often-used expression by evangelists all over the world to refer to religious conversion.

Exploiting the AIDS victims

On September 21, 2000, Bush wrote in USA Today that he would allocate $80 billion over 10 years in tax incentives to help churches (in America) provide social services. The US government has established an unparalleled partnership with Christian religious organisations. In the last week of September 2003, the US administration announced new rules enabling Christian religious institutions to access $20 billion worth of federal grants. Faith-based organisations can access and use this fund to deliver services from drug/alcohol de-addiction to prison reform to HIV/AIDS related care and support activities. The idea, of course, is to give opportunities to those who suffer to be “reborn”, just as Bush was after years of alcohol addiction.

Even though the Bush administration has denied that its initiatives support evangelical activities, the fact is that faith-based organisation use prayer and proselytising as an integral part of its provision of social services. After all, Bush has often cited his own “reborn” status to justify the interventions of faith based organisation in the social sector. In his autobiography, A Charge To Keep, itself a twist on a well-known hymn, Bush wrote that evangelist Billy Graham had “planted a mustard seed in my heart, and I started to change… It was the beginning of a new walk where I would recommit my heart to Jesus Christ.”

Bush has repeatedly singled out and praised faith-based organisations whose core philosophy is conversion while dispensing social services. During last year’s State of the Union speech his invited guests were Tonja Myles of the ‘Set Free Indeed Program’ at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Henry Lozano of Teen Challenge, California. Both programmes use religious conversion as treatment. Within the US, Bush’s praise for religious conversion programmes has raised concerns as well. Early into the Bush presidency, the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the US, made it plain that the president’s faith-based initiatives were essentially about conversion. In a press release on June 14, 2001, a representative of the Methodist Church, Rev. Eliezer Valentin Castanon, said: “No one can honestly believe that a program funded with tax dollars, which requires as a major component of treatment the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, will not advance religion.”

One faith-based programme that Bush goes gaga about is the prison-based InnerChange Freedom Initiative started by Charles Colson. Incidentally, Colson was one of the characters from the Watergate episode; he spent seven months in prison for obstructing justice in a one of the Watergate cases. “InnerChange is an intensive Bible-centered program, ostensibly open to inmates of all religious persuasions, but every month inmates are evaluated on whether they “demonstrate a belief in Jesus Christ,” wrote Robyn E Blumner, perspective columnist of the St Petersburg Times, on September 28, 2003. “Those inmates who fail to show the proper level of piety are removed and lose the special freedoms and privileges dangled before inmates as incentives to participate,” he added. Bush introduced InnerChange into the Texas prison system when he was governor. At present it operates in four states and the Bush government subsidises its conversion activities with the American tax-payers’ money.

What underlies all this is that the Bush administration’s conservative evangelical worldview has proliferated to countries like India. Here the Church and Christian NGOs have been involved for a long time in the provision of voluntary social service. But churches and Christian NGOs in India and the trans-national (read American) faith-based NGOs who have a large presence in India have gleefully responded to the message emanating from the White House. Bush’s support for religious conversion has happened on the persuasive power of the dollar. It is safe to say that almost all evangelical organisations in India and non-Catholic churches and the Christian NGOs get their funding from their American patrons or from USAID. These groups, like CARE or World Vision tend to Christian social workers and consciously infuse Christian religiosity as part of the help they provide to socially and economically marginalised communities.

Holistic development tactics

World Vision, the world’s largest Christian church mission agency, has traditionally been closely linked with successive American governments. The former US Ambassador for International Religious Freedoms, Dr Robert Seiple, was WV chief for 11 years till 1998 when he was picked by former president, Bill Clinton, to head the office of International Religious Freedoms. Around the period when Seiple was the president of WV, its vice-president from 1993 to 1998 was Andrew S. Natsios. He is now the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). For more than 40 years, USAID has been the leading government agency providing economic and humanitarian assistance to developing countries.

WV’s focus is children and community development. It is involved in more than 162 projects in 25 states. It projects its community development programmes as “holistic development”. This is implemented through Area Development Programmes (ADP). Each ADP works in an area that is contiguous geographically, economically or ethnically. These programmes provide access to clean drinking water, healthcare, education and setting up of income generating projects. But infused with such development works is the spiritual component-Bible classes.

In India, WV projects itself as a “Christian relief and development agency with more than 40 years experience in working with the poorest of the poor in India without respect to race, region, religion, gender or caste.” However, Tehelka has in its possession US-based WV Inc.’s financial statement filed before the Internal Revenue Service, wherein, it is classified as a Church ministry. In any case, its mission statement is self-explanatory: “World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in working with the poor and oppressed, to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the Good News of the Kingdom of God.”

Though, WV, has consultative status with UNESCO and partnerships with UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and ILO, the fact is that its financial records reveal that it has funded evangelical activities all over the world, including India. WV uses its international clout and its close links with the US government through USAID to network with governments and corporate entities in the developing world.

WV has an ongoing channel of interaction with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII); its 2003 financial report it states that “the Rural Development Department of the Government of Assam recognised WV India as a leading development agency in the state and has recommended that WV be the choice for receiving bilateral funds. The government has also sought WV’s assistance in creating a proposal for US$ 80 million for development work in the state.”

The income and expenditure account for the year ended September 30, 2002 shows that its total income was Rs 95.5 crores, which included foreign contribution of Rs 87.8 crores. For an organisation that claims to be only involved in development and relief work, it is quite stealthy about its positioning and exact nature of activities. When approached by Tehelka as part of its undercover operation for an interview, WV India’s national director, Dr Jayakumar Christian, after having agreed to the interview backed out because he wanted copies of the fictitious Christian magazine that Tehelka claimed to be representing.

However, what goes unnoticed by the governments and the corporate world is WV India’s evangelical missions as part of its development agenda. Proselytisation is an integral part of its provision of development services under its much-touted ADP programmes. Though none of the literature published by WV India even mentions its evangelisation missions, foreign publications of WV India proudly proclaim its “spiritual” component.

Take for instance, WV New Zealand’s report (4 September 2002) on the funding of ADP in Dahod, Gujarat. Under the head, ‘spiritual development’ the report states: “Held a vacation Bible school for 150 children from different villages. The children participated in games, Bible quizzes, drama and other activities. Organised a one-day spiritual retreat for 40 young people and a children’s Christmas party. Each of Dahod’s 45 villages chose five needy children to attend the party.” In Dumaria, Banka district, eastern Bihar, “the ADP supports local churches by running leadership-training courses for pastors and church leaders.”

What has an ADP got to do with running leadership-training courses for pastors and church leaders? Incidentally, WV New Zealand funds ADP programmes in the tribal pockets of India. The New Zealand Government’s Voluntary Agencies Support Scheme (VASS) jointly fund the two-year project, the NZ government matching WV contributions on a 2:1 basis. There are many other instances of evangelical programmes run by WV India.

In the Gajapati ADP, situated in Gumma Block of Orissa’s Gajapati district, a WV report admits that “Canadian missionaries have worked in the area for just over 50 years and today 85-90 percent of the community is Christian. However, local church leaders had little understanding of the importance of their role in community development. ADP staff build relationships with these leaders to improve church co-operation and participation in development initiatives.” Here WV organised two training camps for local church leaders in holistic development.

Targeting the tribals

In Mayurbhanj, again in Orissa, WV regularly organises spiritual development programmes as part of its ADP package. The WV report says: “Opposition to Christian workers and organisations flares up occasionally in this area, generally from those with vested interests in tribal people remaining illiterate and powerless. WV supports local churches by organising leadership courses for pastors and church leaders.”

WV India is active in Bhil tribal areas and openly admits its evangelical intentions: “The Bhil people worship ancestral spirits but also celebrate all the Hindu festivals. Their superstitions about evil spirits make them suspicious of change, which hinders community development. ADP staff live among the Bhil people they work with, gaining the villagers’ trust and showing their Christian love for the people by their actions and commitment.”

This being the case it is not suprising that WV India was honoured with the 2003 Mahatma Gandhi Award for Social Justice. This award is hosted by the All India Christian Council. Incidentally, Joseph D’Souza who was AICC’s President during that year also heads an evangelical network, Operation Mobilisation, in India. OM, again, is an American TMO. It was founded by Georg Verwer and today is a global ministry “committed to working in partnership with churches and other Christian organisations for the purpose of World mission.”

Essentially, Bush has sparked off a theological fight between those Christian organisations who believe that their expression of faith is serving the marginalised, dispossessed and hungry in a non-sectarian way and the others who believe that the only way to bring change and reform is by Bible thumping. Unfortunately, the Bible thumpers are winning and they are being underwritten by the American tax payers.

What they are probably not aware is that missionaries in India’s back of the beyond villages, like Karala, (see box) have been pulled into Bush’s missionary zeal. Sadly, while Pastor Prabhat Nayak is deeply committed to bring the villagers of Karala to Christ, he is unaware that Christian evangelical theology and money doled out by the White House threatens to rip apart the social fabric of India.

The US administration headed by Bush is the most overtly religious in memory. Numerous press reports in America and Europe have highlighted instances where “cabinet meetings start with prayers and where no presidential speech is complete without some statement of Christian faith.” His foreign policy often seems rooted in biblical theology. The world has already seen Christianity vs Islam being played out in the war debate over Iraq. The Christian Right is solidly behind Bush’s Christianity First policy. Richard Land, a key leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, has strongly supported Bush’s faith-based foreign policy. By the way, Land, is a key member of US government’s Committee on International Religious Freedoms.

The Southern Baptists fiercely believe in conversion. Not many would know that people like Land oversee the US International Religious Freedoms report. The 2003 report is a no-nonsense document that conveys the official US policy supporting evangelisation. It openly admits that “US officials have continued to engage state officials on the implementation and reversal of anti-conversion laws.” Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“This act (Foreigners Act) strictly prohibits visitors who are in the country on tourist visas from engaging in religious preaching without first obtaining permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Given this context, the Government discourages foreign missionaries from entering the country and has a policy of expelling foreigners who perform missionary work without the correct visa…New missionaries currently enter as tourists on short-term visas. U.S. citizens accused of religious preaching while visiting India as tourists have faced difficulties obtaining permission to return to the country for up to a decade after the event.”

Christian NGOs in India

The Bush administration’s prescription of religiosity as social policy has gratified the religious Right in the US. The proponents of faith-based initiatives want US government funds to go to those churches and Christian NGOs that consider conversion as part of rehabilitation activities. Since the USAID funds Christian NGOs in India and also since US trans-national Chrisitian NGOs like World Vision and CARE are heavily involved in development initiatives in India, their role in evangelical activities is not a matter of conjecture.

It is, of course, another matter that USAID plays a vital role in intelligence gathering operations for the CIA. President John F Kennedy had established USAID, along with the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress, “all three designed in part to stem the spread of communism.” The link between the CIA and Christian missionary groups is USAID. This is written in great detail in Thy Will Be Done. Here’s a quote again: “…That June, President Nixon’s director of (US) AID, John Hannah, had admitted publicly that AID had funded CIA operations in Laos, and subsequent revelations pointed to CIA-AID collaboration in Ecuador, Uruguay, Thailand and the Phillippines.” In fact, CIA-supported missionaries were embroiled in counter-insurgency operations, civil wars and were more often than not conduits for arms and armaments for Christian insurgent groups all over the world.

Under President Bush’s fundamentalist Christian government, the era of CIA-USAID-Evangelicals partnership has come back with a roar. And a world caught up in “War on Terror” and the search for elusive weapons of mass destruction, has had no time to notice.

In any case, aid dispensed by USAID was hardly meant to spur development. During the Cold War, it was meant to keep the former Soviet Union at bay and to keep afloat, bloated, venal and corrupt regimes all over the world including Saddam’s.

In a research paper titled ‘Bush and Foreign Aid’, for the journal Foreign Affairs (September/October 2003), Steven Radelet, who was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from January 2000 to June 2002 and is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, wrote: “One of the greatest surprises of George W Bush’s presidency so far has been his call to dramatically increase U.S. foreign aid…(in September 2002) Bush released his National Security Strategy, which gave prominence to development and aid alongside defense and diplomacy. Then came his State of the Union address, in which he called for $10 billion in new funding ($ 15 billion total) over the next five years to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.”

Radelet went on to reveal that US foreign aid increase from $11 billion in 2002 to $18 billion in 2006 is the largest increase in decades. This from a Republican president whose party has traditionally demonstrated antagonism toward foreign aid. USAID’s change of fortune is nothing short of miraculous. In the 1990s it almost disappeared into oblivion because US assistance to poor countries declined by 25 percent. September 11 brought the issue of foreign aid back into limelight.

Nothing can illustrate this better than the example of Sudan. This oil rich country has for years been caught in a debilitating and destructive civil war that has pitted a Muslim government centred in the north against the southern Christians. But the recent discovery of oil in Sudan has changed the dynamics of the conflict and, as luck would have it, the oil was struck in the Islamic, northern Sudan. So human rights groups and Christian missionary organisations have been crying themselves hoarse over the “brutal anti-Christian campaign of the Muslim government” and the “persecution of the non-Muslims.” In the same breath Christian fundamentalists like Rev Franklin Graham and Senator Sam Brownback have pressured Bush to assist the rebels. Pressure is also suddenly being mounted internationally and within the US for “diplomatic intervention” to “end the conflict and prevent a disastrous famine” in the country.

And guess who is making the loudest noises about Sudan? Christian Solidarity International. It is working overtime to influence the US Congress and British parliament. Over the last decade, USAID has spent $1.2 billion, most of it to support the SPLA, the Christian rebel group in Southern Sudan. The CIA-USAID-Missionary partnership story in Sudan is completed when the last block of the jigsaw puzzle is put in place-Andrew S Natsios.

Natsios was appointed administrator of USAID on May 1, 2001. But President Bush gave him two other hats to wear as well-special coordinator for international disaster assistance and special humanitarian coordinator for Sudan. Ostensibly, Bush wants to ensure that aid reaches the people of Sudan as opposed to being stolen and misappropriated by the Sudanese government.

The fact that aid deliveries have for so long been stolen by the Christian rebel groups, of course, did not even merit a mention.

Natsios has earlier served in USAID from 1989 to 1993 heading two of its vital departments. It’s a strange co-incidence that during the time when CIA backed American missionary agencies were receiving ethnographic data from “spying missions” set up by American evangelical organisations in India, Natsios was associated with World Vision, which, in turn, was involved in analysing the ethnographic data along with Wycliffe and the Southern Baptists.

Post-9/11 strategy

Under the Bush Presidency, the post-9/11 period has been marked by two key initiatives: support to “frontline countries” that are helping US in its “war on terror” and appear committed to development and humanitarian issues like HIV/AIDS, poverty, and economic inequality. What is striking, however, is that the Bush administration, in its efforts to project US as a “soft power” as opposed to a marauding military superpower, has relied and been influenced disproportionately by faith-based groups and institutions.

And given the fact that Bush administration officials regularly hold consultations with Church groups and leaders, it is not surprising that American evangelical missions have found a deep reservoir of support with the US government for their activities in India and elsewhere.

Related Articles:

Related Links:
Tehelka
The Joshua Project
The Joshua Project – India Profile

Sikh and Destroy

feature_sikh_headerHolding fierce pride in their identity, Sikhs have for decades been seen as “off-limits” by the missionary machine but not anymore. In a alarming trend, evangelism has begun to tread on the Sikh faith as well.

Every aspect of Punjabi society is being overwhelmed with this new wave of assertive Christianity. Besides nationwide programs in Hindi, Punjabi television channels have been deluged by Christian programs even though the Christian population of Punjab is less than 1%. Taking aim at Sikh youth, animated films and children’s books on Christianity are freely distributed by missionaries.

Because of the strong adherence to tradition by Sikhs, missionaries have attempted to repackage Christianity. Jesus is called “Satguru”, church is referred to as “Satsang” and choir singing is called “Kirtan”. Choir boys in Punjabi churches wear turbans to attempt to minimize the variation between Sikhism and Christianity. However, despite these attempts to disguise Christianity as a version of Sikhism, missionaries still cannot hide their intent: to destroy the Sikh faith.

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An advertisement placed in a Punjabi newspaper, featuring a converted couple. Note that the male is portrayed wearing a traditional Sikh turban to woo Sikh converts.
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While there have been some cases of genuine conversions, economically disadvantaged and illiterate Sikhs often complain that missionaries are using extortive practices such as bribing them with material possessions to change their religion. A young boy whose friends had converted to Christianity explained, “When I asked the boys as to why they have converted to Christianity, they said they had been given cash and free education. In our village alone, 5 to 6 people have converted and, of course, their generations to come would also be Christians.”

Gurbachan Singh Bachan, former Secretary of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee and a proud Sikh, says “People who are converting from Hinduism and Sikhism to Christianity are those who have lost understanding of their own religion… Khalsa [Sikh] institutions and the Government need to educate the people about the values of a religion, and tell them that all religions are equal and no religion teaches us to fight with each other.”

Such provocative evangelism in Punjab does not always go unnoticed by the local community. The Open Door Church run by Pastor Harbhajan Singh, a landlord who converted to Christianity from Sikhism, has aggressively converted over 2,800 members of the Khojewala village community. In February of 2004, Singh made derogatory remarks against several Sikh gurus including Guru Granth Sahib. This led to several protests by Sikh youths in front Singh’s church in the. The conflict was ultimately resolved by police intervention and an unconditional apology by Harbhajan Singh. Meanwhile, Christian media painted this incident as an example of “Christian persecution.”

A recent study showed that at least 800,000 are converted to Christianity every year throughout India. In the coming years, this number can significantly increase with attacks on the Sikh faith.


 

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Below is a translation of a book published, by the missionary organization, Operation Mobilization (disguised as a Hindu group with the acronym OM) – the same group that purchased a cruise ship to convert upper class Indians. The passages below are a story of a man who is portrayed as a hero for rejecting his Sikh faith, cutting his hair and ultimately converting to Christianity.

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Chapter 3: Having long hair on head was the most important sign out of five signs for Sikhs in Punjab. He knotted his hair in a bun on his head. He was nothing without steel bangle, half pant, comb, and a small sword that provided his identity. His holy book ‘Granth’ had an instruction for him to never cut his hair, and like a devoted Sikh he never cut his hair. Though, his beautiful beard was very uncomfortable in summer and dusty environment. Without being cut, his long hair on head dignified him. A Sikh who had cut his hair was then not called a Sikh. He was boycotted from his religion, society, and family.

Whatever Sundar did was seen as resistance of shock by his father, Sher Singh, and after that Sundar had seen such anger from him that he had never seen before. His father became very angry and kick him out of the house without hesitation, saying that he was now not a member of this family. He brought bad name to the family. He was removed from his Caste; he had no right to live in the courtyard of the Singh family. He had to go out immediately.

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Page 30: Sadhu Sundar Singh: …….ended that made his relative clearly angrier. The pressure coming from various sources undoubtedly could not mislead the internal determination of this 15 years old boy. But they could be sufficient to make the boy quite.

But as far as Sundar was concerned, it had opposite effect. As he studied the work of good news and Christian converts, and read about that extraordinary messiah whom he had seen from his own eyes. How he endured pain with insult and how his pupils were really happy to be found qualified to bear insult for the sake of his name. Then, a desire also arose in Sundar to endure pain for messiah. One day, by a program that would separate him, he would not only show that he has attained youth but also fulfill the primary requirement of being Sikh. He could not participate in this program and he did not want to. He did not want to do this to deny his Caste or Clan. He wanted to deny Sikh religion. Even after his infatuation was broken when he was studying at a school in Ludhiana, he faced threatening calls, anger, and bad behavior from his father and elders of the family. He knew that no one could erase the memory of that living God. It was that messiah that vouched for his sincerity and he also needed to do that. To make it clear to his family and to make them understand, he left Sikh religion for good; and that he has seen Jesus Christ and was determined to follow him. He needed to do something to make it clear. While he was thinking, he came to know a way by which he can do that. By a simple work he would show that he was freeing himself from all customs that bounded him to his Caste. This was a simple work but would have sharp reaction and he realized that it would bring him more trouble, more than he hasn’t faced yet. But whatever may be the result, he has decided to do that. He cut his hair by scissor.

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Page 32: To satisfy your soul: In comparison with this big world, human heart is a small thing. Although the world is very big, but is incapable to satisfy this small heart. At last, ever growing soul of human being and his capabilities can only be satisfied in God. Just like water that does not rest until it reaches its level, a soul, in the same way, also does not rest until it retires in God. – With and without Christ.

Pamphlet Distribution: Southern Tamil Nadu

feature_hijack_headerAfter years of failing to gain substantial converts by degrading Hinduism and labeled it as “devil worship” and “heathen idolatry”, Christian evangelists have invented a new tactic: hijacking Hinduism.

Pamphlet Distribution: Southern Tamil Nadu

Evangelists use existing elements of Hinduism to misguide followers into converting to Christianity. Recently Christian zealots have begun claiming that various Vedic Sanskrit slogans were in praise of Jesus and not Hindu Gods. Christian propaganda pamphlets and booklets in circulation especially in and around Madurai district in Tamil Nadu also make the ludicrous suggestion that the revered Swami Vivekananda had asked the people to worship Jesus. The pamphlets, which have been put in circulation by the Madurai-based Infant Jesus Hospital (headed by Rev Fr. Caleb), also fraudulently invoke verses from the holiest Hindu scripture, the Bhagawad Gita, saying that they preach against idol worship. In fact, the pamphlets go as far as to decree that ‘people should not follow any other faith other than Christianity’. The highly inflammatory pamphlets, delivered by Christian converts (primarily women), have been appearing at nearly in Southern districts of Tamil Nadu in the hopes of misleading a few gullible souls.

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Above: A Tamil advertisement posted by a Church claiming that Hinduism is been derived from ‘Thomasian’ Dravida Christianity. The poster also makes the outrageous claim that the sacred ash is the true symbol of Christianity and not the Cross.

Examples of the verses that have been deliberately mistranslated:

Om Sri Brahma Puthraya Nama reads as ‘I worship Jesus, who came to the world as God’s son (Yowan 3:16.17)’.

Om Shri Dakshina Murthaya Nama reads ‘I worship Jesus who is sitting on the thigh of his father (Yowan (1:18)’.

Taking specific mantras from Sama Veda, the Christian marketers say ‘Om Sri Panchakaya Nama refers to Jesus, the one with five wounds (panchakaya) Yowan 20:25.27. Om Sri Ummathiya Nama is translated as ‘I hail one born to the holy spirit’ (Mathew 1:18).

The mantra from Brihat Aranyako Upanishad (Asathoma sadhgamaya, Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya…) is laboriously expanded and explained to mean that Jesus is leading as the light of the world. And the ‘explanation’ goes on to add: ‘there is a word-to-word answer in the Bible to every prayer in the Upanishad’.

In a seeming translation of a verse from Neethicharam, the pamphlet says that ‘those fools who worship statues made up of stone, wood and metal would beget nothing other than misery and would not be pardoned’.

The pamphlets invoke Swami Vivekananda and say that he wanted hundreds and thousands of Christian religious workers to come to India so that the preaching of Jesus could go to the hearts of all Hindu people.

Pongal Disruption: Southern Tamil Nadu & Singapore

Another method of “hijacking” is to schedule massive conversion drives during prominent Hindu festivals. For example in 2003, ‘Jesus Calls’ scheduled its ‘Good News Prayer Meeting’ at Tuticorin from 14 to 18 January, knowing full well that the period coincided with the Hindu festivals of Boghi, Pongal, Mattu Pongal and other important functions like Tiruvalluvar Day and Uzhavar Thirunal.

Understandably, the locals were upset over the timing of the meeting organized by ‘Jesus Calls’. In addition, the locals were further angered by the fact that the evangelist “miracle” drive was to be held at the VOC College Ground in Tuticorin, which was donated by the government to promote educational activities only educational activities.

The locals, rallying around Hindu organizations, went on a hunger strike at Tuticorin to peacefully demonstrate against the deliberate disruption of Pongal by the ‘Jesus Calls’ and to criticize the authorities for permitting this aggressive action by the Church.

Meanwhile in Singapore, the clergy attempted to cast aside the clear Hindu of significance of Pongal and to attempt to turn it into a Christian one instead. Church coordinator S. Vythilingam was quoted as saying “Pongal is not a religious festival but a traditional festival celebrated by the Tamils.” In Singapore, several churches celebrated the function, but not out of mutual respect for Hinduism but rather to gain converts. This tactic is known as “inculturation” where various aspects of the local religion are adopted in the hopes of getting Christianity to appear less foreign.

Kumbh Mela Disruption: Madhya Pradesh

For the upcoming Kumbh Mela 2004, where an estimated 15-25 million Hindu pilgrims descend on the city of Ujjain in April, a Christian group known as “Gateway” has been released a handout to its members instructing them to “mobilize a intercessory team to pray on the venue and during the Mela”. The other side gives an elaborate “prayer” calendar with derogatory marks abou Hinduism. The group is relying on direct access to the millions of devotees to disrupt the sacred festival with prayers and miracle shows in strategic location to gain converts.

Click on each of the flier pages below to view/download an enlarged version:

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Conversions: Facts and Figures

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Below are some self-explanatory facts and figures that show the showing the alarming rate of conversions and missionary activity in some of the world’s poorest nations.

Christian Population Statistics

China:
1950 – 1 Million 2003 – 100 Million

South Korea:
1945 – 2.2% Population 2003 – 49% Population

Papa New Guinea:
1950 – < 1% Population 2003 – 97% Population

Africa:
1900 – 1.7% Population 2003 – 55% Population

Is India Next?
2003 – < 3% Population 2060 – ???

Other Countries:

The below countries are traditionally non-Christian but are now majority Christian through aggressive missionary activity. Most, if not all of the countries below, have effectively been converted by the exploitation of their impoverished conditions by missionaries.

Angola – 90% Christian
Burundi – 78% Christian
Cameroon – 35% Christian
Central African Republic – 82% Christian
Chad – 33% Christian
Congo – 62% Christian
East Timor – 92% Christian
Ethiopia – 52% Christian
Equatorial Guinea – 94% Christian
Gabon – 79% Christian
Kenya – 25% Christian
Liberia – 68% Christian
Mozambique – 31% Christian
Nigeria – 52% Christian
Papa New Guinea – 97% Christian
Philippines – 84% Christian
Rwanda – 69% Christian
South Africa – 78% Christian
South Korea – 49% Christian
Sudan – 30% Christian
Tanzania – 20% Christian
Togo – 23% Christian
Uganda – 70% Christian
Zaire – 90% Christian

In India:

State Hindu % Christian %
1961 1991 1961 1991
Arun. Pradesh – – 37.0 – – 10. 2
Assam 71.3 67.1 2.4 3.3
MP 93.9 92.8 0.5 0.6
Manipur 61.6 57.6 19.4 34.1
Meghalaya 18.2 14.6 35.2 64.5
Nagaland 9.3 10.1 52.9 87.4
Orissa 97.5 94.6 1.1 2.1
Sikkim 66.6 68.3 1.7 3.3
Tamil Nadu 89.9 88.6 5.2 5.6
Tripura 76.0 86.5 0.8 1.6
Lakshadweep 1.0 4.5 0.2 1.1

Conversion Facts

  • US $145 Billion are spent annually for missionary activities.
  • Every year, churches around the world perform US $1.1 billion worth of research in 3,000 languages, covering 180 religious topics for conversion purposes.
  • Missionary literature in today’s libraries number 175,000 different titles in 500 languages, increasing by 4 newly published every day.
  • The total cost of Christian conversions averages $330,000 for each and every convert.
  • From only 3 million in year 1500, Christians involved in missionary activities has grown to 648 million worldwide, 54% being Non-Whites (Showing the focus of training of indigenous missionaries).
  • There are only 818 ethno linguistic peoples or tribal groups which have never been targeted by any Christian agency.
  • It costs Christians 700 times more money to convert someone in rich developed countries such as Switzerland than in poor developing countries such as India. (That is why India is being heavily targeted).
  • Each day 10,000 Chinese are converted to Christianity due to missionary tactics.
  • Each year 3.5% of Africans (6 Million) convert to Christianity.
  • The top three poorest countries in the world by per capita GDP are all 40-70% Christian (Notice how Missionaries target the poorest populations).
  • In 1972, there were 26 indigenous missionary agencies in India, as of 1997 there are more than 200.
  • In India, it is estimated that 5,000 people are converted to Christianity everyday. That’s one person every 17.28 seconds!

Assault on India

Missionaries are systematically targeting specific regions of India in hopes of converting the entire nation to their brand of fanatic Christianity. Below is a detailed look into their designs and plans.

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Figure 1 – “The Hindu Belt”

Figure 1 above displays the percentage of Hindus in each state in India, where red has the highest concentration and yellow is the lowest. The central states of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (red) have the highest percentage of Hindus and are what missionaries have labeled as “The Hindu Belt”. The church has aims to eliminate Hinduism believes the entire population of India can be converted to Christianity if this region is converted first. In fact, the church has deemed that the “Evangelization of the Hindu belt of India may be the greatest single challenge in world evangelization today.” Below we will go take a further look into how the church is furiously working to achieve this goal and destroy the religious identity of India.

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Figure 2 – “Church Planting and Workers”

The left diagram in Figure 2 shows the areas which the church has decided to target for “church planting” or the building of churches for conversion purposes. The diagram on the right shows the areas which the church has decided to place missionaries in. Yellow represents a low priority for the church while red represents a high priority. As we can see these maps are almost identical to Figure 1 which implies that they are heavily planning to target the areas with high concentrations of Hindu population.

Also we can notice that in Figure 2, the church has some areas that are redder on the right diagram than on the left. This indicates that churches have already been built in those areas, but missionaries are not available to convert the local population. This is true because on average in India for every 8 churches there is only one missionary or pastor. This is an outright proof that churches are being built in India, not to satisfy the needs of the existing Christian population, but rather to provoke and convert the non-Christian population.

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Figure 3- Christian Population of India

Figure 3 shows the distribution of the Christian population of India. Note that the highest concentration of Christians is in the south in the states of Kerala and Goa, where many were forcibly converted by Portuguese and British Missionaries centuries ago. In addition, also note that the Northeastern wing of India is dark red due to conversions by Missionaries over the past decade. This map is from a 1991 survey, however, a currently survey is likely to show an near complete red region in the Northeast due to the forced conversion of local population by Christian terrorist groups.

We can also observe that there are lesser but noticeable areas of Christians along the south and eastern coasts of India in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Orissa. These are the areas of India that under currently being targeted the most by missionaries.

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Figure 4 – The Two Fronts

Based on the trends and data accumulated from the previous maps, we can conclude that church has effectively launched two major fronts to target the “Hindu Belt”, the heartland of India. One front is being launched from the missionary stronghold of Kerala up through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh towards Orissa. The other front is coming from the Christian majority Northeast through West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar also towards Orissa. We can notice that these two fronts converge on the “Hindu Belt”.

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Figure 5 – The Santal Tribe

In fact, the Church has already begun its attack on the “Hindu Belt”. Missionaries from the Northeast front are currently attempting to convert the 4,800,000 people of the Hindu Santal tribe by exploiting their impoverished situation. The Santals are spread through Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkand and Orissa. Missionaries are hoping to convert this innocent tribe to gain access into areas with large Hindu populations such as Orissa.

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Figure 6 – Siege of Orissa

Missionaries have also begun to target Orissa in particular because a large portion of the Hindu population is comprised of tribals who are distanced from mainstream Hinduism. There have also been many reports of “Christian Persecution” in Orissa by Western media such as the death of Missionary Graham Staines. However, Western media never reports that this violence upon Christians is provoked and instigated by the systematic attempts to destroy the religion of Hindus and other members of the local population.

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Figure 7 – Indigenous Missionaries

One of the most effective strategies that Missionaries have employed is to create indigenous missionaries. Indigenous missionaries can relate to the local population and also are not faced with visa restrictions. As seen above, the church is attempting to brainwash the Santal peoples into being indigenous missionaries to indoctrinate the local population as well. Figure 7 shows the amount of indigenous missionaries in India each year. The Christian onslaught of India can be noticed by the simple fact that India has more indigenous missionaries than any other country in the world. The graph above shows that the number of indigenous missionaries has increased nearly four-fold in less than a decade to 44,000 indigenous missionaries!

If the statistical trends above continue, India seems doomed to become a Christian nation. However, with coordinated efforts by the citizens and government of India, we can stop these sinister designs of missionaries and hope that India can remain to be a bastion of true religious freedom.

National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) was formed in December 1989 for the purpose of seceding from India in order to create an “independent” Christian fundamentalist state of Tripura.

History & Foundation

terror_nlft_leader
Most wanted terrorist mastermind of the NLFT, Kamini Debbarma

The Baptist Church of Tripura was initially set up by Missionaries from New Zealand in the 1940’s. Despite their efforts, even until 1980, only a few thousand people in Tripura had converted to Christianity. Realizing this, the Church used one of its most efficient and time-tested weapons of evangelization – creating racial and ethnic divide among the people. In the aftermath of one of the worst ethnic riots, engineered by the Church, the NLFT was born in 1989 — but not without the midwife role of the Baptist Church. From its very inception, the NLFT has been advancing the cause of Christianity through armed compulsion. Every trace of indigenous culture and religion is being eliminated through violent means. Every resisting group is made to bleed its way to extinction.

Funding and Church Support

The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) is heavily funded by many Baptist Churches. Just a year before the Baptist Church assisted the foundation of the NLFT, they called for Christians to target the “millions of Hindus and Jews lost in the darkness” of their respective faiths. The NLFT is basically a violent muscle arm of the church and its missionaries.

Since the foundation of the NLFT, the Baptist Church has been supporting this violent campaign by providing funding and arms for the group. In April of 2000, Nagmanlal Halam, secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura, caught providing 50 gelatine sticks, 5kg of potassium and 2kg of sulphur and other ingredients for making explosives to the group. Afterwards, Halam confessed to buying and supplying explosives to the NLFT for the past two years. In another incident in August of 2003, police arrested the Secretary of a Baptist Christian Missionary church in North Tripura District who was in possession of five kg of potassium, one kg sulphur, few gelatin sticks and 45 gm of high explosive materials.

In Tripura, such arrest and seizures of arms and explosives from the members of the Baptist church is a common occurrence and the link between the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the Baptist Church has been well established.

Atrocities and Attacks

terror_nlft_armsArms and ammunition of the NLFT recovered apprehended by the Central Police Reserve Force (CPRF)

There are too many violent acts of the NLFT to list but most involve kidnappings, extortion, mass murders, rapes, bombings and forced gunpoint conversions. NLFT seeks to severe all ties to the indigenous culture and religion of the state. Their militants have been known to shut down Hindu and Buddhist orphanages, hospitals, temples and schools as well as a establishing a ban on Hindi movies. In essence, they are the Christian equivalent of the Taliban. One attack of the many attacks that the population of Tripura has suffered under since 1989 is described below:

On December 4th, 2000, Christians converts under the direction of Missionaries, desecrated an ashram (Hindu religious retreat) set up by murdered Hindu leader Shanti Kumar Tripura. . They desecrated Hindu idols and destroyed photos of the slain religious leader revered by both Hindu tribals and Bengalis. The Christian converts also raped two female devotees and brutally attacked two men who had come to the ashram for puja (religious rituals).

The next day, Christian converts brutally desecrated another ashram at Jirania Khola and forced the inmates to stop all Hindu rituals and practices at gunpoint. A group of seven armed converted Christian terrorists barged into the ashram and threatened the 150 Hindus with dire consequences if they continued to perform Hindu rites at the ashram. The terrorists fled only after a large group of locals rushed to the ashram.

Due to threats by violent Missionaries and their Christian converts, altogether 11 ashrams, schools and orphanages set up by the murdered Hindu leader in various parts of the state have been forcibly closed down by the Christian fundamentalist terrorist organization known as “National Liberation Front of Tripura” (NLFT).

Additional Links and Ties

In addition to receiving heavy monetary and moral support from the Baptist Church, the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) has links with many Islamic jihadi groups. It receives training, advice and logistical support from many of these groups.

Furthermore, the majority of the NFLT terrorist training camps are located in Bangladesh which is outside of the jurisdictional reach of Indian security forces. The Islamic Bangladesh government has continually refused to crackdown on this and other militant groups.

Also, NLFT has links with the Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI), Pakistan’s external intelligence agency and its counterpart in Bangladesh, the Directorate General of Field Intelligence (DGFI). During 1997-98, NLFT leaders are reported to have visited Pakistan to receive training and arms from the ISI. The ISI had allegedly arranged the passport and visas for the NLFT leaders.

NLFT has also developed trans-border linkages in Myanmar and Bhutan. Besides these, according to Tripura police, the NLFT also works with other Christian, Islamic and Communist terrorist groups in the region including has also linkages with the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), Nagaland-based National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), the Manipur-based Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which is active in the Indian state of Assam.

Conversion Tactics – Charitable Allurement

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Missionaries take advantage of those in need,
especially the poor and children, to convert them

Most Missionary organizations disguise their conversion efforts as charity organization. Often in the press, we hear about “faith-based initiatives” but that is just a euphemism for aggressive and violent conversion organizations. In the Western media, Missionaries are portrayed as true saviors who feed the hungry and nurse the sick.

However, Missionaries do not do this for the good of humanity, but instead to convert people to Christianity. Missionaries have also decided to target the poorest for conversions, not because they are the neediest, but rather, because they can be easily bribed into changing their faith, and they can not easily report to the press the atrocities which the Missionaries have inflicted upon them.

Some people wonder fail to see the maliciousness of conversion through charitable acts. They say that though they are converting, Missionaries are also helping the poor which is more important. However, this is wrong because in times of need humans will often do anything if lured by material possessions. For example, prostitution is a despicable but existing profession because people are lured so much by money that they will sell their bodies. Similarly, one who is converted through “charitable” means is selling their religion and moral beliefs for material possessions. Just as prostitution is wrong and despicable, regardless of the prostitutes financial situation, conversion is also wrong regardless of the converts financially situation. Therefore conversion through charitable inducement is a forcible conversion.

Conversion should only happen through spiritual persuasion and not through the gifting of material possessions.

Below are some of the tactics which Missionaries use in the name of charity to convert:

1. Gifts – By far the most common means of conversion is by buying the poor. In one tribal village, Missionaries promised the head of each household pair of nylon pants if he converted to Christianity and a motorbike if he converted his whole family. In a matter of a few months, the Missionaries had “spread the gospel” along with pants and motorbikes to the entire village.

To convert rich and middle-class non-Christians, Missionaries, who are well-funded by Western churches, buy their way in by giving money, computers to universities, and scholarships to children of influential officials.

In other cases instead of feeding the starving, Missionaries give away a walkman with a tape of the Bible in their own language to brainwash them instead.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote the following on one incident which he witnessed:
“Only the other day a missionary descended on a famine area with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their temple and demolished it. This is outrageous.”

2. Adoption & Child Sponsorship – Many innocent looking child sponsorship programs, such as Christian Children’s Fund and World Vision, that often advertise on U.S. television are guilty of forced conversions. Many often say, “For 50 cents a day, you’ll make a real impact on the life of a child and their community!” However, instead of nurturing these children as they claim, they use this money to buy children of poor non-Christian families (like slaves!). The children unwillingly are then separated from their mothers and are raised by Missionaries who brainwash them with Christian fundamentalist ideas. In other cases, Missionaries will “bribe” the entire family of the child to convert to Christianity.

3. Jobs – In 1999, the Indian Church of Christ in Assam was caught red-handed for forcibly converting at least 14 Hindus. Over a period of six months the missionaries belonging to this Church offered money, jobs and other economic benefits to these extremely poor Hindus if they adopted Christianity. These Hindus were threatened with dire consequences if they revealed to anyone the circumstances under which they had been converted. However, two brave individuals who had been forcibly converted came to the police and told them the details of how Christian priests had lured them to their residence with the promise of jobs and money. In return for this favor, the priests then asked these individuals to convert to Christianity.

4. Loans – When conversions by force not being possible, the methods that are applied are inducements and fraud. Inducements are called “social service” or “charitable” activities. In most cases, the social service benefits were provided only to those who agreed to convert. A loan given to a tribal is cancelled if he, along with his family, becomes a Christian. This inducement has been documented in Madhya Pradesh, though the practices that have been narrated are the ones that are a common practice all over India, and indeed in the rest of the world.

Summary
True social service should be done without expecting anything in return from the recipient. Otherwise it becomes a debased and at best can have an accidental redeeming value. If the motive is bad, then the social service has no real merit. There are many organizations that are doing noble service without expecting anything in return. And in offering such services, the Hindus are very actively involved.

During his meetings with the Christian missionaries, Mahatma Gandhi had said that they are doing social service with the ulterior motive of conversions. He asked them to give up this offensive program. He also said to them that if this situation continued in a free India he would ask the foreign missionaries to leave the country.

Conversion Tactics – Deception, Lies & Deceit

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Missionaries often use devious tactics to decieve
innocent villagers in order to convert them.

Christian Missionaries on one hand preach high moral values, yet at the same time, they follow the lowest most despicable ones in order to convert people to their religion. Missionaries especially prey on the poorest, most rural folk under the guise of helping them out of poverty when in fact they have chosen to convert them because they are the most uneducated and therefore most likely to fall for their deception.

1. Fake Medicines – One common tactic employed by Missionaries is to give a sick villager fake medicines which have no medicinal value and ask them to worship in the name of their faith for wellness. After several days, the missionary gives the villager an identical dose of the medicine, but this time it is the real medicine. Then the missionary will instruct the villager to now pray to Jesus. Soon after, due to the medicine and not due to Jesus, the villager will be cured. The uneducated and gullible villager, however, will attribute his cure to Jesus and convert to Christianity.

2. Floating Idols – In rural villages in India, Missionaries and place a stone or metal idol of a Hindu Deity in bring a bucket of water. The statue will sink in the bucket. Next the Missionary bring a wax-coated idol of Jesus or Virgin Mary (though Christianity prohibits idols) and places that in the bucket. Due the wax-coat, the Christian idol will float. The Missionary will then conclude that because the Christian idol floated, it is “higher” and, therefore, better than the Hindu one. The uneducated villager, not knowing anything about buoyancy or density, falls for the Missionary’s ridiculous explanation and converts to Christianity.

3. Fraudulent Saints – Often Missionaries will disguise themselves as religious leaders of the local religion and subtly attempt to convert the locals.

The classic example was that of Robert de Nobili, a Jesuit from France, who came to India in the early 17th century. He adopted the saffron robe, started to live in a hut, squatted on the floor for conducting his discourses, became a vegetarian and gave up liquor, projected that he was a Brahmin saint from Rome and that the Bible was one of the lost Vedas (Hindu holy scriptures), and generally tried to pass himself as another Hindu sanyasi (saint). He was successful, and many Hindus came to him for spiritual reasons of which many he converted.

Though Nobili used this tactic centuries ago, this deceitful and treacherous method is still in use by Missionaries even today.

4. Blasphemy & Impurity – Another tactic used my Christian is to somehow make the victim impure to their religion in some way. Then the Missionary will convince the victim that they can no longer practice their old faith due to their blasphemy, and therefore they must accept Christianity.

The most infamous incident is known as the “Sepoy Rebellion”. In 1857, British General Lord Canning gave orders for the British to mix crushed cow and pig bones into the salt, butter and sugar rations of his Indian troops. In addition the British greased Enfield rifle cartridges with cow and pig fat. After some time, it was discovered by the troops that the rations they had consumed and the mouth-loaded cartridges had been contaminated with animal fats. This led many devout Hindu and Muslim to believe they were no longer pious members of their respective religions and so many were forced to convert. This outrage led to a massive war-like rebellion by the Hindu and Muslim troops which was eventually quelled by British.

By making one impure to their religion, shows the paramount of hatred and disrespect that Christian Missionaries have for all other religions.

5. Guilt & Accusations – In 1975, Christian Missionaries were unsuccessful in converting the Panare Native Americans of the Colorado Valley. The missionaries had converted the Bible to their native language, but the peaceful and simple tribe could not understand the concepts of sin, guilt, war and plagues. So instead, the missionaries changed the Bible so that instead of the Romans and others, the Panare were responsible for the death of Jesus. One excerpt read:

”The Panare killed Jesus Christ, because they were wicked. Let’s kill Jesus Christ, said the Panare. The Panare seized Jesus Christ. The Panare killed in this way. The laid a cross on the ground. They fastened his hands and his feet against the wooden beams, with nails. They raised him straight up, nailed. The man died like that, nailed. Thus the Panare killed Jesus Christ…

God will burn you all, burn all the animals, burn also the earth, the heavens, absolutely everything. He will burn also the Panare themselves. God will exterminate the Panare by throwing them on the fire. It is a huge fire. I am going to hurl the Panare into the fire, said God.”

And the simplistic Panare tribe immediately claimed they loved Jesus, fearing they would be burnt by God. Missionaries seem to go to any extent to convert others, even if it requires gross deception and misrepresentation of their own holy book, the Bible will for the benefit of “winning souls”.

6. False Identities – To convert a more educated and pious individual, a Missionary will pretend that he/she has a religious background that is the same as yours.

For example, a Missionary who is targeting a Hindu may tell the Hindu that he (or a Christian friend or acquaintance) was once an orthodox Hindu, or that he had a solid Hindu education, a traditional Hindu family life, etc. This is almost always an outright lie so that you will open up to him. The hidden message that he is attempting to convey is that he came to believe in Jesus after knowing and overcoming all of the Hindu objections, and therefore, the Hindu he is targeting should also try to follow the same path, (which he never really took).

Usually, all that is necessary to expose this type of hoax is to ask him about various small details of Hindu life that any observant Hindu child would know, and see how he responds. In almost all cases, he will begin to hedge about the extent of his “background” and “Hindu knowledge”. Unfortunately, most Hindu or targets of other religions are themselves not knowledgeable enough to be able to expose this type of deception and quite often Missionaries are successful.

7. Secret Baptism – Another tactic that is deceptively employed by Missionaries is to “baptize” a victim without their knowledge. Then to reveal that they had been baptized and they must convert to Christianity. Though well-documented, it is little known that the most famous perpetrator was Mother Teresa and her sisters.

“For Mother (Teresa), it was the spiritual well-being of the poor that mattered most. Material aid was a means of reaching their souls, of showing the poor that God loved them. In the homes for the dying, Mother taught the sisters how to secretly baptize those who were dying. Sisters were to ask each person in danger of death if he wanted a ‘ticket to heaven’. An affirmative reply was to mean consent to baptism. The sister was then to pretend she was just cooling the person’s forehead with a wet cloth, while in fact she was baptizing him, saying quietly the necessary words. Secrecy was important so that it would not come to be known that Mother Teresa’s sisters were baptizing Hindus and Moslems.”

7. Miracles – One of the most despicable ways of deception is how Missionaries pray on young rural school children. The school bus will stop suddenly. Young kids are told that they must pray ‘Krishna’ to try and restart it, but it fails to do so. Then they try ‘Rama’, then ‘Guru Nanak’, then ‘Allah’ etc. Finally, after exhausting the common names in India for spiritual authority, they are asked to say ‘Jesus’ all together, and at that time the bus suddenly starts. Everyone applauds the demonstration of Jesus’ love and power.

8. Miracle Boxes – Missionaries will place “Miracle boxes” are put in local churches: The gullible villager writes out a request – a loan, a pucca house, fees for the son’s schooling. A few weeks later, the miracle happens, paid for by Western Christian donations. And the whole family converts believing it is a miracle of Jesus, making others in the village follow suit.

Summary
All in all, Christian Missionaries will not hesitate to distort, deceive and defame others in order to propagate their religion. Their devious tactics break every fundamental rule or human benevolence. Instead Missionaries often bring out the worst of humankind.

Conversion Tactics – Educational Indoctrination

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Innocent Indian children being brainwashed and
forced to read the Bible in a Christian School.

Missionaries have set up thousands of Christian schools, colleges and other education institutions in India, through funding from foreign churches. These schools are simply established for subtle proselytization of the masses. Because many of these schools were set up in India under British rule, there is a common misconception that these schools have a higher standard of education and discipline.

It is very important that all children be raised in their respective religious traditions. The first impressions are the most lasting, and they are what the children have to deal with throughout their lives. This is because early impressions are locked in the memory pattern of their subconscious minds. And Missionaries make use of this fact, to attempt to subtle convert children at a young age.

Though these institutions are open to people of any religion, they discriminate against non-Christian faiths and attempt to convert students by the following means:

1. Curriculum Control – The entire education system in Guyana is controlled by that dominant class that promotes Westernized and Christian orientation. Having appropriated the power to define and delimit what is legitimate and not, this social bloc has monopolized the curriculum constructing it in a way that deliberately emphasizes western and Christian mores while at the same time deliberately excluding and de-emphasizing anything Hindu and Islamic in particular and Indian in general. By just going through the textbooks produced in Guyana one can hardly imagine that this is a country with a population that is half Hindu and Muslim

.2. Dominance of Missionary Schools – Over the years there have been successful attempts through the instrument of the state to de-emphasize Hindu and Muslim contributions to the development of education in Guyana while at the same time reinforcing and glorifying the Christian contribution. In 1976 all denominational schools (and other institutions) were required by the government of the day to change their names in order to de-link them from their religious and ethnic background.

While the government made sure that schools with Indian, Hindu and Muslim names complied with the requirement, Christian schools were never really affected. Thus Indian Educational Trust College became Richard Ishmael Secondary, Muslim Trust College became Brickdams Secondary school, Hindu college became Cove and John Secondary and Maha Sabha Secondary became Leonora Secondary. On the other hand, officially and otherwise, St. Stanislaus, St. Joseph’s, St. Rose’s, St, Agnes, St. John’s, Sacred Heart, Stella Maris, Christ Church and others have retained their former names and their distinctive histories.

3. Defamation – Under the guise of moral education in schools when a Hindu or Muslim child is forced to listen to a Christian functionary who by force of habit and dogmatic indoctrination must invariably, subtly and otherwise, denigrate the Hindu and Muslim traditions, this is in violation of the fundamental right and the civil liberty of the child.

Priests, nuns and teachers in Christian schools often defame and blasphemize Hinduism and other religions in their regular lessons. Hindu students who graduate from such institutions usually do not convert to Christianity, but through the influence of their Christian mentors, they end up mocking temples/mosques, scriptures and their own religious leaders for the rest of their lives.

4. On Campus Prayers – Most Christian institutions have mandatory daily prayers. In many schools, non-Christian students are unjustly forced to attend Christian masses and recite Christian prayers.

In other schools, non-Christians have their respective prayer sessions at the same time. However, the Christian prayers are held in air-conditioned chapels, while non-Christians wishing to pray must hold their services outside in the hot Indian sun. Naturally, many non-Christian students will decide to seek shelter in the chapel and are essentially forced to attend Christian services.

5. Christian Only Teachers – Some Christian schools only employ Christian teachers and lecturers for all subjects. These Christian teachers often defame other religions and preach about Jesus Christ in the middle of physics, chemistry, etc. lectures to students who have come to learn their academic material and not about Chrstianity.

6. Beatings – In Assam, India, at the English medium Ashapalli High School it is mandatory for all students to attend church every day before classes begin. Even after following the bigoted ways of this missionary school, the Hindu and Buddhist children are ill-treated and physically abused by the Christian staff of the school.

Kalindi Rani Chakma was a class VIII Buddhist student of the school; therefore she was abused mentally and physically on a daily basis by her Christian teachers. One such revolting incident has put her future academic career in jeopardy.

One evening Kalindi Rani was called to the Principal, H. Lamare’s residence due to alleged non-compliance of her daily routines. Once there Kalindi Rani was incessantly caned by Lamare. She begged for him to stop, but he continued to beat her because of his blind hatred for all Hindus and Buddhists. While he beat her he asked her, “Why don’t you believe in Christ? What is the use of worshipping Buddha and Kali?

As a result Kalidi Rani went into shock and suffered several painful bruises throughout her whole body. She did not attend school until the day after the incident. When she went back to school, once again, Lamare abused her-both verbally and physically. She is now terrified of attending school.

Lamare did not punish Kalindi Rani because she did not complete her daily tasks. He beat her like a mad man because she was a heathen pagan who did not worship Christ. He has been given the divine sanction to do so by the Church establishment in India. Like other Christian Fundamentalists, he too was brainwashed to believe that followers of Christ are superior to the “heathen pagans”!

7. Scaldings – In another display of Christian Missionary barbarism, a nun belonging to the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, scalded four little Hindu girls with a hot knife.

Sister Francesca is the nun in charge of Missionaries of Charity’s Mahatma Gandhi Welfare Center. A young Hindu girl named Kavery was playing inside the center with three other girls when the nun approached them and accused them of stealing money. The nun then heated a knife on an electric heater and pressed in on the hands of the four children.

When Kavery’s father, Kabiram, heard about the incident he went to the Bowbazar police station to file a complaint, but the police refused to register a case until the local residents forced them to do so. The head of Missionaries of Charity, Sister Nirmala, said that as a disciplinary action she has asked the guilty nun to discontinue her duties and take rest for the time being! Is this a punishment or a reward for following the torture of non-Christians?

Summary
Though the reputation of Christian educational institutions in India claims to be of high standards in academics, we can see that these institutions in fact have the lowest standards when it comes to morality. Children who attend these schools are subjected to physical abuse, verbal defamation of their respective religions and daily brainwashing of Christian fundamentalism. In the end, there is no reason to send children to such cruel and criminal institutions, as it is not one’s academic background but one’s morality that makes a person.

Conversion Tactics – Medical Care

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Known as “medical evangelists”, Missionaries promise free medical care
to operate on poor non-Christian patients. After srugery they force them
to convert or pay exorbitant fees.

Christian organizations have established hospitals with some of the best medical care across the globe. Many of these hospitals operate under the guise of provide free or cheap medical care to rural and poor communities. However, most of these hospitals are providing these benefits not for goodwill but for conversion.

1. Denial of Treatment – Often Christian hospitals publicize their services as pro-bono and for the needy and general public. However, when poor non-Christians require treatment, they are either force to convert or pay a large fee for the services. The incident below describes one shocking ordeal of how 17 Hindus because they refused to convert:

The Serang Christian Eye Hospital was set up in the Gumma block of Gajapati district by the Baptists of Canada to supposedly provide health care to tribals. The hospital is run by the Council of Christian Hospitals, which has its head office in Bangalore. The poorest of the tribals are misled into receiving free treatment at this hospital in exchange for their souls. The victims are operated upon then pressurized to convert to Christianity, or else told that they will have to cough up the payment for the operations.

Dr Sadguna Raju, a Christian convert and ophthalmologist attached to the Serang hospital, operated upon 27 patients on August 30 and 31 of 2000. Out of these at least seventeen of them are now blind in one eye. Dr Raju left Orissa a day after the operations and the tribal Hindus were given no post-operational care at all. Many times the arrangements for these “quickie” operations are makeshift and rampant malpractice increases the chance that patients could be infected in the operation theater itself. In fact at the post-operative stage the Christian doctors had even noticed the deterioration in the condition of some patients but they chose to do nothing about it as the tribals had refused to convert.

Many of the victims had developed pesedomolas, a bacterial infection, following the operation leading to pus formation in the eye. Some of them have had to turn to begging for their livelihood after this devastating trauma.

2. Fake Medicines – One common tactic employed by Missionaries is to give a sick villager fake medicines which have no medicinal value and ask them to worship in the name of their faith for wellness. After several days, the missionary gives the villager an identical dose of the medicine, but this time it is the real medicine. Then the missionary will instruct the villager to now pray to Jesus. Soon after, due to the medicine and not due to Jesus, the villager will be cured. The uneducated and gullible villager, however, will attribute his cure to Jesus and convert to Christianity.

3. Intentional Denial of Medicines – In a New Tribes Mission (NTM) mission camp, many of the natives either died from starvation or from diseases transmitted by the missionaries for which they had no immunity against. In one such mission camp in Paraguay, the German anthropologist, Dr. Mark Munzel, reported that food and medicine were deliberately withheld by the missionaries. From a total of 277 natives in April 1972 only 202 survivors were left three months later. A US congressional report confirmed that 49% of the camp population had vanished!

In Bolivia, William Pencille, of the South American Missionary Society, was called in to help when white ranchers moving into the tribal areas came upon the Ayoreos. Pencille persuaded these natives to stop resisting the encroachment of the cattlemen and to settle on a patch of barren land beside a railroad tract. The natives, having no resistance to common diseases of the “modern” man, began to die. Throughout all this Pencille had the means to save the lives of these people. He had access to many modes of transport, including an airplane, and to funds which could easily have been used to buy medicines for them. Yet this is what he said: “It’s better they should die. Then I baptize them (on the point of death) and they go straight to heaven.”

4. Secret Baptism – Another tactic that is deceptively employed by Missionaries is to “baptize” a victim without their knowledge. Then to reveal that they had been baptized and they must convert to Christianity. Though well-documented, it is little known that the most famous perpetrator was “Mother” Teresa and her sisters.

“For Mother (Teresa), it was the spiritual well-being of the poor that mattered most. Material aid was a means of reaching their souls, of showing the poor that God loved them. In the homes for the dying, Mother taught the sisters how to secretly baptize those who were dying. Sisters were to ask each person in danger of death if he wanted a ‘ticket to heaven’. An affirmative reply was to mean consent to baptism. The sister was then to pretend she was just cooling the person’s forehead with a wet cloth, while in fact she was baptizing him, saying quietly the necessary words. Secrecy was important so that it would not come to be known that Mother Teresa’s sisters were baptizing Hindus and Moslems.”

5. Threats – Missionaries in addition to harming non-Christian patients in their hospitals will also mental harass patients who are already in physical pain. Below is an account of one such incident:

“I remember a British friend of mine, an anthropologist researching the lore of a Nilgiris tribe a decade ago. One day he visited a village hospital to comfort a sick tribal. A troop of Christians from a particular denomination entered noisily, and kindly informed all the patients in the ward that unless they accepted Christ, they would soon die and go to hell for ever. Is this Jesus’ love, or mental torture? Were the patients’ human rights respected or violated?”

– Michel Danino
(World Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity)

Summary
Though Christian hospitals claim that they “do not accept any forced conversion or conversion by fraudulent means” and they are “for the masses”, they in fact are the contrary. They are only for though who are Christian and for those who not, they must forcibly convert in order to use their facilities. Christian Medical institutions and Missionaries show that other than Christians, they selfishly do not care for the well-being of anyone. Missionaries claim their lives are dedicated to “saving” others but we can clearly see that this “saving” only applies to Christians and for all others it very well may mean death.