Forums
Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - Printable Version

+- Forums (http://india-forum.com)
+-- Forum: Indian Politics, Business & Economy (http://india-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=6)
+--- Forum: Strategic Security of India (http://india-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=18)
+--- Thread: Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 (/showthread.php?tid=284)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - acharya - 01-16-2009

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/bish...cerns/22295.htm



Bishop denied entry to India over preaching concerns
by Dibin Samuel
Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 16:55 (GMT)
Font Scale:A A A

The Bishop of Gloucester has been denied entry to India because of officials' concerns he may preach while in the country.

The Rt Rev Michael Perham was due to visit the Diocese of Gloucester's partner churches in Karnataka.

Communications officer Lucy Taylor said the incident had arisen because the bishop had the wrong visa.

“Whenever we’ve gone before, both we and Lambeth Palace have always applied for a tourist visas," she was quoted as saying by the Gloucestershire Media Group.

“But the rules have changed recently, which we weren’t aware of, and we should have applied for a business visa.”

Ms Taylor said that Bishop Perham was unable to give immigration officials a guarantee that he would not preach.

"It’s a visit to our linked dioceses in India, and he might be invited to stand up and speak, so he couldn’t say definitely he wouldn’t be," she said.





Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - shamu - 01-16-2009

<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Jan 16 2009, 06:38 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Jan 16 2009, 06:38 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->“But the rules have changed recently, which we weren’t aware of, and we should have applied for a <b>business visa</b>.”

Ms Taylor said that Bishop Perham was <b>unable to give immigration officials a guarantee that he would not preach</b>.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

So she admits that bishop's business is preaching and expects that he will be allowed entry on that visa.


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

Intervarsity.org


Show and Tell
Do’s and Don’ts for sharing Christ with Hindu students

 PRAY for and with them
Expect God to answer, pray for their needs
 RESPECT their beliefs. Don’t make religious comparisons. Avoid arguing about philosophies. Listen and learn about their beliefs.
Acts 17,19
 CARE about them as an individual.
Ask questions, listen, find out about their family, meet their friends, and invite them to your home.
 SHOW Jesus to them. Take them to the Scriptures. Share stories from the Bible and concrete examples. They are accustomed to learning through stories in Hinduism.
 SHARE about how God has worked and is working in your life
Show them a consistent life of peace and joy.
 DON’T witness out of a sense of duty or anxiety. They will sense that they are being targeted. Share out of love with a foundation of trust. Let them see Christ in you before they here about Christ from you.
 DON’T PUSH or rush them to make a decision. Don’t water-down the gospel. Be patient and trust God to work.
 THINK LONG TERM as they wrestle with many difficult issues (baptism, marriage, and family) before making a commitment to Christ. Walk with them through these questions and let them know that they following Christ does not mean a rejection of their family and culture.


Resource list
Books:
Sharing Your Faith With a Hindu by Madasamy Thirumalai, Bethany House Publishers
Death of a Guru, Rabi Maharaj
Communities of Faith, a Way of Life: Introducing Hinduism by Ram Gidoomal and Robin Thomson
Being Indian, Pavan K Varma
Living Water and Indian Bowl, by Dayanand Bharati
Websites:
http://www.churchofindia.com/hindusforjesus.htm testimonies and ministry helps
http://www.rethinkingforum.com contextualized Hindu ministry
http://www.aradhnamusic.com Traditional Indian style worship music



Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

Intervarsity.org

dols
Downloads:
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Document
Article PDF

by Satyavan

Editor’s Note: Cross-cultural ministry challenges us to discern and learn from the different biblical, cultural, and relational perspectives held by Christians. This story provides an approach the author took to a difficult situation.

Saraswati Puja
I was standing in the sanctuary of the campus church where our fellowship meets, and there was a picture of Saraswati (the Hindu goddess of wisdom and knowledge) pinned to the cross at the front. I wanted to go and tear it down but found myself unable to do so, knowing it would break relationships with the people we said could use the building.

It all started when I was handed the phone to determine whether or not to let a group of Indians use the building for their Saraswati Puja. (Puja means “ceremonial worship” I found out later.) Not knowing what either of those words meant, and after hearing them say “It is all cultural,” we (the people at the church that decide these things) let them use the building, hoping it would help us build bridges with the Indian community. I was at the church the night before, when the Indians were eating pepperoni pizza while setting up for the Puja. My interest was evoked, and I wondered what this ceremony was all about. I wondered why these college-age people were putting this event together if they did not even observe basic Hindu dietary rules.

While standing there looking at the cross being “desecrated” all kinds of thoughts began to swirl in my head. What does God think of this? How will Christians react? Are we opening up our sanctuary to evil spirits? This began my journey to understand idolatry and how it affects my life and ministry.

Idolatry
When reaching out to South Asians you will be confronted with idols. They are ubiquitous. Many students will have some kind of place of worship that will have an idol.

As one traces the concept of idols throughout Scripture,they are first found in the Old Testament as the familiar handmade figurines, statues, or pictures that people worship. As the idea develops into the New Testament, we find Paul talking of them as part of the sinful nature. He even makes this statement in Col 3:5 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” That passage certainly broadened my concept of idolatry. I wondered what I had pinned to the cross in place of Jesus.

I began to think about the relationships I was forming and how through me some of these people might come to put their faith in Christ. Later that day I was given the opportunity to speak for a few minutes in front of this group of people, and I encouraged them to pursue the true giver of knowledge and wisdom. Ps 111:10 states that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and as they spent the day celebrating this goddess of education, why not consider Jesus and the Truth he is?

I came to this conclusion that day: just because their idols are visible does not make them any more offensive to God than my idols, so I should not respond in a way that communicates that I am spiritually superior to them when I am not.

Power
One of the most common reactions I get when telling this story is that we opened our building up to demonic or evil spirits by letting this go on. In 1 Cor 8:4 Paul says, “So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.” There is no god beside our God and He resides in the hearts of people, not in buildings. Paul also cautions us in 1 Cor 10:19-20 that other spiritual forces may be at work. These Hindus may have opened themselves up to evil influence as they worshipped falsely, though we do too with our idols. Certainly, Hindus must deal with idolatry in their lives, and as they come to Christ and submit to him as disciples, those idols will have to fall away. He is God of gods and demands that central place in their lives, my life, and yours.

As we step into relationships with Hindus, we can bring the light of Jesus into their lives and ours. We are also confronted with our false gods and challenged to give them up to be more like Christ “so that they [and we] may be saved.” (1 Cor 10:33) I have learned that I need to allow God to deal with my idols, and I need to release my need to remove sin from the lives of those that do not yet follow Jesus. Just as Paul did in Acts 17 with the Athenians, we must build bridges to encourage Hindus on their spiritual journey to see Jesus and follow him.



Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

Intervarsity.org

Reaching Indians Looks Different than Reaching Other Internationals
Downloads:
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Document
Article PDF

by Matthew Agrafiotis

India, known for its diverse spiritual richness, is the number one sending country of international students to the USA. A majority of these students are Hindu, believing in many gods, and are therefore open to including the Lord Jesus in their life. Yet, few Christian student ministries see extensive Indian participation in their activities. Perhaps the main reason Indians and other South Asians do not attend ministry events is that they do not connect with the style of ministry that is so attractive to East Asians. No matter how diverse each international student ministry strives to be, it will attract particular cultures more than others. Ministry leaders need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular style of ministry. Though there are many important cultural issues that can create roadblocks for student ministries to reach Indians and other South Asians, there are three issues that must be addressed: community, focus on conversion, and approach to spirituality.
international students at a conference

Community is the conduit of trust
Community has a strong influence on Indians. A decision to attend an event may be influenced more by what others say than by a fancy flier or even the content of the activity. It is amazing how fast word of mouth travels in community. “Men and women take great pleasure in telling others what they know about and value most” (Sabbamma 152). Even a community back home will impact day-to-day decisions for students in North America. If Indians trust a friend, more than likely, their family members thousands of miles away will know that friend by name and other Indians on campus will know about that friend even before they meet. Rapport with individual Indians can be enhanced by building rapport within the community that influences them. Joining in festivals, visiting temples for special events, playing cricket, helping with basic needs, and enjoying a meal with students at their apartment are all ways to build trust with the Indian community.

Rethinking the conversion process
Since not all East Asians believe in God, many international student ministries first teach students to believe in God and then encourage them to have faith in Jesus Christ. If an atheist or agnostic comes to believe there is a God, ministry leaders get excited because that person is on the right track. However, most South Asian Hindus already believe in many gods or one God that is manifested through many avatars, so they may easily accept the incarnation of God into Jesus. Thus, ministries focusing simply on belief that Jesus is God may not be fruitful.

A better approach would be to consider that the Hindu will have no problem believing in Jesus. My Hindu friends say a Hindu believes in “n + 1 gods.” So we should be ready to allow a Hindu to make Jesus of Nazareth the “+ 1” as they learn about Jesus. For the Hindu, the process of coming to faith in the Lord Jesus may first look more like syncretism (adding Jesus to their belief in many other gods) and later become singular devotion to Jesus as a “Yeshu Bhakt” (devotee). Ministries should focus on helping students experience what it means to be devoted followers of Jesus, rather than relying solely on intellectual or emotional appeals. Many Hindu students come with the preconception that Christians want them to convert, which they understand as leaving their family, disrespecting their culture, and aligning themselves with the Western culture that colonized them. Thus, they are very cautious about being a part of anything that is Christian. Insisting that they need to convert and leave idolatry, without giving them a place to experience devotion to the Lord Jesus, is unnecessary. As Hindus mature in their understanding of Jesus as Lord and experience faith in him, they may be ready to give up things that hinder them in their devotion to Jesus.

Thirsting for authentic devotion
Some East Asian students come from secular, atheist, or other backgrounds where public religious discussions are not common. They may arrive in North America with a lot of curiosity about the Bible and Christianity. Sometimes they may be very open to modern apologetic approaches to sharing the gospel. However, Indians have a very rich spiritual heritage. “Nominal Hindus” who uphold a fraction of their religious traditions find themselves much more devoted than most sincere Christians they encounter in North America. Fellowship meetings that are largely social entertainment may serve to solidify the idea that Christianity is a shallow and sterile faith. Indians enjoy good fun, but do not appreciate it as bait for religious activities. A more attractive approach would be devotion modeled by those following Jesus. Ideally this would happen regularly as part of daily life and not just at a religious meeting. Hindus should be welcomed to join in devotional activities, but not always directly invited until they expressed their thirst for such devotion.

Marks of Hindu-friendly ministries
Scripture clearly records that humans are created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). To reach out beyond our own culture, we must be students of the work that God has done in other cultures and build on that work as we share our faith. Too many times, culture has been lost as the collateral damage of sharing the gospel—this has been the case for many Indians who felt compelled to leave family and adopt Western culture to become Christians. "God loves people as they are culturally. As we see from the Bible, he is willing to work within everyone's culture and language without requiring them to convert to another culture" (Kraft 391). Ministries that connect well with the Hindu culture are marked by authentic friendships, focus on people and relationships (rather than on Christian programs), and demonstrate faith lived out through devotion, prayer, and study of Scripture.

Kraft, Charles H. "Culture, Worldview and Contextualization." Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, Third Edition, Eds. Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne. William Carey Library, 1999. 384-391.

Sabbamma, B.V. New Patterns for Discipling Hindus. William Carey Library, 1970.


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

Training Students to Reach Hindus
Downloads:
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Document
Article PDF

by Evelyn Stephens

I have found that the students who are most effective with Hindus are the ones that are teachable and willing to put themselves in uncomfortable situations for the sake of the gospel. When working among Hindus, one needs to be particularly aware of the cross-cultural dynamics. It is important to teach students to enter another culture with a learning posture and willingness to go the extra mile, so they can reach the heart of a person. This is especially important in reaching Hindus, since most are not interested in learning new cultures or becoming “Americanized.” They usually do not need as much help with English as some internationals and often have a strong group identity on a campus. This means it is crucial to enter into the Hindu student world, rather than trying to draw them out into programs and other communities.

Hindus sometimes see conversion as a change in community identity, rather than a belief distinction. Thus, invitations to "convert" to Christianity will likely not be accepted. Hinduism is complex because it is really a way of life and a family of religions, rather than one set of beliefs. Thus, even training students in basic Hindu theology is difficult, since the majority of Hindus on campus may not agree on one set of beliefs. Our aim is not the type of cultural conversion that the Hindu students fear. It is to share Jesus and allow him to draw people in and change them completely as they decide to make him the Lord of their life.

The best way to reach Hindus is to share Jesus and talk about personal faith and beliefs, asking about their personal beliefs rather than getting involved in theological debates. Often such debates center around issues that the Hindu does not even believe, but has been taught to defend, so it can be fruitless to argue against these ideas. The students who are most effective with Hindus are the ones who form authentic friendships, showing genuine love and care. These students are able to tell about their personal faith in Jesus and learn about the Hindu student’s beliefs as their friend. This often leads to fruitful conversations where the Christian can share who Jesus is, what he teaches about God, and demonstrate what it means to give our lives to Jesus and receive life from him. This demonstration is more powerful to many Hindus than any well-constructed argument of doctrine.

As a student group, we encourage our members to be a part of the Hindu student club on campus. Together we go to their festivals and parties. We also attend important community functions like dance recitals and Diwali. In these ways, we connect to the culture and have a natural meeting place to develop friendships with Hindus. Once the friendships are formed, it is important to train students to go deeper in friendships and really get to know one another through giving to and receiving from our Hindu friends.

One of the most effective students I have seen in befriending Hindus takes a genuine interest in Hindu culture. She watches a lot of Bollywood films and takes dance lessons in traditional Hindu dance styles. She learned the basic stories of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. In this way, she connects with the culture and shows her respect for their way of life. She has a love for Indian food and clothing and also attends cultural festivals and frequently invites Indian students to her apartment. Indian students are impressed to meet someone who has a sincere interest in their life. Yet, because of her genuine friendship, she also is able to share about her personal belief in Jesus and to pray to Jesus on behalf of her friends. One of her friends recently confided that he is interested in Jesus and may want to read the Bible.

Prayer is a crucial component in getting started in Hindu ministry. We have to seek the Lord and ask him to lead us to the students who are cross-cultural and able to easily relate with Indian students. We also have to pray that the gatekeepers of the Hindu community will welcome us in with open arms. Once the key people in the community are welcoming and friends with us, it will be much easier to relate with the group at large. So, we must continually put everything into God’s hands throughout the process of relating. Prayer keeps us in a solid relationship with Christ and allows us to acknowledge that God is the one at work through our relationships and that God is the only one capable of changing our friends hearts and minds.
Quick Guide to Meeting Indian Students on Campus

Events: Get involved in Indian student organizations and community activities such as playing cricket. Learn about and attend Indian cultural festivals.

Food: Eat Indian food, and ask students to show you how to cook it. Bring snacks to any gathering where you hope to have Indian students. Serve mostly vegetarian foods or chicken.

Bollywood Movies: After meeting people at cultural events, you could host a Bollywood film night or a dinner gathering at your home where you order or cook Indian food.

Gatherings: Start a get together that is focused on creating friendships that will also help them with their felt needs, like how to write a resume, get an interview, and obtain a driver’s license.

Friendships: Develop a few genuine friendships rather than many shallow friendships.


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

Thoughts on Sharing Jesus with Hindu or Indian Students
Downloads:
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Document
Article PDF

by Matthew Agrafiotis and Evelyn Stephens

Build authentic friendships. Individual and small group (family) friendships with Hindus are most helpful. Friendship should be pursued with the end goal of friendship, not evangelism. Drop by to visit unannounced after you have developed a friendship. This will show that you are interested in genuine friendship rather than casual acquaintanceship.

Give and take. Indian friends love to have reciprocal friendships and will give a lot for a friend. Ask your friend for help. They expect that you will give a lot in the friendship as well. Indians are often happy to receive second-hand items, especially after they price new items and convert the amount to Indian rupees. When visiting a home, it is customary for the host to offer a drink and sometimes a snack or even a meal. It is best to receive whatever is offered because not receiving can be interpreted as superiority. When hosting, it is best to physically offer something, rather than just verbally ask what they would like.

Avoid saying "no." Hindus often do not say "no" directly, so doing so could hurt their feelings or insult them. Find ways to give a reason you can’t, rather than starting with a “no” answer. Try also to express concern and possible ways that you can help whenever you do have to say "no."

Christianity is misunderstood. Indians tend to form tight communities based on ancestral lines that may include religious labels but not necessarily belief. Thus, an Indian who identifies himself as a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, or Buddhist may be agnostic or even an atheist. Many Indian "Christians" do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In addition, most Indians see Christianity as a foreign (Western) religion. The average Indian sees an unvirtuous Christian neighbor or watches American movies, and they conclude that Christianity promotes drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, and other evils. Paradoxically, most Indians see Jesus Christ as a virtuous spiritual teacher. To avoid confusion do not use the term “Christian” but more explicit terms, such as devotee (or follower) of the Lord Jesus.

Conversion is negative. To many Indians, converting to Christianity is understood as leaving their families and communities and joining a Christian community. This viewpoint has prompted numerous anti-conversion laws in India. However, it is acceptable within Hindu communities to change the gods to which one is devoted. Hindus can acknowledge complete devotion to the Lord Jesus without leaving their families or communities.

Pray. Generally prayer is well received by most Hindus. Offer to pray, and tell them that you will pray to Jesus. You can make it a special time of prayer to Jesus where you go to their home and meet. Do not treat prayer too casually, so that they do not get the idea that you are not respectful of Jesus. Rituals are important to them.

Ask questions. Feel free to ask questions about their personal beliefs about God. Many Indians are used to having religious discussions, and it is likely that no two Hindus you meet will have the same set of beliefs.

Share testimonies with humility. Describe your personal experiences of lostness and God’s gracious forgiveness and peace. Talk about your own spiritual life and why you follow Jesus. Be genuine rather than formulaic. Share recent experiences of God’s love and ways that your relationship with Jesus changes who you are. Do not claim to know God in his majesty and fullness. Many Hindus think Christians see themselves as the greatest people with the greatest religion. Be careful using testimonies of Hindus who have found Christ, since triumphalism and pride may be what is communicated (1 Cor 8:1-2).

Read the Bible together. If they express a desire to learn about the Lord Jesus, then it is best to do that one-on-one or in a small group of other like-minded students in a neutral location. Rather than teaching a Bible study, it may be better to approach the Scripture as co-learners of the Great Teacher, Jesus.

Do not push invitations to Christian meetings. Build friendships before explicitly inviting Hindus to Christian meetings, but welcome them if they want to attend. If you do invite them to an event, be open and honest about all religious content. Events that are publicized to be only social need to be just that. Bring them to groups where they are valued and can safely be themselves, and avoid events where Hindus may be confronted to convert.

Do not criticize Hindu beliefs or culture. Pointing out the worst aspects of Hinduism or the caste system will not win Hindus to Jesus. Immediate criticism will also make them suspicious of the aims of your friendship. Once the friendship is developed, you can engage in meaningful conversations, ask about their experiences, and sensitively share your views.

Live out your devotion to Jesus. Exposing and living out our personal devotion to the Lord Jesus rather than preaching is the most effective way to share faith among Hindus. Work into your life the traditional Hindu (and biblical) values of simplicity, renunciation (fasting), spirituality, and humility.

Avoid apologetic arguments. Most Hindus do not have a developed theology, but they may argue points that they do not personally believe. Also, many Western arguments do not make sense to Hindus or may have unintended meanings.

Be patient in inviting a response. Our friends should set the pace of spiritual discussions. Do not press “Jesus is the only way” too soon in your relationship, since it may break trust and not allow you to tell more about Jesus. You can share that you personally follow Jesus and only him. Pray for the right time when you will be able to allow Jesus’ words to explain why he is the way to God, so that your Hindu friends wrestle with Jesus, rather than with you.


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

Outreach to Hindus - Resources..

Here is a short list of good reading on understanding the backgrounds of Hindus living in the western world and how to reach out them with the Gospel.

It is in the form of a letter written to a Christian worker on how to get started in a reading program of self-education on outreach to Hindu students.

I'm delighted to know that you want to do some serious reading and study. In recommending books, a lot depends on where you are already in your understanding of East Indians' background and your perceptions of where current students from Hindu background are coming from in their understanding of their own Hindu faith. Many Hindu students are pretty "secularized," are in varying degrees are rejecting Hindu beliefs and practices and are adopting modern western scientific and materialism assumptions.

In approaching "outreach to Hindus" it does not do to assume a uniform religious experience among them or a concensus of agreement on what's important religiously! Each individual must be listened to and responded to differently and in accord with where that individual "Hindu" is in their thinking and levels of religious commitment (or lack of it).

Still, it helps a bit to have a little understanding of the general background of Indian history and the development of Hindu religious ideals and practices, since all East Indians are acutely aware of these things having grown up with them, especially if they are from village (as opposed to urban) backgrounds or are from families which are more religious.

Here are a few books I would recommend you start with (and stick with if they seem relevant to you as you get into them). Discard what is repetitive to what you already know. I will give brief reasons for why each book is important or helpful, and list these books in order of priority (the ones to start with, first):

1) "Chapatis for Tea, Reaching Your Hindu Neighbor: A Practical Guide," by Margaret Wardell and Ram Gidoomal (Highland, a subsidiary of Inter Publishing Service Ltd, 59 Woodbridge Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4RF UK, published in paperback 1994). This may still be available in the United States from MacLaurin Inst., 331 17th Ave SE, Minn. MN 55414 Phone: 800/582-8541.

This is a simple book with chapters on everything from "Making Hindu Friends" to "Explaining the Gospel." It's value is in giving a simple and straightforward introduction to the essentials, with practical suggestions for outreach. Though not written with students particularly in mind, it is helpful because written in the context of Hindus living in a western (UK) environment. It is also available for about $8 US from InterServe Literature, PO Box 418, Upper Darby. PA 19082. Phone 610/352-0581 Email: 72400.2234@compuservecom

2) For summaries of Indian history, development of Hindu ideas, and some comparisons of Hindu ideas with Christian teachings, there are small sections in any of the following four books on these areas:

- "The Compact Guide to World Religions, Understanding and Reaching Followers of ….Hinduism…and other world faiths" by Dean C. Halverson, staff with International Students International (ISI). The chapter on Hinduism is 15 pages. It's a 1996 paperback pub. by Bethany House Pub., Minneapolis, MN 55438, and available for around about $8 US from ISI in Colorado Springs, CO. Phone: 719/576-2700 Email: AROLAND@ISIONLINE.ORG

- "The World's Religions," Edited by Sir Norman Anderson (1950 paperback, pub. originally by IV Press in England, reprinted many times, with the 1983 version by Eerdmans' Pub. of Grand Rapids, MI). A 32 page chapter on Hinduism by Bruce Nicholls goes into summaries (in some detail) about major religious concepts as they developed within Hinduism. Available in the States from Eerdmans' - Phone: 800/253-7521.

- "Neighboring Faiths A Christian Introduction to World Religions," by Winfried Corduan (Hardback volume, published in 1998 by IV Press, Downers Grove, IL. Cost is $28 US). This 30 page chapter on Hinduism with graphs and photos is very readable. Excellent commentary at the end of the chapter on the differences with Christianity and "Relating the Gospel," plus some ideas for further study and a bibliography.

- "Eerdmans' Handbook to The World's Religions" (same publisher as above. The 1982 hardback volume, pages 170-196, focuses on Hinduism with an excellent summary (incl. contemporary color photos) of its history and religious development. No comparisons with Christianity in this chapter.

3) "The Christian's Attitude Toward World Religions - Responding to the idea that Christianity is just another religion," by Ajith Fernando (192 page paperback, pub. 1987 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in Wheaton IL). May still be available from Tyndale or can be ordered through a local Christian bookstore. Tyndale House Pub.: 336 Gunderson Dr., Wheaton, IL Phone: 312/668-8300. It was $5.95 US originally, probably more now.

This book is a really good discussion of many of the issues for Christians trying to relate to adherents or other religions, written by a student worker with Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka, and a frequent speaker at 1980s Urbana student missions conventions and post-Urbana conferences. It's particularly good because it demonstrates how important the essentials of the Gospel message are in clarifying religious truth about the nature of God and the human situation. It is written with an irenic (non-judgemental) spirit. He refers to things we can learn as Christians from other faiths. Though he doesn't get into Hunduism as such, it is worth reading for Christian values in approaching other faiths.

4) "The World of Gurus A critical look at the philosophies of India's influential gurus and mystics," by Vishal Mangalwadi (1992 paperback, 244 pages, pub. by Cornerstone Press, 939 West Wilson Ave, Suite 202C, Chicago, IL 60640…originally pub. in India in 1987). Cost was around $12 US ordered from India, but you can get it in the States from the MacLaurin Inst., Minn. MN (see #1 above).

This book is about the current Hindu missionaries to the western world, called "the Gurus" by many. Though you will find it more helpful in understanding how Hinduism is often presented to westerners by these contemporary or recent guru-missionaries of Hinduism, it does give a unique "take" on the underlying elements of eastern mystic religion. Normal Geisler calls this book "the most imformative, insightful and helpful expose of those major Hindu missionaries in print," and our own (IVP editor) Jim Sire says, "an outstanding analysis by one who lives 'cheek to jowl' with the real world of the gurus."

I do not recommend this book unless you are interested in the modern day advocates of Hinduism. Most of our students from Hindu backgrounds do NOT follow one of these gurus, and often even scoff at them. The Mahareeshi Mahesh YogiI experienced such scoffing in India when he tried to lecture once to Hindu students in Benares Hindu University! The Hindu students thought he was a "charlatan" (fake) because he was evangelizing for Hinduism, and in their minds a true yogi or guru would be more reclusive and ascetic, waiting for people to come to the guru for spiritual instruction, perhaps in a retreat center (ashram).

===================

There are many thousands of books on Hinduism and its historical development based on the early Vedic literature (which is written roughly during the same period as the Old Testament). Most of these book are irrelevant to modern day Hindu students who are rejecting mystic religion, though the basic mystical concepts are still deeply ingrained in the way many Indian "Hindu" students think about religion.

These concepts qualifiy how they think about Christianity, which, in their minds, is just another version of religion as they know it. So studying these ancient religious ideas may seem as irrelevant to modern day students as it does to us who witness to them about Jesus, but eventually we have to get a grasp of what the essence of these ideas are so we can help correct the world view assumptions of most educated Hindus while sharing with them the Gospel.

To me the essential battleground surrounds the nature of God. Is He infinite or finite (as are idols)? Is He a Person external to the created order, or simply a force within and part of the created universe? As a Person, has he revealed Himself uniquely in Jesus Christ, or do we see only partial "manifestations" of Him in various "incarnations" (avatars) appearing and disappearing over centuries of time? (eg: Ghandi, like one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu, was thought by some religious Hindus to be a modern-day incarnation, though he would have denied this). And finally, do we find salvation in Jesus alone as the "fullness of the Deity (revealed to us) bodily" (Colossians 2:9), or is salvation simply an absorption into a sea of spirituality or a "liberation" (moksha) of the human spirit?


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

houghts on Ministry to Students from India

Kevin Smith, staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship-USA, writes here out of his experience experience at the University of Arkansas.

Relationship is the key.

My experience is that some Indian students come with an "attitude" toward Christians. If we begin with apologetics or debate we just get categorized. All of my "reasoned" discussions with Indians have gone nowhere (they may have been long, but they don't lead to fruit - at least if that is all I have with a person: reasoned, or "Apologetic," discussions).

So I find I just make friends. I attend their events. I ask questions. I become a friend. In the midst of that all I model my faith: I make it clear (in any way) that I love Jesus and I am devoted to Him and my lifestyle affirms this (at least I strive to make that true and I hope I do).

I also let it be known that I lead bible studies to help people learn about Him. I said above my apologetic discussions go nowhere, but in friendship I've had great discussions when asked, "Why do I believe ... ?" Or in relationship to some story about Jesus I've just shared.

I find, when it is clear that I am a friend and come to Indian events just to be in the event, that the questions from a student change from "aggressive challenges" to my beliefs and become questions relating to what is really on the students mind.

I actually find that studying the Bible with Indians is quite revealing. Their minds are so tuned in spiritually that they seem to be able to grasp the truth of bible passages quite quickly (they grasp it, but they don't always embrace it). They make some amazing statements. Sometimes it sounds like they are embracing Biblical truth, but I find that the way they talk can be similar to what a Christian says but they are meaning something quite different.

My favorite example of this is when I was in a Bible study and one student started talking about how important it is that we consider our eternal destiny. His language, in the context of the Bible study we were having, made it sound like he was tracking well and was realizing some Christian truth. But in my follow-up discussion with him I discovered he was talking about the importance of remembering to create good Karma.

It seems to me that if we want to attract interested Indian students into our group we need to rely less on "traditional ISM hooks" (free food, English lessons, experience American culture ... ) and just go where they are and become a friend. That friendship might lead into sincere religious discussion.

I am a good cook and they praise me when I try to cook Indian food. But when we have an Indian potluck they show up in large numbers and they are thrilled! So it seems that myself as a source of food (or my volunteers) is lessening and our potlucks are increasing.

I make this sound easy (I just re-read what I wrote) but I find it very difficult. Indians are always polite to me so I'm not sure what they are really thinking. They also seem to be a fairly closed community that I am a welcomed guest into but not a member of.

This leads to the second key: We need to get Indian Christian students with a vision of saving the lost into our fellowship. These Indian Christian students will become the anchor of our witnessing community in the Indian community.

Please note that I say Indian Christians "with a vision for saving the lost." This last phrase is the tough part. In my experience, which has been confirmed in discussions with others, there is a problem in India in getting the Indian Christians to develop a vision for saving the lost.

Many Christian Indians seems to have a "leave them alone" attitude towards Hindus. (This is a quote from both a personal discussion and from a article I read in an Indian Christian magazine when I was in India). We have had Indian students join our group who were Christians and often they have had a reluctance to reach out to Hindus. I have also heard of some Indian Christians who do not come to our meetings because too many Hindus come. But those Christian Indian Students who do join and who do develop a vision for ministry to Hindus, they have become incredible partners in ministry on campus.

So our approach is to befriend all we can and pray for God to send us an Indian with a vision for saving the lost -even Hindus.

Our group on a good night (which we don't have very often near Divali or at the end of a semester) can have up to 15 Indian Hindu students at our Bible study. We have just 3 Indian Christians in our group (and one rarely comes these days). This semester we have seen two Indians say that they are loving Jesus and love to pray to Him. They also still say they are Hindus, but I love watching the progress of their new interest in Jesus.

This is just my experience at the University of Arkansas (200 Indian students, 300plus Indian families working at Walmart headquarters).


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

Letter Writing to Missionaries in Restricted Countries

Mail is so important to those far from home. But for those living and ministering in countries where missionaries are not formally allowed or where Christians face hardship just for being Christians, we need to take special care in communicating with them so that they will feel cared for without their ministries or their safety being jeopardized. Here are some guidelines to help you as you write to your friends and family overseas. Most of these will also apply to Email communication as well.

1. Most mail entering and leaving is routinely read, in spite of official denials. Nothing is “censored” out of letters… in some areas much mail never arrives. It is good to number letters, or to say, “This is my third letter to you since Christmas.” Note that typed letters, especially aerogrammes (which you can buy at the P.O.), arrive more easily than handwritten letters.

2. Write freely about your personal life and share how God is working in your everyday affairs. Ask about your child’s job, studies, living conditions, lifestyle, sightseeing, vacations, etc.

3. Be positive and encouraging; responding to some items in your child’s letters that will show that you are prayerfully read them.

4. Avoid mentioning politics or specific political events or making negative comments about the government, the culture or the people.

5. Don’t use the full names of any other Christians in the area or otherwise identify them. Use initials or code names instead.

6. In no way imply that your son or daughter is in this country as a missionary or “for the Lord” or is any way connected with any Christian organization. (See below for list of words to avoid.)

7. Do not write on paper that has church, mission or any Christian agency letterhead.

8. Do not ask about giving out Bibles, or about any type of witnessing, teaching Christ in the classroom, or about meeting house-church Christians.

9. Do not refer to the “team,” since this is a common reference to religious activities that authorities watch for.

10. Do not send missionary prayer letters, mission or church magazines, or tapes, unless asked to do so by your son/daughter.

11. Send photos of special people, events and places. Send interesting and meaningful cards. Special American holidays provide a great time to show you care through cards, etc. Post cards, birthdays, Easter, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas are meaningful times to remember your family far-away. Frequent cards are better than one long letter.

12. Find out from your child if sending packages is all right. In some places packages never arrive. It may also cost your child a lot of time and money to retrieve the package from the post office. In many countries they will be required to pay duty which may end up being more than the worth of the package. If it’s safe to send a package, do so, even if it’s something small, since it’s nice to get a little bit of America.

13. Do not be offended if you don’t get an immediate reply. Your letters may take a long time to reach your son/daughter. And a longer time to reach you in return. Government offices may be shut down for long periods of time. Political or practical reasons may exist for not writing or not being able to reach the local post office. Keep writing and praying, trusting that your letters are appreciated.

14. Pray for your son/daughter as you write!

TERMS TO AVOID

* “I’m praying for you”
* evangelism
* witnessing
* outreach
* converts
* ministry
* missionary work
* survey work
* translation
* foreign mission field
* “the team”
* Islam, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.
* “support” or any reference to financial gifts, apart from Christmas or birthdays
* newsletters or prayer letters
* IFES, IVCF, or any other Christian organization names or abbreviations



Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

The adaptability and developing character of Buddhism accounts for its extraordinary variety, which makes the task of characterizing an ‘essence’ of Buddhism remarkably difficult. Buddhism has become woven into the texture of the social and political life of Buddhist countries.

The cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy is the view that all life is suffering. Everyone is subject to the traumas of birth, sickness, decrepitude and death; to what they most dread (an incurable disease or an ineradicable personal weakness), as well as separation from what they love. The cause of suffering is desire – specifically the desire of the body and the desire for personal fulfillment. Happiness can be achieved only if these desires are overcome, and this requires following the ‘eight-fold path’. By following this path the Buddhist aims to attain nirvana, a condition beyond the limits of mind and feelings, a state of bliss.

The continued existence of Buddhism for over 2,500 years, constitutes a very deep challenge to the Christian church. Buddhism has come to be more familiar to the Western world in recent years. Its impact can be felt, for instance in the conversion to Buddhism among Westerners.

There are radical differences between Buddhism and Christianity that make any attempt at reconciliation between the two faiths impossible. The Buddhist worldview is basically monistic. The existence of a personal creator and Lord is denied. The world operates by natural power and law, not by divine command.


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

<b>The Ugliness of Church History</b>
The second reason is that all kinds of colonial oppression has been done in the name of Jesus. The Spanish conquistadors who explored new lands for Spain claimed to be Christians, and yet they killed and enslaved millions. The Dutch who settled South Africa, for instance, claimed they were Christians and yet they set
up Apartheid. The British who settled North America claimed they were Christians, and yet they killed Native Americans and enslaved African Americans. And to all that I would say that all this is sadly true.
Yet let me hazard an explanation. It is true that Christians need to take responsibility for this, but it is also true that the New Testament is not responsible for this.


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

A South Asian Indian Christian Fellowship

(If you wish to view or print this as a Word 2000 document, you can return to the homepage and look for the alternative article by the same title which opens into Word 2000.

Downloads:
application/octet-stream
application/octet-stream
Microsoft Word Document

Indian Christian Fellowship—A City on a Hill . . .
An introduction to Indian student ministry and the Hindu worldview
by an InterVarsity staff in Virginia

Indian students are a rapidly growing population among international students in North America and were second behind China in total number of students in 2000-2001.[1] At the university where I serve as an international student staff worker with InterVarsity, the Indian students recently surpassed the Chinese as the largest international group on campus. Yet in spite of their large numbers there are very few believers. God has given us a wonderful opportunity to welcome them and share the good news of Christ with them. But significant obstacles exist. Therefore, it is vital for us to understand the challenges that we must face in sharing Christ with them and also the challenges they face in coming to Christ. Since the majority of Indian students come from Hindu families this paper deals primarily with issues relating to Hindu students, although some sections will apply to those from other religious backgrounds. It describes some of our experiences in the formation of an Indian Christian Fellowship and summarizes some important aspects of the Hindu worldview. It is my prayer that this would encourage others in sharing Christ with Indian students in their campuses and communities. May God pour out his grace on India and bring many into his kingdom in the coming years.
Prayer, partnerships and perseverance—Story of the Indian Christian Fellowship

Indian culture and religion present significant obstacles to communicating the gospel to Indian students. As a result, prayer, partnerships and perseverance have been essential in our work. Given the ancient spiritual strongholds that exist in the Hindu world it is essential that this ministry be founded upon and sustained by faithful prayer. We have regularly seen that significant steps forward have been born out of times of prayer and fasting. Partnerships with like-minded Indian believers among students and in the community are rewarding avenues for fellowship, growth and encouragement and are essential to help us relate more deeply within the Indian community. While some Indian students want to interact with other cultures it seems that most prefer to remain in a culturally familiar environment. In addition, these partnerships help to dispel the widespread preconception that Christianity is just a Western religion. Finally, a common suspicion among Hindus is that Christians want to make converts for selfish reasons like pride, financial gain or political power. In contrast, the Bible reminds us that love must be sincere (Romans 12:9). We have seen God at work, but it is often a very slow process. The perseverance required in this ministry works to purify us of our selfish motives and causes us to further depend on God through prayer. We must be patient and wait for God to bring fruit as we are faithful in planting and watering the seeds. While we are still in the early stages of the Indian Christian Fellowship, these areas have been a consistent theme.

My background and early experiences with Indian students

Personally, God began moving my heart for the Indian community as an engineering student in graduate school. I was surrounded by Indian students in my classes and actively involved in an international student fellowship. Like so many, I was amazed by the openness of the Chinese students who sought out knowledge of the Bible, often from the moment they arrived. Indian students on the other hand would scarcely ever come to any Christian sponsored event even though their numbers were comparable to those of the Chinese students. So, I began praying for India and for the students that I knew and learning about their culture and beliefs. During that time, God brought me into a close friendship with a Hindu background believer. Through our friendship I saw how difficult it was for him to reconcile his faith with family expectations and pressures. (I also developed a love for Indian food which is a fringe benefit). I also had a growing friendship with a Hindu classmate. We had numerous occasions to openly discuss spiritual matters and even though he freely admitted that his life was incomplete I was saddened to see so little change. Periodically, he would remind me that he was a Brahmin, the highest caste in Hinduism, which I learned only added to the barriers. One evening early on in our friendship he told me he would be very disappointed and hurt if I was only trying to be his friend in order to “convert” him. His directness shocked me, but it was something I needed to hear. It showed me the suspicions that Hindu students often have of the motives of Christians and their repulsion at the very idea of conversion. It also underscored how essential it is for our love to be sincere and the value of partnering with Indian believers so that Christianity is not equated with Western culture.

After completing graduate school and through much prayer I joined staff with IVCF’s international student ministries to work in pioneering an international ministry at another university. From the start, one of my personal desires was to reach out to the large Indian community. While ministry opportunities with other student groups grew, it remained difficult to make more than isolated contacts with the Indian community. So a few of us began praying for the Indian community and for God to bring some Indian believers to join us. There were several years of prayer before we saw any answers, and many disappointments along the way. I once contacted an Indian Christian student to see if he had a desire to reach out to the Indian community but he frankly said “No.” To complicate matters, the turnover rate among Indian students is very high as most are here for a Master’s degree which can be completed in 2 years or less. God continued to teach us perseverance in prayer as we brought these desires to God and waited for Him to answer.

Formation and initial growth of the fellowship

In His perfect timing, God brought together a small group of believers who began meeting regularly for fellowship, worship, Bible study, and prayer. First, God brought to the area an Indian Christian family with both Hindu and nominal Christian backgrounds who shared a desire to reach out to the Indian community. Together we prayed and made some initial contacts. During the following summer I visited India and got a firsthand taste of Indian culture. Those experiences were priceless and opened doors of trust and understanding that I doubt I could have gained any other way. The next fall, God sovereignly brought together 3 Christian students from Kerala (a southern state in India with the largest and oldest Christian community) who had a desire to begin an Indian prayer group. Within a few short weeks all of these pieces came together, and the Indian Christian Fellowship (ICF) was formed with the faculty advisor being one of our prayer partners who shared our heart for the South Asian students.

In the two years since the group began it has been a joy to grow together even through uncertainties and disappointments. Initially the small group (four or five) consisted mainly of believers with occasional visits from nominal Christians. A semester later, after two of the members graduated and there were no new people coming, we wondered what we should do. It is hard enough in a success-oriented world to remain as a small group, but it’s even worse to shrink. But knowing it was God’s work we committed the results to Him and continued to make it a priority at each meeting to pray specifically for Hindu friends and roommates. Later that semester, two Hindu friends we had been praying for went on an international evangelistic retreat with us because of the invitation of an Indian Christian friend. The speaker at the retreat was also from India and their experiences at that event challenged them to seek God further. Immediately afterwards they began attending the fellowship regularly. Even though they faced some challenges from other Indian friends, they soon became a part of our “family.” After attending the fellowship for one year, one of these students began following Jesus. Initially, it was a private decision. But it was soon apparent that it was a genuine step of faith with strong evidence of God’s work in his life. Within a short period of time his friends began to ask him what had happened to him and why he had changed. In the months that have followed, he has grown dramatically in his knowledge of the Word and in witness: bringing several friends to the fellowship and even leading a college friend to Christ.

It has been a joy to watch God transforms one person’s life and then see it soon spill over into the lives of others. Jesus said, “A city on a hill cannot be hidden,” (Matthew 5:14). This has been our desire and prayer for the Indian fellowship. We have seen this again in the lives of two new transfer students that God brought into our midst. Both are relatively new believers from Hindu backgrounds. As they have shared their testimonies with the group, their joy and enthusiasm is infectious and spills over into the lives of other friends and roommates. Although these students face difficult issues ahead (family and marriage especially) we are excited about how God’s work will overflow as we grow and serve together. As a result of these developments and as an answer to prayer, in just the past few months we have seen a significant increase in the number of students visiting the fellowship or curious about Christ. In addition, we praise God for the variety of people currently involved in the fellowship and we pray that its witness would extend to all the Indian groups represented at our university. (There is tremendous variety of ethnic/linguistic groups in India with varying degrees of Christian witness, most of which is concentrated in the south. Currently in ICF the language groups represented are Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu, Hindi, and Sindhi. In our network of friendships we also have significant contacts with Marathi and Punjabi students).

Even though the ICF still remains numerically small compared to the Indian student community as a whole, the witness extends well beyond the group. At times we meet for worship and Bible study in a student’s apartment, which is a testimony to roommates and those in the surrounding apartments. At other times we experience the hospitality of an Indian family’s home, especially enjoying the food and the children. Throughout the year we have tried to meet practical needs, helping students obtain furniture and driver’s licenses and even cleaning apartments. We’ve hosted small-scale outreach activities including a welcome party, a JESUS film showing and a science video discussion. As a result, I think the fellowship has a good reputation among Indian students, regardless of how many currently are interested in joining us. That is in God’s hands. Our desire is to faithfully share the love of Christ with the Indian student community—to be a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14).
Challenges of the Hindu Worldview

While working with international students, we often “get a foot in the door” by meeting practical needs. This may include assisting with English or hospitality needs. While some of these needs exist among Indian students, most of them are not priority issues. English is rarely a problem unless it is translating from the Queen’s English to American, as in “lorry” for truck. In addition, the Indian student association at our university quite effectively takes care of initial pick-ups and housing needs when the students first arrive. Even developing friendships can be difficult since most newcomers are quite content to establish their friendships within the Indian community. These factors make it a challenge to know where to begin. In spite of these things, the best way to start is through friendship, taking the time to listen and to learn about their individual backgrounds and beliefs.

Anyone who visits India or spends much time getting to know students from the subcontinent will quickly discover a dizzying diversity. The world’s largest democracy, India has more than a dozen national political parties, about 20 official languages, five major religions and a seemingly endless parade of religious leaders and cults. Even though Indian students will associate closely with one another while in the States, a closer examination will find subdivisions along ethnic/language lines or other shared backgrounds. So anything written in summary will be a gross over-generalization. My purpose is to describe some major categories of the Hindu worldview that to varying degrees are likely to be common to the minds and hearts of most Hindu students. These areas are 1) Family and duty, 2) Philosophical Hinduism (Vedanta) and 3) Superstition and idolatry.

From the outset I freely admit that I am no expert. I am simply summarizing some important ideas that I have learned from others and observed personally. I owe special thanks to the Christar missions agency for the training I received at the Hindu S.T.O.P. (Summer Training and Outreach Program) and for the chance to visit India with one of their short-term teams. Some of the major categories referred to here were organized and presented exceptionally well through their training program.

Family and duty

Permeating the Hindu worldview, perhaps even unconsciously, is the concept of dharma, which comprehensively defines a person’s duty in all areas of life. Dharma is a loaded term which simplistically means sacred law or duty and is determined from birth by a person’s family and their relationship to society. Originally, the caste system was closely connected to dharma, in which each caste fulfilled a particular job or duty in society. For example, if your family belonged to a laundry worker caste you would learn that trade and fulfill that duty or dharma to society. Lower castes were associated with unclean or menial labor jobs while higher castes performed the more prestigious duties. Highest of all are the Brahmin or priestly castes which are associated with religious duties and instruction. Although official discrimination based on caste is outlawed, caste still plays a major role in society and violent tensions exist in some areas between the high and low castes. A person’s dharma is also related through the concept of karma to the past, present and future. In Hindu thought, karma is the universal and unbreakable law that you reap what you sow. This has increasingly negative implications the more disadvantaged a person is, especially in rural areas and among lower castes. So if you are born a leper it is because of your bad karma (sins in the past) and it is your dharma to live out your life as a leper (in the present) to pay the penalty for your past sins and achieve a better life (in the future). Thus, fulfilling your dharma as a Hindu is essential for maintaining harmony in your family and in society as a whole. To a Hindu, if you are born in a Christian family it is seen as your dharma to be a Christian. As a result, Christianity becomes simply another subdivision or caste which is determined by birth but is not relevant to anyone who is not born a Christian. Likewise, in traditional Hindu thinking it is impossible to be a Hindu except by birth. So when you hear an Indian say “I am a Hindu” it doesn’t so much mean I believe in Hinduism as a complete system of beliefs as much as it means I am a Hindu by definition of my associations and identity, regardless of my personal religious beliefs or practices.

At the core of Indian culture and dharma is the absolute centrality of the family. Nearly all aspects of life in India are lived in community, of which the family unit is the smallest subdivision. With the diversity that exists in India your family name and relationships identify your place in the whole of Indian society. This is in stark contrast to much of American culture which is designed to maximize independent living and where individuals are encouraged to “make a name for yourself.” Major personal decisions are rarely evaluated apart from family considerations in India. Marriage is an excellent example of this because it is not simply the merging of two individual lives but the merging of two families. When a couple contemplates marriage, language, caste, social status, income and religion must be considered, both out of concern for the couple and for the family’s social image. There is much at stake in family honor, and individual opinions may be sacrificed for the will of the family. In this respect it is similar to many other cultures in the world, including the Biblical cultures of the Near East.

Consequently, most Hindus place their responsibility to their family above nearly all other concerns, and the thought of “conversion” is profoundly difficult. Failure to fulfill your duty to your family will cause family tensions, possible embarrassment in the social community and spiritual consequences for future rebirths. Even if believing in Jesus were acceptable to the family, it would likely become a point of conflict when it came to issues of marriage and children. Hindus may and often do find Jesus personally appealing. But an individual decision to become a follower of Christ is quite difficult because it implies a rejection of one’s own dharma and the acceptance of the “Christian” dharma. The Bhagavad Gita, the most well known of the Hindu Scriptures, states that it is better to do your own dharma poorly that to perform someone else’s dharma well.[2] To complicate the situation, “Christianity” is often identified with the worst of the Western culture or the behavior of nominal Christians, making it even more unappealing. This was Ghandi’s experience: he appreciated the teachings of Jesus but was rightly appalled by the hypocrisy and racism of the “Christians” he encountered in South Africa and other places. Thus to become a Christian may be seen by one’s family as a complete rejection of them and their culture. The stakes are increasingly higher for those of higher castes, because they have more to lose both spiritually and in social standing.

Another facet of dharma of particular concern to international student workers is that the concept also applies to what an individual should focus on during each stage of life. The first period of life for Hindus is the student stage during which it is their religious duty to be good students. Although studies are a significant portion of this stage of life, so is having fun, and playing cricket may take a higher priority. The student stage continues until the person is married. Once married, they enter the householder stage and their dharma is to raise a family. This tends to be the most stressful stage of life with many concerns weighing upon them.[3] Hinduism prescribes that only after the householder stage is complete is a person required, according to dharma, to be actively involved in religious studies. Thus students may be curious about religion but they are also justified in postponing serious religious inquiry. One Hindu friend who attended our fellowship said that until he came to the U.S., he had never seriously thought about questions regarding the meaning of life, death or God. Consequently, most Hindu students and families approach religion pragmatically, seeking help from the gods to succeed or simply survive. Some may maintain the religious rituals they have learned simply out of devotion to their parents. Others may become more sincere in their religious duties since they are now facing new problems alone in a foreign country.

For an Indian student to leave behind this close-knit family structure and to enter the “freedom” of university life in the U.S. may bring many problems. In India, social norms and morals are typically enforced through family and societal pressures. But without these pressures to restrict them here, many students go to excess; imitating the American “values” they have seen in movies. Sexual promiscuity, alcohol abuse and partying become common forms of entertainment or escape. The stress of facing new educational and financial decisions alone multiplies the pressures and may drive people further in this direction. The emotional and physical scars from this lifestyle are deep and saddening and may take years to overcome, even for those who come to Christ. These are critical years for Hindu students as they face these new pressures and the conclusion of their carefree student days. Perhaps during this time many will begin to realize their need for God.

Philosophical Hinduism

A second category of the Hindu worldview is the philosophical teachings of Hinduism, often called Vedanta. The oldest of the Hindu Scriptures are the Vedas, an extensive and complex collection of religious writings dating perhaps as far back as 2000 BC. Philosophical Hinduism derives from the numerous teachings and interpretations of the Vedas which have developed throughout the past centuries. These are well beyond my knowledge and the scope of this paper. But they are the source of many of the familiar and even contradictory teachings of Hinduism including karma, reincarnation, the sacredness of all life, and the unity of God in all things. It is impossible to know what a particular Hindu student will believe about these particular things because of the wide variety of beliefs. Yet, their underlying worldview is certainly influenced by these basic ideas. The best way to find out is to ask questions and be a good listener without arguing at every point.

Few Hindus have the time or knowledge of the Sanskrit language to study the Vedas. Instead, most get their knowledge of Hindu philosophy from the Bhagavad Gita, a story taken from one of the epic Hindu mythologies. It is the best known of all Hindu Scriptures. The focal point of the story is a discussion between the god Krishna and the hero Arjuna as he is on the battlefield facing an opposing army that includes members of his family. He is torn between his righteous duty as a warrior to fight against them and his aversion to harm them as his family. It is a dilemma of dharma. Krishna first answers that killing them is only temporary because all of life is a cycle that will go on forever--reincarnation. Then he tells him he must do his duty and fight against them while setting aside the results of his actions. He should leave the results to God. While this is a gross simplification, this philosophy may be used when faced with a dilemma. It can be a form of resignation, simply accepting your duty in life. Or it could be an expression of trust that somehow God will take care of everything in the end. But clearly, most Hindus readily acknowledge the reality of God’s work in life and are not afraid to discuss spiritual matters. As a result, offers to pray for and with them are rarely refused and often welcomed. This is a tangible way we can show our concern and ask God to bless them and provide specifically for their needs. Simply put, Hindus are open to spiritual things.

Another basic tenet of the Hindu worldview is the unity of God in all things. The direct consequence of this view is the belief that all religions lead to the same God. However, this “God” would be viewed as impersonal even though it may be worshipped in personal forms. While other areas of belief are difficult to predict this view is almost universal. It also presents one of the biggest hurdles to faith in Christ. Hindus may gladly welcome Jesus as divine and worship him along with other gods. But the exclusive claims of Jesus are hard. They are hard to accept intellectually because they go against such a fundamental part of their worldview, and they are hard to accept emotionally because of the implications for family and friends. Of course, the exclusive nature of Jesus’ claims is a difficult issue for anyone, even those coming from a Christian background. But the basic worldview of Hinduism makes it profoundly offensive. Recently, I met a new student from India who seemed quite interested in visiting church and perhaps a Bible study. But first he wanted to make sure that he didn’t need to be baptized or believe that Jesus was the only way to God before attending. As believers our response is to invite them to “Come and see,” (John 1:46) with no strings attached and allow the person of Christ as seen in the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit to lead them to faith.

Finally, a common tangible desire among Hindus is a longing for peace. Hindu philosophy defines the goal of life as moksha, liberation from the meaningless cycle of life and death, which can be achieved by union with the divine essence. Life is full of suffering and pain and it is something to escape. The Bhagavad Gita explains various paths one can choose to obtain liberation: meditation, good works, ascetic practices or devotion to a chosen deity. All of these require great effort but offer no guarantee and only temporary feelings of peace. This sense of restlessness and desire for peace demonstrates the reality of separation from God. As Augustine correctly described it centuries ago, “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.[4]” One Hindu friend told me about visiting the ashram of a famous Hindu guru who is worshipped today in India by millions as god incarnate. He remarked that as soon as he set foot on the property of the ashram he could feel a sense of peace and well being. This guru is well known not only for his moralistic teachings but also for his miraculous powers and illusions. Gurus are very popular because of this hunger for peace and the desire to have a personal connection with the divine. In some cases, the guru is even more important than the gods and is worshipped as a divine spiritual guide. How grievous it is that sinful human beings alive today would be worshipped as god incarnate instead of Jesus, the true Prince of Peace. Clearly, the obstacles are not simply false philosophies, but also spiritual realities that empower and deceive their followers.

Superstition and Idolatry—Those who make them will be like them

A third element of the Hindu worldview is superstition and idolatry which, consciously or not, plays a role in the lives of Hindu students. A typical Hindu family will have its own chosen deity to which they give most of their attention and devotion in hopes that the god will help them to succeed and get through life. Most will have a small shrine in their home for regular pujas (worship) with small idols or pictures of their family god or guru. Although the gods are supposed to help a person get closer to moksha (liberation), in reality most people seek the gods’ blessing for the here and now. There are too many problems to deal with now to worry about issues of life and death in the future. When I was visiting a University in India a groundskeeper showed me an old tree and a small stone idol representing the god Shiva, where he said many students would come to pray in the mornings. He remarked that it was especially common before exams. While some Hindus express reluctance about asking God for anything, religious pragmatism seems to be the most common pattern of devotion. Prayer is performed as a duty in the hopes that God will provide for their needs rather than from any personal relationship with God.

Among Hindu students in the U.S., who are educated and usually high caste, the views and practices of idolatry are varied and often inconsistent. On the surface most Hindu students give the appearances of being secular, pluralistic and maybe agnostic. They have embraced a scientific worldview and don’t appear to be superstitious. Yet, in difficult situations their underlying religious views emerge and they will be sure to cover all the bases. For example, a friend of mine would passionately support and defend Hinduism even though he was by his own admission secular and agnostic. But, after finding a job following a difficult job search he gave a special offering at the temple dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-headed “remover of obstacles” god to whom he had been praying. The more philosophical (Vedantist) students may reject and even scorn idolatry itself and consider it as something necessary only for the uneducated or for those who have not reached a higher spiritual level. They may view Christians in this category for worshipping a specific deity even though an actual idol is not used. Sadly, familiarity with Catholicism in India and the common use of pictures and statues in Catholic rituals further reinforce the perception that Christianity is little different from Hinduism. At the same time, these philosophical Hindus may pursue forms of meditation or yoga in which they are unknowingly opening themselves up to deceptive spiritual powers.

Visible expressions of idolatry and superstition are the religious charms, necklaces and bracelets that some students wear. Many bear the image of their preferred deity or guru. Often, these have been blessed or empowered in a temple ceremony to give them special powers and protection. Typically, they are gifts given by parents to their children who are leaving to study in the U.S. The student may not think of them as being significant for any other reason than that they were gifts from their parents. Yet, they represent demonic realities that exert influence on their lives. Opinions vary on how Christian friends should deal with these objects. Some choose to directly confront these powers by taking authority over them in the name of Jesus and breaking any empowerment of these objects. Others are reluctant to confront the spiritual powers except as they manifest themselves in the student’s life. But, in either case, they are tangible symbols of the real spiritual forces in Hinduism and underscore the necessity of focused, fervent prayer.

Lastly, astrology, numerology and other superstitions may play a significant role in the lives of Hindus. They influence life from the individual to the national level. Professional astrologers determine what times and dates will be auspicious (lucky) or inauspicious (unlucky) for a particular event. For example, an astrologer is commonly consulted to set the dates for important family events like marriage ceremonies. Potential spouses must match each other according to astrological and numerological readings. On a nationwide scale this is seen in the religious festivals. Religious holidays devoted to particular deities abound in India and are governed by the astrological calendar. As a result, certain dates and festivals and even physical places are more auspicious and therefore more popular among worshippers. In the extreme case, certain years in the astrological cycle are the most auspicious, and in these years pilgrims will travel by the millions to visit places like the Ganges River or sacred shrines. Sadly, this has been a cause or excuse for violence between Hindus and Muslims who fight for control of places sacred to both groups. Violence has even erupted among Hindus themselves as pilgrims and various Hindu sects vie to perform their rituals at the most auspicious times.

Concluding thoughts

In summary, Hindu beliefs and mythology influence most of Indian culture. For a Hindu, they touch nearly every aspect of life from the cradle to the grave. In some cases, certain traditional types of clothing are endowed with religious symbolism even though people may no longer be aware of it. As a result, it is nearly impossible to make a clear distinction between what is “secular” and “sacred.” This cultural saturation compounds the difficulty that new believers face as they seek to be faithful to Christ and still value their culture and honor their parents. However this cultural tendency to view all of life in relation to God may enable Hindu background believers to avoid the secular/sacred distinction that has harmed the church in the West. Additionally, this cultural milieu is actually remarkably similar to the culture of the Greco-Roman world as seen in the pages of Acts. It is nothing new to God, and by his grace his kingdom will be established.

In closing, let us consider Diwali, the most popular holiday of the Hindu calendar. Known as the festival of lights it is devoted to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. With celebrations faintly similar to Christmas, presents are given to friends and family and houses are colorfully decorated with lights so that Lakshmi will come and bring money and blessings to that house.[5] Scripture states that we will eventually look like the image of the gods we worship:

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. Psalm 135:15-18

Consequently, it seems the festival of Diwali reflects the desire for wealth that consumes so many from India! Those who make idols will be like them. Greed and idolatry are closely connected in the New Testament, and believers are sternly warned against them. While it is tragic to think that millions bow down every day to worship a physical idol, we must remember that idolatry comes in many forms. Millions of Americans “bow down” every day worshipping “gods” of silver and gold, concrete and steel. As we seek to share the love, majesty and holiness of Christ with Hindu students, we will be confronted by the idols of self and greed that still cry out for worship in our hearts. As believers, we are fellow idolaters rescued by God’s grace. Therefore, we must have a humble attitude and show uncompromising respect for our Hindu friends. This requires sincere love and patience as we allow God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to convince them of the truth and uniqueness of Christ. But that is, after all, how God brought us to himself.

Suggestions for further study:
Communities of Faith, a Way of Life: Introducing Hinduism by Ram Gidoomal and Robin Thomson
Death of a Guru, by Rabi Maharaj
Christian Approach to Hinduism, by Dr. Sam Gamadia
Living Water and Indian Bowl, by Dayanand Bharati
www.karma2grace.com

http://www.aradhnamusic.com/ (Indian style worship music)

For a more extensive list of resources contact the Institute of Hindu Studies at the USCWM.
www.uscwm.org ihs@uscwm.org

[1] Open Doors, www.opendoorsweb.org.
[2] The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Juan Mascaro, (England: Penguin Books, 1962) 3:35, p. 20.
[3] Hindu S.T.O.P. notes, Christar, 2001, Second Edition, p 13.
[4] Confessions of St. Augustine, Book 1, chapter 1.
[5] Gidoomal, Ram and Robin Thomson, Communities of Faith, a Way of Life: Introducing Hinduism, (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1997) pp. 76, 92.

FILED UNDER
» Equipping Students for Effective Service
» Evangelism
» Hindus
» South Asians


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity

This is the html version of the file https://intervarsity.org/ism/download.php?a...ersion_id=10033.
Google automatically generates html versions of documents as we crawl the web.
Page 1
Thoughts on Sharing Jesus with Hindu or Indian Students
by Matthew Agrafiotis and Evelyn Stephens
Build authentic friendships. Individual and small group (fam- ily) friendships with Hindus are most helpful. Friendship should be pursued with the end goal of friendship, not evangelism. Drop by to visit unannounced after you have developed a friendship. This will show that you are interested in genuine friendship rather than casual acquaintanceship.
Give and take. Indian friends love to have reciprocal friend- ships and will give a lot for a friend. Ask your friend for help. They expect that you will give a lot in the friendship as well. Indians are often happy to receive second-hand items, especially after they price new items and convert the amount to Indian rupees. When visiting a home, it is customary for the host to offer a drink and sometimes a snack or even a meal. It is best to receive whatever is offered because not receiving can be interpreted as superiority. When hosting, it is best to physically offer something, rather than just verbally ask what they would like.
Avoid saying “no.” Hindus often do not say “no” directly, so doing so could hurt their feelings or insult them. Find ways to give a reason you can’t, rather than starting with a “no” answer. Try also to express concern and possible ways that you can help whenever you do have to say “no.”
Christianity is misunderstood. Indians tend to form tight communities based on ancestral lines that may include religious labels but not necessarily belief. Thus, an Indian who identifies
Page 2
InterVarsIty
international student ministry himself as a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, or Buddhist may be agnostic or even an atheist. Many Indian “Christians” do not fol-
low the teachings of Jesus Christ. In addition, most Indians see Christianity as a foreign (Western) religion. The average Indian sees an unvirtuous Christian neighbor or watches American movies, and they conclude that Christianity promotes drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, and other evils. Paradoxically, most Indians see Jesus Christ as a virtuous spiritual teacher. To avoid confusion do not use the term “Christian” but more explicit terms, such as devotee (or follower) of the Lord Jesus.
Conversion is negative. To many Indians, converting to Christianity is understood as leaving their families and communities and joining a Christian community. This viewpoint has prompted numerous anti-conversion laws in India. However, it is acceptable within Hindu communities to change the gods to which one is devoted. Hindus can acknowledge complete devotion to the Lord Jesus without leaving their families or communities.
Pray. Generally prayer is well received by most Hindus. Offer to pray, and tell them that you will pray to Jesus. You can make it a special time of prayer to Jesus where you go to their home and meet.
Do not treat prayer too casually, so that they do not get the idea that you are not respectful of Jesus. Rituals are important to them. Ask questions. Feel free to ask questions about their personal beliefs about God. Many Indians are used to having religious discussions, and it is likely that no two Hindus you meet will have the same set of beliefs.
Share testimonies with humility. Describe your personal experiences of lostness and God’s gracious forgiveness and peace. Talk about your own spiritual life and why you follow Jesus. Be genuine rather than formulaic. Share recent experiences of God’s love and ways that your relationship with Jesus changes who you are. Do not claim to know God in his majesty and fullness. Many Hindus think Christians see themselves as the greatest people with the greatest religion. Be careful using testimonies of Hindus who have found Christ, since triumphalism and pride may be what is communicated (1 Cor 8:1-2).
Page 3
Read the Bible together. If they express a desire to learn about the Lord Jesus, then it is best to do that one-on-one or in a small group of other like-minded students in a neutral location. Rather than teaching a Bible study, it may be better to approach the Scripture as co-learners of the Great Teacher, Jesus.
Do not push invitations to Christian meetings. Build friendships before explicitly inviting Hindus to Christian meetings, but welcome them if they want to attend. If you do invite them to an event, be open and honest about all religious content. Events that are publicized to be only social need to be just that. Bring them to groups where they are valued and can safely be themselves, and avoid events where Hindus may be confronted to convert.
Do not criticize Hindu beliefs or culture. Pointing out the worst aspects of Hinduism or the caste system will not win Hindus to Jesus. Immediate criticism will also make them suspicious of the aims of your friendship. Once the friendship is developed, you can engage in meaningful conversations, ask about their experiences, and sensitively share your views.
Live out your devotion to Jesus. Exposing and living out our personal devotion to the Lord Jesus rather than preaching is the most effective way to share faith among Hindus. Work into your life the traditional Hindu (and biblical) values of simplicity, renunciation (fasting), spirituality, and humility.
Avoid apologetic arguments. <b>Most Hindus do not have a developed theology, but they may argue points that they do not personally believe.</b> Also, many Western arguments do not make sense to Hindus or may have unintended meanings.
Be patient in inviting a response. Our friends should set the pace of spiritual discussions. Do not press “Jesus is the only way” too soon in your relationship, since it may break trust and not allow you to tell more about Jesus. You can share that you personally follow Jesus and only him. Pray for the right time when you will be able to allow Jesus’ words to explain why he is the way to God, so that your Hindu friends wrestle with Jesus, rather than with you.


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - G.Subramaniam - 01-17-2009

intervarsity
What's new?

Overseas Friends of the Union of Evangelical Students of India
(Overseas Friends of the Union of Evangelical Students of India)

The "Overseas Friends of the Union of Evangelical Students of India" (OFUESI) was "formed in 1999 with the goal to establish a supporting base in the USA for the ongoing ministry of Union of Evangelical Students of India (UESI)."

Their homepage continues: "The membership to this organization is voluntary and consists of those who have been blessed by the ministry of UESI as well as those who have a heart for the students of India."

This fellowship should be of interest to students in North America from India, and also those from similar cultural and religious backgrounds in Sri-Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangaladesh, Napal, Mauritius and other parts of South Asia.

As one of its leaders says: "The OFUESI members are ex-UESI members actively involved in students ministry back India and originally from India. Some of them are US citizens and some of them are permanent residents. OFUESI team members have the similar burden, vision, zeal and election to reach the Students for Christ.

"The OFUESI team members are involved with their own secular jobs and involved with ministry during the evenining and weekends. Some of the OFUESI members are Hindu converts and which make it even easier to reach the Hindu Students.

"OFUESI members are willing to open their homes to have local get together and also will volunteer help in arranging retreats and camps for this particular ethnic groups. OFUESI members can invite the Indian Students to their homes during the long weekends like Thanksgiving, Christmas holidays, etc., OFUESI members share the same culture and family values as like these Indian Students.

Some of the OFUESI local chapters are already having local partnerships through Navigators and ISI Team to reach Indian Students."

More information about OFUESI can be found at their website at: http://www.ofuesi.org
Posted and last modified on: Jan 31, 2006
© 2009 InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA ® | Privacy Policy
Questions about the website? Contact Contact the webservant
Member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students
Gospel.com Community MemberEvangelical Council for Financial Accountability


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - Guest - 01-19-2009

<b>VHP activists bash up Christian missionaries in Allahabad</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Tension erupted in Allahabad during the ongoing religious congregation Magh Mela after Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists bashed up a<b> group of Christian missionaries, including three women, who were allegedly distributing 'blasphemous literature'.</b>

The incident took place at the Parade Ground, where four Christian missionaries were distributing pamphlets propagating their faith.
......

We demand that the missionaries be booked under National Security Act. Their <b>pamphlets had many derogatory references to the Ganga</b>, the river which is considered holy by millions of Hindus world over. <b>They were audacious enough to distribute such literature at the Magh Mela,"</b> Srivastava said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - Shambhu - 01-19-2009

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jan 19 2009, 12:30 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jan 19 2009, 12:30 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>VHP activists bash up Christian missionaries in Allahabad</b><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Tension erupted in Allahabad during the ongoing religious congregation Magh Mela after Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists bashed up a<b> group of Christian missionaries, including three women, who were allegedly distributing 'blasphemous literature'.</b>

The incident took place at the Parade Ground, where four Christian missionaries were distributing pamphlets propagating their faith.
......

We demand that the missionaries be booked under National Security Act. Their <b>pamphlets had many derogatory references to the Ganga</b>, the river which is considered holy by millions of Hindus world over. <b>They were audacious enough to distribute such literature at the Magh Mela,"</b> Srivastava said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
[right][snapback]93441[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>
Addressed to all Hindu organizations:</b>

Keep up the good work; but please, have copies of such literature ready. To show the police (when the y come knocking, at the behest of the mlechchas, to try to blame the Hindu outfits), and to show Hindu news outlets and vernacular newspapers and bloggers. We need to spread the anger.

Imam Bukhari spreads his lies on the marbled floors of a organized murder clubhouse every Friday. Why can we not spread the truth?


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - Guest - 01-23-2009

Bill Mutranowski does a lot of atheist cartoons.... it's easy to counter missionary propaganda with it.
Sample..
<img src='http://cagle.com/news/AtheistCartoons08/images/mutranowski-7.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - Husky - 01-23-2009

Christianism murders Rome - part II

http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2009/01/chr...ues-thanks.html
<b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Monday, January 19, 2009
christist's smash hindu temples- thanks for the memories Antonia</b>
http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplay...le.aspx?id=344:

thanks to Antonia and son Raul the Christist's have a free hand in India to kill hindu priests in Orissa, steal Hindu land and temples in AP, kill hindus all over the north east and now do some temple destruction in Goa.

er- did I mention the Islamists in Kashmir, Pakistani's all over India and commies everywhere including in Nepal.

of course nothing will happen to sonia and her kingini - they have worked out a deal with the greens and the reds. as long as everyone gets to destroy hindu civilization - nobody on the team gets hurt.
Posted by Ghost Writer at 1/19/2009 09:39:00 PM
Labels: Christism, sonia maino

<b>1 comments:

blogger said...</b>

    Here is a link to a documentary on Christian Missionary's radical and terror activities against Hindus in India.

    An on the spot report on communal, nonsecular and radical misdeeds by some Christian Missionaries against Hindus in Bharat. They abuse Hindu Gods, ask people to step on the pictures of Hindu Gods before entering Church and then burn the pictures. They tell people that evil lives in Hindus because Hindus chant mantr.
    1/20/2009 12:32 AM<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplay...cle.aspx?id=344
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Idol desecration in Goa</b>     
Yadnesh Sawant
17 Jan 2009


Condemnable incidents of idol desecration date back to the black history of Portuguese invasion in Goa. During their rule, the Portuguese compelled the Hindus to convert to Christianity. They committed horrible atrocities on the Hindus, attacked their temples and desecrated the murtis in order to create terror. Goa has a black history of the infamous Inquisition.


Though Goa will celebrate the golden jubilee of its independence in a few years, it is sad to note that incidents of desecration of murtis of Hindu deities and saints continue. So far, as many as 22 desecration incidents have occurred between August 2004 to December 2008 – at Sanguem, Curchorem, Bambolim, Ponda, Chodan, Quepem, Panaji – but not a single culprit has been booked in any case.


The aim of the iconoclasts is of course, to ruin the faith of Hindus in their gods, sants, and Dharma. The Congress regime in Goa is most negligent in protecting Hindus against such brutalities.


<b>Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Akhil Goa Mandir Suraksha Samiti (AGMSS)</b>


On 28 August 2004, an image of Sri Paaikdev was desecrated at Valse, Bhati, Sanguem. The very next day, 29 August, a murti of Sri Kanerisiddha was desecrated in the same taluka. In 2004-05, there were four image desecration incidents; in 2007, there were four incidents; and by April 2008 another four incidents of desecration took place.


The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) took serious note of these incidents and with the help of like-minded organisations, staunch Hindus and local devotees, staged an agitation against these incidents. Memorandums were submitted memorandums to the administration, Government and police several times, but all pleas fell on deaf ears.


On 23 June 2008, yet another image was desecrated at Sri Someshwar temple at Shirvai, Quepem. Given the growing number of such incidents and the persistent failure of the police and administration to act to curb the same, several Hindu organisations, temple trustees and devotees joined hands to form an autonomous body to spread awareness about this iconoclasm and take steps to curb the same. Thus, the Akhil Goa Mandir Suraksha Samiti (AGMSS) came into being. From its inception, its activities have been guided by H.H. Bramheshanand Swamiji, Pithadeesh of the Padmanabh Sect, Tapobhoomi, Kundaim, Goa.


The AGMSS has so far conducted meetings in almost all Talukas of the State; a state level public meeting on 17 August 2008 in the capital, was attended by 1000 temple representatives from all over the State and graced by H.H. Shivanand Saraswati Swamiji of Sri Saunsthan Gaudapadacharya Mutt, Kavlem, Ponda, Goa; Sri Sri Sacchidananda Dyaneshwar Bharati Swamiji of Karki Mutt of Daivadnya Brahman Samaj (North Karnataka); Srimad Vidyadhiraj Teerth Vader Swamiji of Partagal Mutt, Goa; Sri Vibhushit Jagadguru Ramanandacharya; Sri Swami Narendracharya Maharaj of ‘Sri Sampraday;’ and H.H. Bramheshanand Swamiji of Tapobhoomi, Kundaim, Goa. The outcome of this awareness programme is that any incident of desecration is promptly and intensely protested by devotees and the general public.


<b>AGMSS programmes</b>


The Akhil Goa Mandir Suraksha Samiti has organised exhibitions of image desecration in Goa, along with brief information about the various incidents. AGMSS also prepared a CD to spread further awareness, as a result of which thousands have become aware of this atrocity from the viewpoint of Hindu Dharma.


Presently, the Hindu community appears to have lost its inner strength and is unable to resist and defend itself from repeated attacks on its gods and temples. To invigorate the community and remind it of the puissance of its divinities, the AGMSS organised a ‘public weapon worship’ programme last Dussehra at various places in the state.


The AGMSS called a ‘Goa bandh’ on 20 October 2008 to pressurise the government to catch the iconoclasts. The Congress government fumbled as the bandh call received overwhelming public response. On 18 October 2008, AGMSS state level coordinators, Vinayak Chari, Rajendra Velingkar and Jayesh Thali, were arrested by police for using a loudspeaker while campaigning for the ‘Goa Bandh’ near the Old Bus Stand at Margoa! But they had to be released a few hours later.


The Congress regime, however, made several attempts to frustrate the ‘Goa bandh.’ One day before, the Government placed an advertisement in the daily newspapers appealing to the public to refrain from participating in the ‘Goa bandh;’ it assured police protection to those who did not join. It also invoked Section 144 throughout the state on 20 October, and tried to arrest the principal leaders of the agitation. Despite these measures, there was cent percent participation by Goans.


<b>Devasthan Saurakshan Mahasammelan</b>


Despite these measures, image desecration incidents still continued in parts of Goa, prompting the AGMSS to organise a ‘Devasthan Saurakshan Mahasammelan’ in Panaji on 10 January 2009. An impressive 35,000 Hindus united for the cause of temple security. Resolutions unanimously called for a ‘Temple Protection Act’ to permanently curb the deplorable series of desecration incidents in Goa, laws to stop denigration of Hindu deities, an ‘Anti-Conversion Act.’


The Mahasammelan was graced by H.H. Jagadguru Madhvacharya Sri Vishweshteerth Swami Maharaj, Pejawar Mathadish, Udupi; H.H. Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya Vidyanrusiha Bharati, Karveer Pithadish, Kolhapur, Maharashtra; H.H. Acharya Dharmendraji Swami Maharaj, Panchkhand Pithadish, Jaipur, Rajasthan; H.H. Bramheshanandacharya Swami, Parampujya Padmanabh Shishya Sampradaya (Goa) Tapobhoomi, Kundaim Pithadish; H.H. Sadguru Sri Mukundraj Maharaj; Pujya Kedarji Chaitanya.




The Mahasammelan demanded that:

* A ‘Temple Protection Act’ be enacted to permanently curb the deplorable series of murti    desecration incidents in Goa and the guilty be traced and punished
* Punish advertisers and actors who denigrate Hindus deities
* Enact a law to stop the slaughter of cows completely
* Stop aid for ‘Haj’ pilgrimage with immediate effect
* Re-instate police officers transferred in the ‘Vasco Madarasa case’
* Enact an ‘Anti-conversion Act’
* Take strict action against Convent Schools that were closed on 29 August 2008 and all schools    closed on Goa Liberation Day
* Accord national anthem status to ‘Vande Mataram’ and make it mandatory to all schools
* Hang terrorist Mohammad Afzal immediately.


The Mahasammelan also vowed that Hindus would not sell their votes to any political party; Hindus would not accept financial aid given for temples with a political motive; and Hindus would only vote for candidates who work for the interest of the Hindu community.


The author is Coordinator, Hindu Jagruti Samiti; its website is www.hindujagruti.org<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Christian Subversion And Missionary Activities - 5 - Shambhu - 01-24-2009

They did not quite follow the footsteps of either of their four fathers, and did not molest children, but hey, they did come close!
http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2009/01/chr...ions-spend.html