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Christian subversion and missionary activities -2
K.Ram's posts 38, 39, 40 are more important to India, but just found the following:

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=227773 (also at http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?...me=356655)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Friday Feb 16 (2007)
<b>US couple jailed for caging children</b>
An American couple who forced some of their 11 adopted, special-needs children to sleep in cages have been sentenced to two years in prison each for child endangering.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle could have received up to five years in prison for each of the <b>four felonies they were convicted of in December. They also were convicted of seven misdemeanours.</b>
Sharen Gravelle cried during a 26 minute statement to the court, in which she blamed social services officials for not helping them control the destructive behaviour of some of the youngsters.

She said the children were never confined as punishment but rather to protect them, including a child who wanted to jump out a second-floor window.

"Would you prefer that we let them jump? Either way, we'd be here. The difference is they're still alive," she said.

"That was not punishment, no matter what's said," she said.

The couple has said they needed to keep some of the children in enclosed beds with alarms to protect them from their own dangerous behaviour and stop them from wandering at night.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
It gets more interesting, why have they been adopting and are these adoptive 'parents' really put-upon innocents who can't manage the children:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->21 Dec 2006
<b>Caged Children's Adopter Wanted to Start an Orphanage</b>
The Ohio man who had adopted 11 foster children has said that he made enough money adopting children, that he could quit his job, according to his neighbor. The couple are Michael and Sharen Gravelle, and are currently at trial being prosecuted for their crimes.

Apparently, he thought he could make a living holding children hostage in cages, beating them, and torturing them.

These adoptive parents have been on trial in abusing the children that they had adopted. In addition to caging the children they adopted, <b>ABC News</b> stated that they have done additional abuses such as:

(Tom) Hall, testifying at the trial of Michael and Sharen Gravelle, also told the jury that he saw the father hose down one of the children outside in 20-degree weather. Hall said he believes it was because the child had a bathroom accident, but he could not recall which of the 11 children it was or when it occurred….

….Laura Oney, another neighbor, testified that she reported the couple to the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services, which oversees adoption, in 2001 after Michael Gravelle told her one of the children was sleeping in a bathtub with only a blanket and a pillow. She said she reported the Gravelles again in 2002 after seeing Sharen Gravelle hit a child across the back of the legs with a sawed-off broomstick.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Referred to above:
<b>ABC - Neighbor Testifies in 'Caged Kids' Trial</b>

Now, of course, this is the predictable bit, and the bit that the regular news doesn't generally tell you - unless it happens to come out at a trial, of course. In this case, a 'character' witness for the defense states:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->January 26 2007
A Comfort Keepers employee had been in the home for six months and had said the Gravelles were good, Christian people, Leffler said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Yeah. It's just a continuation of the history of Christian abuse against children with special needs.
Today (Feb 07), they've finally been put in prison, in spite of (because of) being such 'good christians'.

<b>Onto the second bit of depressing news. Christianity in Africa:</b>
- South London Press: Holy man in child trafficking arrest
(Very holy, in the christian sense of course)
- 'Miracle babies' pastor held - child trafficking
- BBC - 'Miracle baby' couples fail test
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A number of couples have claimed their children were abducted at birth<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->But as a good christo convert, this 'holy' man denies that he made his moolah by child trafficking
- Pastor Gilbert Deya Arrested For Child Trafficking
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->More bones dug out in Ratlam, 2 held

New Delhi: A day after the remains of newborns and fetuses were found at a missionary hospital in Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, more bones were dug out from the vicinity on Sunday.

About 391 pieces of bones were recovered on Saturday following a tip-off from a pit near the Ratlam Christian hospital.

The superintendent of the Ratlam Christian hospital has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Remains of unborn babies and fetuses were also found from the pit. The samples have been sent for forensic tests to Bhopal.

One other person working as part of the sanitation staff has also been arrested. Hospital authorities are describing it as bio-medical waste.

DIG of Ratlam Varun Kapoor said, “The bones have been sent to Bhopal Medico-legal Institute for examination.”

Gynecologist of the hospital Venu Gopalan was also detained for questioning in connection with the recovery of pieces of bones of three to four newborns and fetuses.

Claiming that burying bodies in hospital premises was against the law, Kapoor said the area in the search would be widened if the need arose.

Samples of bones were sent to the State Medico-legal Institute in Bhopal and a committee, comprising doctors and environment experts, has started a probe. The future course of action will be decided after the panel submits its report, he said.

Illegal abortions, foeticide, infanticide or sex determination were not carried out in any of the hospitals operated by the CNI, its chief functionary Samuel Kishan told PTI.

The hospital in Ratlam is more than 100 years old and such activities are not allowed on its premises, he claimed.

"We will cooperate with the police probe and if anybody is at fault, appropriate action will be taken," PTI quoted Kishan saying.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ratlam skeleton case, probe on

MORE BONES: About 437 pieces of bones have been found in two days of digging in Ratlam.

Ratlam: More bones have been recovered from the Christian Medical Hospital in Ratlam. About 437 pieces of bones have been found in two days of digging. Two people have been arrested so far. The hospital continues to deny allegations of foeticide or abortions.

Digging continued at the compound of the Christian Medical College at Ratlam on Sunday. The toll went up from 391 bone pieces found on Saturday night, to 437 on Sunday.

An angry crowd had gathered outside the hospital, and called for immediate action.

Anticipating more trouble, the police promptly detained one hospital staff and started their investigations.

The police suspect the entire matter to be a case of female foeticide.

They have already arrested two people including the medical superintendent of the hospital and have sent the bones to the state forensic lab for a detailed report.

DIG of Ratlam Range Gaurav Kapoor said, “The samples have been sent to the Bhopal Medico-legal Institute to check the age and sex and whether these bones belong to humans or animals.”

The state health Minister has already formed a five member committee to look into the matter which will submit a report in the a week's time.

However, the Christian hospital authorities have not ruled out a conspiracy angle.

<b>Christian Indologists and the Twin Paradox</b>
<i>Kalavai Venkat </i>

tiny url

<b>Priests sell baptism certificates </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> CNN-IBN and Cobrapost investigation has found that some unscrupulous members of the church are selling baptism certificates, which are needed to prove that a person is Christian.

Father Benjamin Das, pastor of the Idgaah Baptist Church in Paharganj, New Delhi, sells baptism certificates. The investigation team goes undercover and tells him that we need baptism certificates.

Das agrees and fakes a backdated entry in the church register to show us as old members of the church
Then Das fixes the cost of a certificate. For Rs 15,000 he sells us a certificate. “Total jo hai, mere 15 ho gaye. Two affidavit ke ho gaye and aur 13 yeh ho gaye,” says Das. (Rs 15,000 is for me: Rs 2,000 for the affidavits and Rs 13,000 more)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Then Das fixes the cost of a certificate. For Rs 15,000 he sells us a certificate. “Total jo hai, mere 15 ho gaye. Two affidavit ke ho gaye and aur 13 yeh ho gaye,” says Das. (Rs 15,000 is for me: Rs 2,000 for the affidavits and Rs 13,000 more)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The investigation team then approached Father Henrich James, of the Holy Gospel Baptist church in Delhi University's Christian colony, for another baptism certificate.

We told James we need the certificate for a job in a missionary school in Meerut. We got one for Rs 5,000.

Next, the team goes to Father Cecil Newton of the Assembly of Believers Church. We tell Newton we need a baptism certificate to secure admission in a Christian college. He agrees to supply us one, along with a mandatory affidavit signed by a magistrate that declares that we are voluntarily converting to Christianity.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->

we are like this onlee..
Next, the team goes to Father Cecil Newton of the Assembly of Believers Church. We tell Newton we need a baptism certificate to secure admission in a Christian college. He agrees to supply us one, along with a mandatory affidavit signed by a magistrate that declares that we are voluntarily converting to Christianity.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is not good. If there are not enough minorities to fill-up the minority quota in these colleges, why should these continue to be given minority institution status? (I know... majority of the words in that sentence were minority!).

What is the qualification for this monirity-institute provision? If these colleges are being used for converting, these colleges must be nationalised.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>HP ban on conversions a political move? </b>
Pioneer News Service | Shimla
Christian council to challenge decision
The Himachal Pradesh Government decided to ban conversions seems to be a calculated political move. The State has the largest number of the Hindu population in the country. And the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act has won the Virbhadra Singh Government applause across the party lines in the State for the getting the Act in place.

But if takes a look at the figures of conversions one definitely needs to give a second thought whether the State really needed this bill? <b>If one takes a look at the 2001 Census, there are only 8,000 Christians in the State and it would be difficult to say how many among these were made to convert to Christianity by coercion or allurement.</b> The All India Christian Council has already decided to challenge the Act in the High Court of Himachal Pradesh.

Talking to The Pioneer All India Christian Council secretary general John Dayal said the State Government decision was against the fundamental right of practice of religion and the organisation would challenge the decision of the Government in the High Court and would go even to the Supreme Court.

He said the <b>Congress President Sonia Gandhi had conveyed that her party was against this Act,</b> which was already in place where BJP led States of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Several newspaper reports had earlier reported of conversions in various parts of the State during the last few years following which the Hindu organisations in the State have decided to take things in their own hands by reconverting them to Hinduism.

According to sources there have been reports of conversions from Kangra, Shimla, Kinnaur and Kullu districts of the State. And although there are no figures, which could give an exact figure of conversion, which have taken, place but reports continue to get into print time and again. The BJP's All India Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes president Tarsem Bharti has welcomed the move.

According to Bharti, the move would stop the policy of allurement being followed by the Christian missionaries to mislead the Hindu population of the State. Welcoming the Act, <b>he announced that more than 5,000 Christians would be reconverting to Hinduism on February 28, 2007 at Shimla.</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
In a chilling discovery, numerous human bones and skeletons, and remains of foetuses have been unearthed from a pit inside a missionary hospital in Ratlam town of MP. Since the hospital is christian missionary hospital, media is not highlighting this news as much. P-Secularist Zee news did not even mention that it was a Christian Missionary hospital. They did not even mention the name of the hospital since the proud name of the hospital, after all, is: Ratlam Christian Hospital.

Why did the hospital dump human bones in a pit? No answers yet, though one probability is they may be involved in abortions!!! Identification of the sex of the bodies will determine whether there is anything to do with female feticide. Christian hospital and abortion??? Media will try its best to hide the facts.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>390 bone pieces, remains of children found in Ratlam  </span>

Ratlam (MP), Feb 17: A total of 390 pieces of bones and skeletal remains of children were found in a pit at a hospital here on Saturday, police said.

Following a tip-off, the bones were found in a pit behind the operation theatre of the Missionary Hospital, Superintendent of Police Satish Saxena said.

"Though the bones seem to belong to new-born children or aborted foetuses, it is difficult to ascertain the age of the children as the skeletons are not intact," he said.

The area was sealed off and samples were sent to the state forensic laboratory for tests, Saxena said.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->14 foetuses found among bones in Ratlam
February 20, 2007

Bhopal: Parts of at least 14 foetuses between four to eight months were among the skeletal remains recovered from a pit at a missionary hospital in Ratlam, official sources said today.

At least 10 stillborn babies were reportedly born and 35 dilatation and curettage (DNC) procedures carried out in the hospital in last one year, they said.

"We have found 14 pieces of right scapula indicating that at least as many number of four to eight-month-old foetuses were buried at the Ratlam Christian Hospital," Madhya Pradesh Medic Legal Institute director D Satpathy told PTI.

Four pieces of bones, probably amputated limbs of 55-65- year-old-persons, were also found in the samples, he said, adding that the condition of the bones suggest the burials were taking place for the last two years. Some pieces were about six months old.

Claiming that it was too early to arrive at a conclusion about the sex of the foetuses, he said experts were working on them and a final report will be prepared in another five-six days.

Ratlam police scrutinised records seized from the hospital and claimed that 371 deliveries were performed at the medical facility in the last one year. Ten babies were stillborn, while 35 DNCs were performed by the doctors during the period.

As many as 437 pieces of skulls and bones were found from the pit behind the operation theatre since February 17, they said, adding the hospital's medical superintendent Patience Williams and sweeper Jagram were arrested for concealment of birth by secretly disposing bodies and later released on bail.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->204 bone pieces found in Ratlam hospital
Wednesday, February 21, 2007  20:47 IST

RATLAM: A total of 204 bone pieces, including parts of foetal skulls, were on Wednesday found in the sewage chamber of a hospital here where remains of newborns and foetuses were dug up last week, even as police conducted fresh searches outside a doctor's home and some wards of the facility.

A safety tank outside the house of a doctor of <b>Ratlam Christian Hospital </b>was being searched for skeletal remains, and digging was also carried out near wards 23 and 24 of the hospital, Inspector S S Tomar said.

After drying sewage dug out from a chamber at the hospital, police this morning found 204 pieces of skeletal remains, including 73 pieces of skulls of foetuses and newborns, Tomar said.

With the fresh finds, a total of 737 pieces of bones and skulls have been found in the hospital's premises since February 17. The remains were sent to the medico-legal institute in Bhopal for tests, he said.

The hospital's medical superintendent Patience Williams and sweeper Jagram were arrested for concealing births by secretly disposing of bodies and later released on bail.

The incident evoked an outcry from different quarters, with Hindu groups demanding action against missionary-run hospitals across the state.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kantilal Bhuria and members of the state women's commission visited the hospital amidst allegations that some of its staff were involved in female foeticide and infanticide.

Experts at the medico-legal institute said the foetuses were four to eights month old but their sex was yet to be ascertained.

It is a big coverup. Some say they were involved in organ sale or abortion.
Media is hiding actual facts.
They should close down this hospital and arrest head of this hospital.
<b>मिशनरी अस्पताल में गर्भपात होते थे: सफाईकर्मी</b>

रतलाम (मप्र)। रतलाम के मिशनरी अस्पताल से पिछले दिनों बच्चों की हड्डियां मिलने के मामले में आरोपी बनाए गए अस्पताल के सफाईकर्मी जगराम गोसर ने अस्पताल में गर्भपात किए जाने का खुलासा करते हुए स्थानीय अदालत में एक आवेदन देकर स्वयं को इस मामले में आरोपी बनाए जाने के स्थान पर साक्षी के रूप में शामिल किए जाने का अनुरोध किया।
  जगराम गोसर ने अपने अधिवक्ता उमाकांत उपाध्याय के माध्यम से दायर एक आवेदन में कहा कि वह पिछले 13 वर्षो से मिशनरी अस्पताल में नौकरी कर रहा है। गोसर ने अपने आवेदन में कहा कि अस्पताल की अधीक्षिका डॉ. पी विलियम द्वारा गर्भपात एवं डीएनसी के लिए मरीजों से पांच से दस हजार रुपये तक लिए जाते थे और वह इसका प्रत्यक्षदर्शी गवाह है।
  आवेदन में कहा गया कि पिछले दो सालों से अस्पताल में गर्भपात एवं डीएनसी के माध्यम से जो नवजात शिशु होते थे, उनको उसे वहीं दफनाने के लिए दिया जाता था और अस्पतालकर्मी के रूप में उसने प्रबंधन के आदेश का पालन किया है। उसने अदालत से इस मामले में आरोपी के स्थान पर साक्षी के रूप में शामिल किए जाने का अनुरोध किया।
  उल्लेखनीय है कि 17 फरवरी के बाद से अस्पताल परिसर से हड्डियों के 767 टुकड़े मिले थे जिन्हें जांच के लिए मेडिको लीगल संस्थान भोपाल भेजा गया था। मेडिको लीगल संस्थान के सूत्रों ने बताया कि हड्डियों से उनके लिंग का पता नहीं लगाया जा सका है तथा इनमें से कुछ टुकड़े सागर की फोरेंसिक प्रयोगशाला में भेजे गए हैं। <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Feb. 27, 2007
<b>San Diego diocese files Chapter 11</b>
By ALLISON HOFFMAN, Associated Press Writer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy protection late Tuesday to put off going to trial in more than 140 civil lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests.
(Excellent. Maybe now they can stop affording hiring of child-predator-priests.)

The petition was lodged with the federal bankruptcy court in San Diego at 11:55 p.m., just hours before the first trial was scheduled to go forward in a San Diego courtroom. A Chapter 11 filing automatically halts court proceedings.

San Diego is the fifth U.S. diocese to file for bankruptcy protection under the shadow of sex abuse claims. With nearly 1 million parishioners, it is also the largest.

In a letter posted on the diocese's Web site earlier in the day, Bishop Robert Brom wrote that the diocese had "decided against litigating our cases because of the length of time the process could take and, more importantly, because early trial judgments in favor of some victims could so deplete diocesan and insurance resources that there would be nothing left for other victims."
(What? It's not like they had handed out anything to victims until the world started crashing about their ears recently.)

Brom said in his letter that the diocese would disclose the names of accused priests who officials are certain participated in abuse, and "we will verify that no known abuser is functioning in ministry."

Diocese officials and plaintiffs' attorneys failed to reach a settlement during two days of negotiations, wrapped up Monday, in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The diocese called plaintiffs' attorneys Tuesday morning to make a "final and best" settlement offer, said Micheal Webb, attorney for the diocese. He declined to specify how much the church had offered but said it was higher than total settlements reached in other U.S. dioceses.

"When they rejected it, we were left with no choice," Webb said.

The lead plaintiffs' attorney, Ray Boucher, disputed Webb's characterization of the offer and described it as an "ultimatum."

He said Webb had not provided sufficient financial information to allow plaintiffs' attorneys to determine whether the offer was reasonable. Boucher claimed the diocese was planning to file for bankruptcy protection even if the offer were accepted.

"If it was really a settlement to help the diocese avoid bankruptcy that would be one thing but that's not what this was," Boucher said. "From the diocese standpoint it was a pure business decision."

Other attorneys for the plaintiffs said the total amount the church had offered was insufficient because San Diego has more plaintiffs than other jurisdictions.

"It's meaningless," said attorney Andrea Leavitt.

They also accused the church of using bankruptcy as a way to keep potentially embarrassing information under wraps. By delaying civil trials, the filing prevents diocese officials from being confronted in court with potentially embarrassing facts, missteps or documents related to past handling of abusive priests.

A trial prompted by a woman's accusations that a priest forced her to have sex in his parish office 1972, when she was 17, was scheduled to begin Wednesday. Three other trials were scheduled to follow, involving multiple victims and allegations that the diocese protected abusive priests by moving them from parish to parish.

Plaintiffs with cases already released for trial may appeal for permission to let those trials move ahead.

<b>David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, told reporters outside St. Joseph's Cathedral in downtown San Diego that he and his local staff had been fielding calls throughout the day from victims, some in tears, asking about the bankruptcy.

"In all of these dioceses, the bishops claim that it's for the victims, but it's not. It's for their own self-preservation," said Clohessy.</b>

Diocese officials announced this month in a letter distributed to parishioners that they were contemplating bankruptcy to put off going to trial. The diocese retained an Arizona bankruptcy attorney who guided the Tucson diocese through its filing, and Brom discussed the matter with diocese priests at a regular pre-Lent meeting Feb. 19 in San Diego.

The diocese, which covers San Diego and Imperial counties, has 98 churches and runs 50 schools.

In addition to Tucson and San Diego, the dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy were Portland, Ore., Spokane, Wash., and Davenport, Iowa. Tucson has emerged from bankruptcy, while proposed settlements in Spokane and Portland are awaiting final approval. Portland had been the largest diocese to file for bankruptcy, with nearly 400,000 Catholics, according to its Web site.

The Iowa diocese filed for bankruptcy just days before the civil trial of a retired bishop from a neighboring diocese was set to begin. Fifteen plaintiffs had come forward alleging abuse.

<b>Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report.</b>
(To make sure nothing incriminating or offensive to christianity, catholicism in particular, was said in the original article, I'm sure.)
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Check out the url to see a photo of the palatial diocese building.

The Ethics of Conversion
- Dr. David Frawley,
(President, Vedic Astrology AssociationUSA)
What is Conversion
History of Conversion
The Motivation Behind Conversion
The Ideology of Conversion
Conversion, Charity and Social Upliftment
Conversion and Cults
The Destructive Effect of Missionary Activities in Tribal Cultures
The Ethics of Conversion
We are all God
Backlash Against Missionaries
Coming of the Third Millennium
Religious Dialogue
So let us not be naive about conversion

Conversion has always been a topic that arouses, if not inflames our human emotions. After all, the missionary is trying to persuade a person to change his religious belief, which concerns the ultimate issues of life and death, the very meaning of our existence. And the missionary is usually denigrating the person's current belief, which may represent a strong personal commitment or a long family or cultural tradition, calling it inferior, wrong, sinful, or even perverse.
Such statements are hardly polite or courteous and are often insulting and derogatory. The missionary is not coming with an open mind for sincere discussion and give and take dialogue, but already has his mind made up and is seeking to impose his opinion on others, often even before he knows what they actually believe or do. It is difficult to imagine a more stressful human encounter short of actual physical violence. Missionary activity always holds an implicit psychological violence, however discretely it is conducted. It is aimed at turning the minds and hearts of people away from their native religion to one that is generally unsympathetic and hostile to it.

In this article I will address conversion and missionary activity mainly in regard to Christianity, which has so commonly employed and insisted upon the practice. Indeed it is difficult to imagine the Christian religion apart from missionary activity, which has been the backbone of the faith for most of its history. Christianity has mainly been an outward looking religion seeking to convert the world. In this process it has seldom been open to real dialogue with other religions. It has rarely examined its own motives or the harm that such missionary activity has caused, even though the history of its missionary activity has been tainted with intolerance, genocide and the destruction not only of individuals but of entire cultures.
But much of this discussion applies to Islam as well, which shares an agenda with Christianity to convert the world to its particular belief. As an American raised as a Catholic and who attended Catholic school and then later adapted Hindu-based spiritual teachings, I can perhaps provide another angle on this topic that hopefully will give ground for new thinking. I had to break through much religious intolerance and prejudice to make the changes that I did.

What is Conversion ?
First let us define what we mean by conversion? Let us immediately clearly discriminate between conversion or change of beliefs that happens in free human interchange in open discussion as opposed to organized conversion efforts that employ financial, media or even armed persuasion.
That certain individuals may influence other individuals to adapt one religious belief or another has seldom been a problem. There should be open and friendly discussion and debate about religion just as there is about science. But when one religion creates an agenda of conversion and mobilizes massive resources to that end, targeting unsuspecting, poor or disorganized groups, it is no longer a free discussion. It is an ideological assault. It is a form of religious violence and intolerance.
Organized conversion efforts are quite another matter than the common dialogue and interchange between members of different religious communities in daily life, or even than organized discussions in forums or academic settings. Organized conversion activity is like a trained army invading a country from the outside. This missionary army often goes into communities where there is little organized resistance to it, or which may not even be aware of its power or its motives. It will even take advantage of communities that are tolerant and open minded about religion and use that to promote a missionary agenda that destroys this tolerance.
The missionary business remains one of the largest in the world and has enormous funding on many levels. It is like several multinational corporations with the different Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical groups involved. There are full time staffs and organizations allocating money, creating media hype, plotting strategies and seeking new ways to promote conversion.

The local native religion has about as much chance against such multinational incursions as a local food seller has if McDonald's moves into his neighborhood with a slick, well funded advertising campaign targeting his customers. Yet while many third world countries have government policies to protect local businesses, they usually don't have any safety mechanism to protect local religions.
In fact missionary activity is like an ideological war. It is quite systematic, motivated and directed. It can even resemble a blitzkrieg using media, money, people and public shows to appeal to the masses in an emotional way. Missionaries are not seeking to learn from other religious groups or even to find out what they are all about, but to promote their own views and with as much energy as possible, even if this requires denigrating other beliefs.
Therefore, with missionary activity we are not talking about unplanned, spontaneous or isolated events. We are talking about a religious effort towards world conquest that is quite happy to put an end to other religious traditions - that looks to establish one particular religion for all human beings, in which the diversity of human religions is discredited and forgotten. Regions where missionary activity has been successful have seen their older traditions demoted or destroyed, whether it is those of the pagan Europeans, the Native Americans, or the pre-Islamic Arabs. Hinduism would likely fall along the same wayside should lose the battle against missionary religions, just as Hinduism in Islamic Pakistan has all but disappeared.
Missionary activity and conversion is not about freedom of religion. The missionary wants to put an end to pluralism, choice and freedom of religion. He wants one religion, his own, for everyone and will sacrifice his life to that cause. True freedom of religion should involve freedom from conversion. The missionary is like a salesman targeting people in their homes or like an invader seeking to conquer. Such disruptive activity is not a right and it cannot promote social harmony or respect between different religious communities. In fact people should have the right not to be bothered by missionaries unless they seek them out. Those of us in the West are irritated by local missionaries like the Jehovah's Witnesses that often come soliciting at our doors. Can one imagine the distress or confusion they could cause to some poor person in Asia? Once let into the door, it is hard to get them out.

History of Conversion
Let us look at the history of conversion, how it arose and what it has become through time. Organized conversion on a mass scale hardly existed anywhere in the world before the advent of Christianity some two thousand years ago. It became particularly strong after the Roman Empire became Christian in the fourth century. This resulted in a Roman or imperial church that used the resources of the empire, including the army, to promote the religion, which was a state institution. Church and state become closely tied and one was used to uphold the other. This alliance of church and state occurred well into the Middle Ages and into the nineteenth century throughout much of Europe.
In the seventh century Islam brought about a religion in which church and state, or religion and politics were not simply allied but became the same, with the Caliph functioning as both the religious and secular head of the empire. This non-division between religion and politics continues in most Islamic countries today, including Pakistan, which has gone so far recently to proclaim the Koran as the supreme law of the land, though it is not a secular law book or any kind of law book. Can one imagine a Western country proclaiming the Bible as the law of the land? Yet the church dominated the laws of Europe for centuries.
Prior to adapting Christianity Rome had its state religion but this existed largely as a show for political purposes - the worship of the emperor. Rome tolerated all other religions as long as they gave a nominal and political support to the state religion. The Romans persecuted Christians not because they were intolerant of religious differences but because they expected all religious groups to at least afford this nominal recognition for the state religion, which the Christians refused to do.

When Christianity became the state religion, because of the belief that it alone was the true religion, this tolerance of other religions came to an end in the Roman Empire. Pagan temples and schools were closed, if not replaced by churches or even destroyed, including the closing of the great Platonic academy in Athens in the sixth century. Paganism in all of its forms was eventually banned as not only false, but also as immoral and illegal. Pagan or even unorthodox groups continued to be oppressed in Europe up to the witches of the Middle Ages, which resulted in the deaths of millions in the name of religion and protecting the church.
In the colonial period Christian missionary activity spread throughout the world and brought with it a great violence and intolerance that continued the anti-pagan crusades as part of colonialism. Missionary efforts in the colonial period, with some exceptions, contributed to or even brought about the tremendous genocide of native populations not only in America but also in Africa and Asia. Native peoples had their religions banned, their holy places destroyed or taken over by the Christians. The history of the Spanish in Mexico and Peru in the sixteenth century is comparable to the Nazis of this century, if not worse, pillaging and plundering a continent in the name of and with the blessings of the church. This process of missionary colonialism reached its zenith in the nineteenth century, in which Native Africans were the main group subject to genocide, and it is only now slowly declining. However missionary groups have done little to apologize much less to atone for the violence and hatred this five hundred years of colonialism created, and which destroyed many traditional religions and cultures.
In fact colonialism has not truly ended but has recently taken a more economic rather than military form, along with the Westernization along economic lines. As Christianity is the dominant Western religion, it continues to use the current economic expansion of Western culture to promote its conversion agendas. The greater financial resources and media dominance of the West affords Christianity a great edge in religious and social encounters throughout the world. Even when it is a question of a Christian minority in a land dominated by a non-Christian religion, the non-Christians are often at a disadvantage in terms of money and media through the Western support that the Christian community has, particularly in regard to its conversion activities.
Though most countries in the world today are secular, this still has not created a level playing field in the field of religion. Western religions are still taking an aggressive, intolerant, if not predatory role toward non-Western beliefs. They are using financial and media advantages, including mass marketing, to promote their agenda of conversion. Though missionary activity became less overt after the end of the colonial era it still goes on. And we cannot forget the bloody history of missionary activity or its potential for disruption, violence and destruction should the circumstance again arise.

The Motivation Behind Conversion
What is the motivation behind conversion activities? Why should one person want to convert another to his or her religious belief? In a pluralistic world, such as we live in there are many different types of culture, art, language, business and religion that contribute much to the richness of society. Why should we demand that everyone be like us in terms of anything, including religion? Isn't this diversity the very beauty of culture and our greater human heritage?
Clearly the missionary seeking converts must believe that other people cannot find their goal of life by any other religion than the one that he is propagating. Otherwise there would be no need to convert anyone. And generally the missionary is not simply announcing that he has something good or better, like someone who has invented a better light bulb. He is usually claiming that his religion is the one true faith and that the others are either inferior, out of date, or simply false.
One could argue that the conversion mentality is inherently intolerant. If I recognize that many religions are good and religious belief should be arrived at freely and without interference, then I will not create a massive organization to covert other people to my belief and get them to renounce what they already have. Only an intolerant and exclusive religious ideology requires conversion or funds it on a massive scale.
In short conversion activity is anti-secular. It does not tolerate the religious differences that must exist in a truly secular society but aims at eliminating them. The irony is that secular law provides the religious freedom that allows conversion activity to go on. The very missionaries that once used colonial armies to promote their conversion agendas are now maintaining them in the post-colonial era under the guise of freedom of religion. The very groups that denied or limited religious freedom when they were in power in the colonial era, now use freedom of religion to keep those same missionary activities going! This is both ironical and hypocritical!

Generally missionary efforts are stronger to the degree that the missionary is opposed to the religions that people already follow. The old dominant Christian strategy, which many Protestant groups still promote, is to denigrate non-Biblical beliefs as heathen, or the work of the devil. Evangelical missionaries still identify Hinduism with devil worship. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, two of the most influential American evangelical leaders say this repeatedly, as do their followers, and they are sponsoring missionary activity in India as well. Naturally this gives a missionary much zeal and intensity, saving souls from the clutches of evil and driving out demons.
Such a zealous missionary inevitably spreads misunderstanding, venom and hatred in society. If I am promoting the idea that your religion is a work of the devil can I be regarded as friend or well wisher to your community? Can such views help your community understand itself or reconcile community differences?
Today it is illegal in most countries to promote racial hatred, to call a person of any race inferior or the product of the devil (which white Christians used to call the blacks until recently). But Hindus can still be denigrated as polytheists, idolaters and devil-worshippers. This is tolerated under freedom of religion, though it obviously breeds distrust, if not hatred and itself is prejudicial. Prejudicial statements that are not allowed about race are allowed about religion and missionaries commonly employ these derogatory remarks.

In fact most Christians view Hinduism like the pagan religions that the early Christians had to overcome, the Roman, Greek, Celtic, Egyptians and Babylonian religions, which do have much in common with Hinduism. Equating Hindus with Biblical idolaters promotes the history of missionary aggression and religious conflict. Most such Christians have never seriously or open-mindedly studied Hinduism or other pagan beliefs. They know little of Yoga and Vedanta or the great traditions of Hindu and Buddhist spirituality. They prefer to highlight the Hindu worship of God even in animal images like Hanuman as a form of superstition or evil.
The Catholic Church is a bit more diplomatic these days. It is now telling Hindus that their religion may have some value but that Christianity is even better! Such a view is a bit more tolerant but cannot be called sincere either.
If Catholics no longer believe that Hinduism is a religion of the Devil as they were promoting until only recently, they ought to apologize to Hindus for their mistaken notions and the problems that these must have caused. Discriminating Hindus can only look upon this more tolerant Catholicism of the post-colonial era as an attempt to maintain the edge of the church in a less politically favorable era. The Catholics say they respect the spiritual philosophies of India, which they for centuries failed to note, but still feel it necessary to convert Hindus to their religion. What kind of respect is that?

The Ideology of Conversion
Conversion reflects a certain ideology. In fact it mainly involves getting people to change beliefs, ideas or ideology. Conversion demands that we follow a certain ideology and reject others. The dominant ideology behind organized conversion efforts is that of an exclusive monotheistic religion. There is only one God, one book, one savior, one final prophet and so on. Most Christian missionaries try to get people to accept Christ as their personal savior and Christianity in one form or another as the true faith for all humanity.
A religion that is pluralistic in nature like the Hindu cannot have such a conversion-based ideology. Hindus accept that there are many paths, so naturally they will not feel compelled to get everyone to abandon their own path and follow the Hindu path instead. In fact there is no one Hindu path but rather a variety of paths, with new paths coming into being every day.
It has long been the dominant belief of Christians and Muslims that only members of their religion go to heaven, while member of other religions go to hell, particularly idol-worshipping Hindus and other pagans. This promise of heaven and threat of hell has long been used for conversion purposes and is a prime part of the ideology and its propaganda. Christians have often been motivated by this medieval heaven-hell idea in their conversion efforts. The old nineteenth century idea was a Christian missionary going to Asia to save the pagan babies from the clutches of hell.
This eternal heaven-hell idea does arouse a certain passion as well as intolerance, but one can hardly call it enlightened. In fact it causes emotional imbalance in people, which many Christians, particularly Catholics, have sought psychological help to overcome.
A God who has created heaven for his believers and hell for those who follow other religious beliefs is a recipe not only for missionary activity but also for emotional turbulence and violence. In fact this promise of great rewards and threats of great punishment is the basis of most forms of conditioning, brain washing and hypnosis. It is the dominant strategy of all mind-control cults.

Conversion, Charity and Social Upliftment
Many missionaries claim today that they are not seeking converts but merely doing charity, trying to help the downtrodden in life. Given the mentality behind conversion efforts and its history, one can only greet that statement with skepticism, though in a few isolated instances it may be true. The very missionaries that only recently used colonial governments and armies to their advantage cannot be regarded as suddenly without any overt conversion motivations.
However, if missionaries simply want to bring about social upliftment, then why don't they just open up a hospital or school and give up all the religious trappings about it. As long as the religious ornaments are there in these charitable institutions they are still seeking converts. Once you give your charity or social work a religious guise, the conversion motivation must be there and communal disharmony is likely to be promoted even by your charities.
If missionaries want to uplift society they can do that through education or economic help on a secular level. There is no need to bring religion into it. That is how societies have uplifted themselves throughout the world, whether it is the United States or Japan. It was not religious charity that raised up these countries economically. In fact bringing religion into social upliftment confuses the issue. Converting people to an exclusive creed doesn't eradicate poverty or disease, much less promote the cause of religious harmony.

The Philippines, the most predominant and oldest Christian country in Asia, is one of the poorest countries in the region. Conversion to Christianity did not raise the country economically. Central and South America, which are much more staunchly Catholic and religious and North America, are also much poorer and have a lower level of education. In fact the more evangelic and orthodox forms of Christianity are more popular in poorer and less educated groups in the West. Fundamentalist Christianity is more common in America with farmers and those who didn't go to college. Educated people in the West are less likely to be staunch Christians, and many of them look to Eastern religions for spiritual guidance.
In India Christians claim that by eradicating the caste system they are helping people and raising them up socially. They could do this easier by helping reform Hindu society rather than by trying to destroy or change the religion. Clearly they are using, if not promoting caste-differences as a conversion strategy. Christian cultures still have their class and other social inequalities, particularly in Central and South America, but Christians don't see that the religion has to be changed in order to get rid of these.
The desire to help people in terms of social upliftment and the desire to change their religion are clearly not the same and can be contradictory. Changing a person's religion may not help them in terms of health, education, or economics.
A similar argument is that the conversion effort is part of service to humanity, that the missionary is motivated by love of humanity. This is also questionable. If you are motivated by love of humanity you will help people regardless of their religious background. You will try to help people in a practical way rather than aim at getting them to embrace your religious belief. You will also love their religion, even if it is an aborigine worshipping a stone. You will give unconditional love to people, which is not the love of Jesus or the church but universal love. You will not condemn any person to hell for not following your particular belief. You will not interfere with that person's religious motivation and seek to convert him to your belief. You will honor the Divine in that person and in his belief.
Such social work born of love is hardly to be found in missionary Christianity, though it likes to pretend that this is the motivation. If one were truly motivated by love of humanity and the need to serve humanity, one would not promote massive conversion agendas. In fact one would regard such practices as inhumane, which they are.

Conversion and Cults:
Religious Freedom in the West In the West there is a cry against cults, which any religious movement out of mainstream Christianity can be called. There is a tendency to regard Hindu based religious movements in the West as cults. Under the guise of being a cult a religious organization can be sued for millions of dollars if even one disgruntled or disappointed former disciple can be found who feels that they were taken advantage of. Many Hindu-based and yoga movements in the West have been sued as cults.
The criticism against cults is that they are outside the cultural religious norm, that they are intolerant of majority religions, that they divide families and turn individuals against their upbringing. Precisely the same charges can be leveled against missionaries all over the world. The early Romans for the same reasons regarded Christianity as a cult.
People in India may believe that in America all religions are treated equally. Certainly the law requires that, but this is not the fact of life. For example, it is still very difficult for Hindus to build temples in the United States, particularly in areas in which fundamentalist Christians are strong, like the Bible belt of the South. To put in perspective one would say that it over ten times harder in America to build a temple than it is to build a church. In many areas temples must not outwardly look like a temple, but should look like a school or church, or the local governments won't approve of them. While there are a few Hindu style temples in America these are exceptional and took special efforts to be allowed.
Most Americans believe that Hinduism is a religion of cults. Organized Christian cult-busting legal groups, with dozens of lawyers and budgets in the many millions, go around systematically encouraging suits against Hindu or Indian religious groups. Such groups as the Hare Krishnas (ISKCON), TM, Ananda (a Yogananda group), the Himalayan Institute, Rajneesh, and the Sikhs under Yogi Bhajan, to mention a few, have had to face such suits and sometimes settlements in the millions against them. These actions are religious bullying by Christian groups not a form of justice.
What Christians in America cannot do overtly because of religious freedom in the country, they are still managing to do covertly through the legal system. Any prominent Hindu-based teacher in America, particularly one who is working with the general American public or bringing people from Christianity to Hindu-based teachings, remains under a severe legal threat. Should any Hindu-based group, like the Hare Krishnas, actively seek converts in the West, they are likely to face severe litigation on many fronts. On the other hand, Christian missionaries in India do not have to endure those types of legal threats or legal suits that can put them out of business, even if their proselytizing efforts are much more aggressive.
Meanwhile Western textbooks and the Western media routinely portray Hinduism as cults, idolatry, or even as eroticism. Such negative portrayals of Christianity would not be allowed in the Indian press. These views contribute to anti-Hindu and pro-missionary attitudes. Even in the universities discussions of world religions often leave Hinduism out, precisely because it is not a conversion-seeking religion, even though it is the third largest religion in the world!
So let us not pretend that the West is enlightened or tolerant about religion. The legal secularism of the West still hides much religious prejudice. We also note that the West politically will defend Christian interests overseas and criticize alleged discrimination against Christians. However it will ignore discrimination against non-Christians, particularly if done by Christians. Recently the Russians criticized the Mormons, an evangelical American Christian group as a cult. The American government lodged a protest to protect the Mormons and their missionary activity in Russia. No Indian government so far has made any such protest to protect Hindu groups in the West.
And let us not forget the religious intolerance of communists and Marxists historically, though in India these days it is fashionable for Marxists to portray themselves as defenders of religious freedom. Stalin was perhaps the world's greatest destroyer of both churches and mosques but his pictures adorn the government buildings of Kerala and Bengal.

The Destructive Effect of Missionary Activities in Tribal Cultures
The history of missionary activity is one of intolerance and violence, with only rare episodes of love and charity. This comes out particularly when the missionaries come into a primitive or tribal culture.
There is a beauty in tribal cultures, like the beauty of the wilderness itself. You know that wherever the developers go the wilderness is destroyed and many species perish. So too wherever missionaries go tribal cultures are destroyed and much of human heritage goes with. What missionary honors the non-Christian cultures of the world or seeks to protect them? On the other hand, Hinduism does not interfere with native and tribal beliefs but seeks to share with them and learn from them.
There is a beauty to non-Biblical beliefs like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Shinto and the many native beliefs. The old pagan religions of Europe had their beauty and profundity. This is lost on the missionary mind that only sees potential converts held in the clutches of false beliefs.
Followers of missionary religions must recognize that their religion is hostile to other religions like Hinduism, even if it has good feelings for the people following that religion. Yet other religions also represent people and their sincere beliefs. To target religions is to attack people as well. To attack Hinduism as a religion is to insult and attack Hindus as human beings.

The Ethics of Conversion
Conversion efforts do have their ethics, which are the ethics of conversion. The ethic of conversion is not secularism. It is not religious freedom, religious tolerance or honoring religious pluralism. The ethics of conversion is saving souls, generally saving souls from damnation. The ethic of conversion follows an exclusive belief system, a one true faith. After all, if people are really like to suffer eternal damnation for their wrong beliefs, the sincere missionary must do whatever he can to stop it. The missionary views the non-Christian as a person who is deluded or even under the influence of a demonic force, not simply someone who has a valid but different opinion about life than he does.
This ethic of conversion can override other human ethics in missionary activity. In order to save souls, which is the highest missionary ethic, missionaries historically have resorted to various forms of enticement or even force to arrive at the desired result of new converts. While these practices appear intolerant or dishonest in a secular society, in a religious or colonial society they appear moral. To the sincere missionary they can appear as necessary indiscretions to save unwilling souls.
Please note that I do not doubt the sincerity of the missionary in all this. No doubt the missionaries who allowed the massacre of Native Americans were also sincere in their beliefs, just as were the white slave holders in nineteenth century America. The problem is that they are sincere about a belief that easily promotes intolerance and harms those of other beliefs.
Therefore, one could argue that conversion is inherently an unethical practice and inevitably breeds unethical results. The missionary ethic of saving souls is so compelling to the missionary that it can easily cause him to compromise the human rights or integrity of his potential converts. Certainly the long history of conversion is a history of every sort of crime, whatever good may have been done along the side.
On a spiritual level one could argue that conversion efforts, particularly for an exclusive belief, are unspiritual and unethical. Conversion is a sin against the Divine in man. It refuses to recognize the religion of another as valid. Above all, the organized conversion business is one of the meanest and most underhanded activities of the human being, on par with war. It seeks to undermine and discredit the natural faith of people. As we move into a global age let us set this messy business of conversion behind, along with the other superstitions of the dark ages.
We are all God
There is only one Self in all creatures. Who is there to convert and what could anyone be converted from? The soul is Divine. It is not Christian, Islamic or Hindu or anything else. The soul cannot be saved. It is beyond gain and loss. We can only understand ourselves. The real goal of religion is to discover the light of the soul that is not bound by time, place, person or belief. True religion is to be true to one's nature and to respect the nature of others. What missionary has this attitude or has discovered this truth?

Backlash Against Missionaries
In recent times there have been some violent backlashes against missionaries or their religions, which is regrettable. This has occurred not only in India but also in many other parts of the world, like Africa or Central America. But given the intolerance of the missionaries, it is understandable and cannot be looked at in isolation. You cannot century after century trash or even destroy the culture and religions of people in the name of your God and expect that they will just politely let you go on with it. Particularly if they are poor or backward people without the financial, legal or government resources to protect themselves they may resort to a more primitive response.
Yet the violence of this backlash is minuscule compared to the physical and psychological violence that the missionaries have brought about and continue to perpetrate. The anti-Christian activities in India recently must be viewed in this light.
Recently Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress Party in India, though still a member of the Catholic church which has yet to renounce its claims as the only true faith or to stop its missionary efforts against Hindus, quoted Swami Vivekananda as a spokesperson for true religion. Let us remember what Vivekananda said to the Americans and in many other instances about missionary activity.
"Whenever your missionaries criticize us please remember this. If all of India stands up and takes all the mud that is at the bottom of the Indian ocean and throws it up against the Western countries, it will not be doing an infinitesimal part of that which you are doing to us."
Mahatma Gandhi was also a fierce critic of the missionaries. Yet strangely today it is the Congress Party of India and various leftists that are defending Christian missionary activity and painting a picture of Hindu intolerance, ignoring the whole history and motivation of these massive conversion efforts against Hindus.
Let us also remember the latest word from the Pope in the "Coming of the Third Millennium":
"The Asia Synod will deal with the challenge for evangelisation posed by the encounter with ancient religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. While expressing esteem for the elements of truth in these religions, the Church must make it clear that Christ is the one mediator between God and man and the sole Redeemer of the world."
In other words all the greatness of Buddhism and Hinduism does not alter the basic view of Christianity that Christ alone is the supreme religious figure. No Buddha, Krishna, Ramana Maharshi or Sri Aurobindo can compare with him. What are the elements of truth that the Pope is speaking about? If he doesn't credit either Buddhism or Hinduism with anything equal to Jesus, he probably does not give them much credit for their ideas of karma, dharma or rebirth, their practices of yoga and meditation, or their entire seeking of enlightenment and Self-realization that is not defined in terms of Jesus. Clearly such a statement is condescending. It has abandoned the old heathen-pagan-idolatry charge but the goal is still conversion, not respect.

Religious Dialogue
As a final note, being opposed to organized conversion does not mean that one should be opposed to discussion and even debate on religious matters.
Missionaries usually target the uneducated and work behind the scenes. They don't try to create a fair exchange of ideas or an even debate. They are afraid of being exposed. In fact such a debate on religious issues is necessary to deal with the problems caused by missionary activity. The missionaries usually avoid facing a fair debate on religion and target those who are not well versed in their own beliefs.
More than anything today we need a real religious dialogue, so that religious conflicts, which have such a potential for violence, do not occur. This dialogue should be a quest for truth. It should not aim at proving one religion to be supreme but at examining the ultimate issues of life. What is the goal of life? What is the nature of immortality? Is there a permanent heaven or hell? Is there Self-realization or Nirvana? What is enlightenment? What is karma? Does the soul have one or many lives? What is the highest state of consciousness and how can we achieve it? What practices are necessary to change human nature from the egoic to the Divine? Can mere belief transform us or is knowledge and work also necessary? Are special psycho-physical techniques helpful? How do the different religions view such issues? These are the real issues of religious dialogue.
Merely getting a person to change their belief doesn't address these complex and profound issues. True religion requires profound work and examination, particularly of our own minds and hearts. It is not a matter mere names, slogans or labels.
In one way, Hindus do lose a lot by converting to a religion like Christianity or Islam. Hinduism has a much broader scope of spiritual and yogic practices, philosophies and mystical teachings than does Christianity. Should a Hindu become a Christian they lose these and enter into a much more limited and outward form of religious belief? Hindu teachings of higher consciousness, Self-realization, karma, rebirth, chakras, and kundalini are almost unknown in Christianity or rejected as the work of the devil. That is why so many Americans seeking a spiritual path are attracted to Hindu-based teachings and leave orthodox and mainstream Christianity behind.
In fact Christianity continues to decline in the West. Very few new people are taking up the role of priests and nuns in the Catholic Church, for example. Partly to replenish their ranks the Catholic Church has targeted Asia and particularly India for conversion because Hindus are quite devotional and easily take up priestly or monastic roles. Meanwhile the Evangelical Christians are targeting India to counter the influence of Hindu-based teachings in America, which they find so threatening as to frequently denounce Hinduism and Hindu gurus as the religion of the devil.
So let us not be naive about conversion. It is not about freedom of religion or about social upliftment. The main conversion activities in the world are part of organized and well-funded strategies to conquer the world for a single religious belief that would end religious freedom and diversity. In this situation it is easy to identify the predators and the victims. Which are you likely to be and which are you likely to give your sympathy to?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Check out the url to see a photo of the palatial diocese building. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
On average they live on most expensive property and drive good cars paid by sheeps and they don't have to pay tax. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
After the brilliance of his 80s films The Terminator and Aliens (The Abyss is okay), came that weepy, infantile, contrived 'romance' Titanic which I thought would forever be James Cameron's worst work. I was wrong.
But at least I'll know to stay away from this stinker (though it's made out to be a 'documentary' - people should stop abusing that word, btw):

<b>Director James Cameron claims to have found THE Jesus' tomb, where jeebus, <i>his wife mary magdalene and their son</i> were buried.</b> And the whining commenced.

- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/26/cameron_grave/
James Cameron finds grave of Jesus & Son

- http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article...ctor/article.do
Scorn poured on director's 'coffin of Christ' theory

- http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/na...y-top-headlines
New Cameron blockbuster? He found Jesus!

The last two links have the terrified 'Persecuted R Us' gang (all from America as far as I can see) responding in their usual manner in the comments section. Suppose that reaction was worth this whole gag.

To think christians are arguing that jeebus in a tomb can't be possible by referring to the babble which says that 500 people saw him resurrect. That's called circular reasoning, though the implication of this is lost on babble-fans.
What's also lost on them is that biblical (NT) scholars and many learned theologians have long since admitted that the earliest christians - living from before the time of the 4 canonical gospels - never knew of a resurrected jeebus.
So basically, there's more chance of Cameron's unlikely spiel being true than the tale of the miraculously resurrecting gawdman.

Unfortunately, this new 'proof' for jeebus has no takers because it doesn't prove The Jeebus of The (currently official) Babble. It's like how the 'James brother of Jeebus' Ossuary didn't do it for the Catholic Church (even before it was found out to be just another forgery of what was initially hailed as a biblical artifact), because the Roman Church never accepted their jeebus as having had a brother anyway. The catholics were understandably dismissive or even angry about the artifact, others were excited right until the results disappointed - again.

However, this latest in the stream of also-soon-to-be-discarded 'evidence' is pleasing nobody, except maybe lovers of The Da Vinci Code. But then, they're easy to please.

At least most of the news reports on Cameron's documentary do mention that the names of jesus, mary, and whatever the kid in this tomb was called, were among the most common names in that period of history in that part of the world. This much has been clarified at any rate.

The flock is going: 'Drat. That jeebus has left no <i>correct</i> evidence of himself - the kind that matches up with the mutually contradicting 4 canonical gospels. All people keep finding is forgeries, and stuff that goes against present christian theology.'
And thus, once again, christians withdraw into the seclusion of their faith to find their jeebus (the one they insist had been corporeal at some point) in the only places they can: within the covers of the current babble and in their imaginations.
Karnataka Government accused of `anti-minority bias'

Special Correspondent

Panel listens to views of representatives of minority communities

BANGALORE: Several representatives of Muslims and Christians on Thursday complained to the National Commission for Minorities that the Karnataka Government had what they termed an "anti-minority bias." They said their confidence was low and they were feeling insecure after the recent communal riots in Mangalore and parts of Bangalore.

The representatives of minorities, especially Muslims, spoke about the problems they are faced with, at a meeting with members of the commission, who were in Bangalore to hear their views on law and order, development programmes and other subjects.

Several Muslim leaders charged the police with taking sides during the communal violence. They alleged that lower-level officials of the Police Department had supported attacks against them. Compensation was yet to be paid to some of those injured in police firing, they said and submitted to the Commission a CD containing views of the victims of communal violence.

The leaders of minorities, including religious heads, demanded that the Police Department recruit Muslims and Christians in proportion to their population. Such a step would make the police force neutral, they said.

Christian leaders took serious exception to the recent decision by the State Cabinet to withdraw nearly 30 cases booked against those charred with inciting violence during the protests against the prayer meeting addressed by the U.S.-based evangelist Benny Hinn in Bangalore in 2005. Father Ambrose Pinto, principal of St. Joseph's College, Bangalore, charged the Government with showing a "terrible anti-minority bias." In addition to the communal violence, raking up of contentious issues such as Bababudangiri were also causing communal tension every year, he said.

Meets Chief Minister

Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities M.H. Ansari called on Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who explained the various steps taken by the Government to safeguard the interests of minorities.

<img src='http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u11/ashyam/yuva.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India Christians Fear Losing Properties Amid Violence   
Monday, 26 February 2007

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)-- Christians in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh remained on edge Monday, February 26, amid reports that local authorities are attempting to take over church lands and other properties.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BREAKING NEWS: India Militants Massively Attack Bible College; Christians Injured   
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)-- "Many Christians" were injured when hundreds of suspected Hindu militants on Wednesday, February 28, raided a Christian college in the Indian state of Orissa and beat staff members and students, investigators told BosNewsLife.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The marriage market
Posted by: Economist.com | NEW YORK

FEW days ago, the Washington Times ran a rather lurid, and horrifying, piece on India's missing girls.  Like many sources I've read, it traces the girl deficit to the huge dowries families must pay when their daughters get married.

Sister Mary Scaria was one of two girls in a family of nine children.
    Dressed in an aqua-colored sari of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, the nun is also a lawyer and coordinator of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese's Justice & Peace Commission. In early 2006, she published "Woman: An Endangered Species?" which charged that "female feticide" is decimating half of the population.
  She chiefly blames the dowry system, a Hindu marriage practice by which the groom's family demands enormous sums of money and goods from the bride's family as a condition for letting their son marry her.

Now it becomes a "Hindu marriage practice" as if others don't practice it.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->150 convert Christians return to Hinduism in Himachal
March 1st, 2007

By: Ajai Srivastava

Shimla: It was a moment of pride for all those who believe in the basic values of Indian culture and fundamental rights when 151 men, women and children were given an opportunity to return to their original faith. They all belong to Scheduled Castes with fragile economic condition and were converted in to Christianity by allurements during past several decades. When their struggle to achieve equal social and economic status within the Christian community failed to yield results and they were just thrown away like used commodity, they realised the folly.

All India Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Mahasangh, HP, in the vibrant leadership of its president Tarsem Bharti, showed them the path to return to Hinduism again. Braving heavy snowfall in all around Shimla on February 28, 2007, hundreds of people of all castes and faiths gathered at Sanatan Dharam Mandir to welcome their alienated brothers and sisters. There were Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Valmikis and Ravidasis apart from other Hindus to greet them. The persons who returned back to Hinduism included one senior Pastor Tulku Ram, one old and hapless widow Lajja Devi, two young sisters Sanam Samta and Safar Samta, two brothers Ashok and Kishore and one couple Vikas David and Anita David along with their families. Everybody had his or her own story of deception and cheating by those who once came to them as saviour in white cloak.

Dalit widow Lajja Devi (62), a resident of Kasumpati area in Shimla, while talking to HimVani, narrated her pathetic tale. She said, “I not only lost my young grandson Rakesh (28) but also my faith. The Pastor assured me that my beloved grandson, who was a serious patient of brain tumour, will be cured, provided we all bring belief in Jesus Christ. As he was the only earning member in my family of 15 and we had no reason to disbelieve the Pastor, we all got converted to Christianity. The Pastor also mislead us and threw the sacred Ganga Jal in the toilet and the idols and pictures of Gods and Goddesses were thrown in nearby nalla. But after a couple of days, Rakesh died.”

That was not the end of her story. She revealed, “After the death of Rakesh, the Pastor demanded Rs 2,000 from me to arrange for his burial and did not hesitate to demand Rs 5,000 for making a magnificent grave so that the soul of my grandson could rest in peace. I know how I managed this big amount to give them after losing my beloved. Now three and half years have passed, leave aside a magnificent grave, even a pucca grave has not taken shape. Having ruined me, the Pastor left me to my fate. I am feeling relieved after coming back home (Hinduism).”

While talking to HimVani, the former senior Pastor Tulku Ram became very emotional. He said, “I was literally cheated. In 1997, while I was doing my graduation, they (missionaries) contacted me and assured me a good job, provided I got converted. But after conversion, they sent me to Agape Bible College, Ludhiana, for one year training and then to G.F.A. College, Kumbnad (Kerala) for further one year training. I had little options at that time because of my fragile economic condition. Having appointed as Pastor, I started converting poor people, mostly ailing, by giving them assurance that they will be cured by bringing faith in Jesus and prayers.” He also revealed that his outfit ‘Masihi Sangati’ belonging to the Protestants had converted more than 1,000 people in Himachal Pradesh.

Tulku Ram said, “I spent nearly 10 years in Christianity and eight years as pastor, but my conscience never allowed me for that fake healing, although I converted about 50 people myself. I very well knew that nobody could be cured by that way and the Pope John Paul, who was suffering from Parkinson, was a great example before me. Now I was fed up with all these frauds and was ready to return to the fold of the faith to which my forefathers belong, when Mr. Bharti, (President of All India Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Mahasangh, HP) contacted me.”

Replying to a pointed question, he said, “This was no religion but business. They used hapless people like me as tool to collect a gathering and would take snaps of them. By sending those photographs to their mentors abroad, they would fetch a lot of money to spend for the welfare of neo-converts. But the fact is that they never spent that money on the purpose.”

The tales of two brothers, Kishore (46) and Ashok (49) and two young sisters Sanam and Safar Samta are not much different from the story of the former Pastor. They were allured to convert by fake healers. In 1988 Kishore and Ashok got converted along with other members of the family by one Sister Sony who assured them that their younger sister Indu, who was suffering from stomach ulcer would get cured by prayers. Now 19 long years have passed, the patient is still suffering. Ashok also confirmed that after conversion, they did not get equal social status and had to face discrimination at many times, even within the Christian community.

Same thing occurred with the family of Sanam and Safar. Their grandmother was seriously ill and the fake healers in white cloak took advantage of that and got the whole family converted. The condition of that old lady did not improve by prayers in the Church. One Deepak was lured for free education to her daughter and one Chandan Pal was assured a job. But the promises were not kept. Now they all, after coming to their original home, are feeling good.

The programme, first of its kind in the history of this hill state, was organised under the aegis of All India SC and ST Mahasangh; HP and its president Tarsem Bharti played a key role in bringing them all to their original home. He said, “It is a question of human rights because they were basically cheated and left at the mercy of those who are known for their crafty designs.”

Mahant Surya Nathji and Swami Lalji Maharaj along with Sriniwas Murti, the Prant Pracharak of RSS and others washed the feet of all 150 persons, with their hands. After havan and shuddhi, all were presented with pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, apart from religious books and Ganga Jal. Earlier to this, they all were brought to Sanatan Dharam Mandir in a Shobha Yatra. Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Sanatan Dharam Sabha, Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sewa Bharti and other religious and nationalist  organisations supported the cause.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>हिमाचल : धर्मातरण</b>
शिमला : राजधानी मुख्यालय शिमला में बुधवार को हिंदू धर्म को छोड़ ईसाई धर्म का दामन थाम चुके <b>160 लोग फिर से अपने धर्म में लौट आए है। </b>अखिल भारतीय एससी/एसटी महासंघ, राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ व अन्य हिंदू संगठनों के संयुक्त तत्वावधान में प्रदेश में अपनी तरह का पहला आयोजन किया गया।
हिंदू विधिविधान के साथ आयोजित समारोह में सभी 160 लोगों को गंगा जल पिलाने के बाद यहां गंज बाजार स्थित सनातन धर्म मंदिर में प्रवेश करवाया गया। ईसाई धर्म से हिंदू धर्म में वापिस पहुंचे इन लोगों के सम्मान में एक शोभा यात्रा आयोजित की गई । शिमला के पूर्णमल धर्मशाला से सनातन धर्म मंदिर पहुंचने पर इन लोगों को महासंघ के अध्यक्ष तरसेम भारती, मंदिर कमेटी के अध्यक्ष अजय सूद, आरआरएस के श्रीनिवास मूर्ति, दलित सेना के कर्मचंद भाटिया समेत अन्य हिंदू संगठनों के पदाधिकारियों ने गंगा जल पिलाकर मंदिर में प्रवेश करवाया। इस दौरान वहां यज्ञ का भी आयोजन किया गया। वैदिक मंत्रोच्चारण के साथ यज्ञ में वापस लौटे लोगों ने पूर्ण आहुति डाली। इन लोगों में अधिकांश दलित परिवारों से संबंधित है। एससी/एसटी महासंघ के अध्यक्ष तरसेम भारती ने बताया कि इन लोगों को ईसाई मिशनरियों ने ईसाई धर्म में आने का प्रलोभन दिया था लेकिन अब यह परिवार गलती का एहसास कर वापस लौट रहे हैं। <b>संघ शीघ्र ही प्रदेश के अन्य भागों में भी इसी तरह घर वापसी समारोह का आयोजन करवाएगा। समारोह के दौरान इन लोगों को सम्मानित करने के लिए भारत माता ऊँ व अन्य देवी देवताओं के चित्र भेंट किए गए। </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Same above news in Hindi only
At the end of function, organizers gave them pictures of Bharat Mata and other God and Godess. More functions will be organised in near futures to bring back people to their original religion.

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