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Christian Missionary Role In India - 6
A day and a page later:

Stick to the <b>thread topic</b> please. Every body believes whatever the hell they want, and that is <b>not</b> the purpose of this thread. Comparing <b>hypotheticals to history</b> is phenomenal waste of every body's time and bandwidth.
<!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Jul 24 2006, 04:05 PM-->QUOTE(Husky @ Jul 24 2006, 04:05 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->But I'm not setting my religion up to convert you. I don't care if it sounds nonsense to you, although I doubt you spent time reading Hindu religious books and commentaries like I spent reading the whole Helios biblios (Greek for 'Sun Book' hence Holy Bible). So you can't say I didn't try to respect your religion. I read your book and much of that of the Muslims and realised are religions are not equal. I've observed that intolerant religions are religions whose books/doctrines are totally irrational and any sane person can figure out that it is utterly manmade.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I am also not setting my religion to convert you. I made it clear in the begginning, i do not believ in conversiosn. Let the people chose.

You do not care whether issues in your religion sounds nonsense to me. Like that Christians also do not care. Each and everybody has the freedom to believe in any nonsense or sense.
I never said that you did not respect my religion. You are free to believe also the 2.5 billion people who are Christaians are insane. But that will not make them to believe that Hindu beliefs are sane and not man made.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Not surprising, since you're a ChristoIslamic and they don't have Goddesses. You'd find fault with Hera.
From whatever country you are from Paullose, all I hope for is that you choose your own religion - as long as it is tolerant and won't bother your neighbours or us distant Indians (if you're an Indian-Christo - same thing).

There is nothing surprising in that. I have seen many pictures of Kali standing on a human dead body with long bloody tongue with weapons in many handa nd a garland with human heads. A person who does not know anything about any religion, what will be his thoughts?
Sorry k.ram. You're right. I'm out. All Christos want is 'dialogue' to put their foot in the door anyway.
Paul: Fair Warning.

Husky, et al, I believe there is another thread "Little known facts about.......", please continue there, if you wish so. Not here. Appreicate your cooperation.

In the mean time, to re-focus posting an article (has been posted earlier, but for the benefit of newcomers) <!--emo&:blow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blow.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blow.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Sins of the Missionaries: Evangelism's Quest to Conquer the World.</b>
by Stephen R. Welch

Each year, Americans contribute millions of dollars through corporate-giving campaigns and Sunday tithes to support the ostensibly humanitarian work of overseas Christian missions. This work--feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving medicine to the sick--seems a worthy cause, an outwardly selfless endeavor unsullied by the salacious headlines and bitter disputes now roiling the life of the church at home.

But Christendom's missionaries bear their share of controversy. Though most private donors and corporate sponsors are unaware of it, overseas missions have long been embroiled in scandals involving allegations of predatory behavior towards the vulnerable. Though the largely poor and illiterate victims have complained loudly for decades, their allegations involve no sexual misconduct and thus garner few headlines in the West. Their outrage, vented halfway across the globe, rarely reaches English-language media at all.

Evangelism is waged in earnest in a large swath of the underdeveloped world, from North Africa to East Asia. Missionary strategists call this region the "Unreached Bloc" or the "Last Frontier." (1) In the rural backwaters and isolated tribal hamlets of countries like India, missionaries routinely peddle the fruits of generosity--food and medicine--as "inducements" for conversion to Christianity. When these allurements fail, more aggressive means may be employed, not barring fraud and intimidation. Apparently, in the Unreached Bloc, "harvesting" souls is an end that justifies almost any means.


This subordination of humanitarian service to proselytization is a matter of theology--evangelical Christians believe they hold a divine mandate, their "Great Commission" from Jesus, to spread their creed. But it is also a matter of policy. During his 1998 visit to India, for example, Pope John Paul II bluntly stated that the Christianization of Asia is "an absolute priority" for the Catholic Church in the new millennium. He openly linked the Vatican agenda for that region to its conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His language, says Sanal Edamaruku, founder of New Delhi-based Rationalist International, leaves little room for interpretation, even among secular and progressive-minded Indian citizens. "It is, in fact, not the fantasy of [Hindu nationalists]," he states, "but hard reality ... nothing less than the conversion of ... the Hindus of the world is targeted." (2)

The church's "soldiers" in the field get the message. As a Mumbai- (formerly Bombay) based missionary whom we shall call "Paul" (he asked that his real name be withheld) attests, he and his colleagues in India have been unequivocally instructed by their superiors to "work extra hard in the conversion process and choose any means possible to convert these heathens." With such marching orders, earthly consequences can be cavalierly disregarded. "It's not how we convert that matters," Paul insists. "Conversion is what counts." (3)

In India, considered one of the richest "harvest grounds" in the Unreached Bloc, the methods that missionaries like Paul employ have stirred seething bitterness and resentment among the "heathen" public. Perhaps no mission tactic galls more bitterly than the intentional targeting of any society's most vulnerable members--its children.

Missionaries have long capitalized on the leverage they exercise over India's young through thousands of church-run hospitals, schools, and orphanages. For example, in a 1923 report to Rome gleefully titled "The Spiritual Advantages of Famine and Cholera," the Archbishop of Pondicherry related how a famine had "wrought miracles" in a local hospital where "baptismal water flows in streams, and starving little tots fly in masses to heaven." A hospital is a "ready-made congregation," the report contended, where there is "no need to go into the ... hedges and compel them to 'come in.'" Thanks to infection, they "send each other." (4)

Thirty years later, a government inquiry exposed the wile by which the baptismal water had been made to flow so easily. Catholic priests had been instructed to learn something of medicine in order to gain access to the bedsides of sick Hindu (and Muslim) children. There, on the pretext of administering medicine, priests secretly baptized the children before they died. (5) What is troubling are the reports that this practice continues today, with formulas of baptism whispered and holy water sprinkled surreptitiously over non-Christian patients even in the hospices of such well-known orders as the Missionaries of Charity. (6)

Christian missionary schools, too, remain ubiquitous in modern India. Many Hindu families believe that missionary schools offer a good education; for others, a church-run school is their only, or only affordable, option. Nonetheless, these schools can abuse parents' trust by trolling the classrooms for converts. In one highly publicized 1998 ease, the I. P. Mission Girls' School in the town of Rajkot, Gujurat State, issued New Testaments to Hindu schoolgirls and pressured them to sign declarations of Christian faith. The declaration, printed on the last page of each New Testament volume, stated that the signatory was a "sinner" and that she had accepted the Lord Jesus as her "personal savior." (7)

Naturally, parents were outraged. Not only was this "conversion" performed without their consent--illegal in India when minors are involved--but several girls reported that school staff had intimidated them into signing the declaration. Parents and other Hindus marched to the school to protest, and a wave of publicity quickly mounted. Embarrassed, the school recalled the New Testaments and published an apology with the promise that "such literature" would not be distributed again. (8)

Along with the apology the school accurately denied a rumor alleging that protesting parents had burned copies of the Bible during their demonstration. Nevertheless, this rumor circulated wildly in India's English-language press and was later repeated uncritically by Western media, adding fuel to a propaganda campaign that claimed that Christians in India faced regular persecution from Hindu fundamentalists. Since this campaign began, giving to missions in India has increased considerably--demonstrating that prosecution of the Great Commission requires more than Bibles and baptismal water. John Joseph, a Christian member of the National Minority Commission charged with investigating reported cases of persecution, complained that most of the cases that hit national and international headlines in recent years were nothing but "colorful lies, half-truths or highly exaggerated stories unleashed by Indian Christian NGOs and missionary groups to mobilize Christian donor agencies to open their wallets." (9)

Even when homeland wallets are open, overseas ministries feel strong pressure to pay at least part of their own way. Some missionaries have become inventive fundraisers; others have sought revenue in less ethical ways, as recent exposures of child-adoption rackets in missionary orphanages have revealed.

Like parochial schools, church-run orphanages have long been fixtures of Christian evangelism in India. Legally wards of the orphanage, the children are usually raised as Christians, and it is not uncommon for those who do not find homes to adopt the church as their surrogate family and become priests or nuns when they mature. This swells the ranks of native clergy, a welcome bonus given the dearth of seminary admissions in the West. Distasteful as this may be to many Hindus, an Indian orphanage is within its rights to raise its wards as it sees fit. Still, those rights do not extend to fraud. But fraud is what twenty-five families encountered in 2001 in Arunachal Pradesh, a mountainous state in India's northeast.


With the promise of providing their children an education, a Catholic priest from the neighboring district of Nagaland reportedly charged parents 10,000 rupees per child (about US$250 each) for tuition, room, and board at the St. Emmanuel Mission Convent in Rajasthan, some 2,500 kilometers away in India's northwest. That price was high, but parents considered it a bargain for a "sahib-run" (i.e., Western-style) school. Some parents later developed misgivings, however, and traveled to Rajasthan to visit their children. On arrival they were shocked to discover that the children were not enrolled at St. Emmanuel's. In fact, they were not in any school at all--they had been placed in an orphanage. The priest who ran the orphanage said he had paid 5,000 rupees per child to a fellow priest--from Nagaland--and allegedly demanded compensation to the tune of this sum before releasing the children to their families. (10)

The victims of such schemes typically come from India's "tribals," Hindu communities in India's most underdeveloped enclaves that have retained distinct local cultures that isolate them from the modern Indian mainstream. Illiterate and desperately poor, tribals rank high on missionaries' target lists for conversion. They are the unreached of the Unreached.

Both Rome and its Protestant competitors have been particularly aggressive in efforts to convert the tribals. Exploiting customs that make female children economic burdens on their families, missionaries reportedly induce tribal mothers to relinquish baby girls shortly after birth. Often the mothers are promised that rich Westerners will adopt their daughters and they will live a "much better life." The mother is typically paid about $70 for her child, who is then adopted by Western parents for a "donation" of $2,500.

There is an irony to the notion of tribal "orphans," according to Arvind Neelakandan, a volunteer with the Vivekananda. Kendra (VK), a Hindu nonprofit that works among the tribals. In most tribal communities, Neelakandan explains, "Orphans as we know them are non-existent"; parentless children are typically cared for by their extended families. But, he explains, missionaries will "fleece money from their foreign donors by projecting these very same children as 'orphans'" in fundraising campaigns. Indignant, Neelakandan suggests that, rather than focusing their efforts on schemes to raise money or allure converts, evangelists ought to focus on the social betterment of the tribals, particularly their young girls. The VK, for instance, specializes in educating tribal girls in useful--and secular--subjects such as science and mathematics. (11)

The practice of allurement, or providing "inducements" to the poor in return for their conversion to Christianity, is quite common, and many missionaries readily admit using it. It is also nothing new. In the days of the Portuguese invaders, the Jesuits simply paid Hindus by the hundreds to participate in mass baptisms. Today's methods are more subtle: conversions are "bought" with food, medicine, promises, and microloans. Microlending programs are increasingly popular, providing a revenue stream for cash-strapped missions as it adds financial credit to the other blandishments missionaries can offer in exchange for conversion.

The practice of enticing the hungry and sick to Christianity with offers of food and medicine is not illegal per se, but is hardly ethical--especially given that so many of the tribals and dalits ("untouchables") who are its typical targets have little understanding of the very concept of religious "conversion." The notion of conversion as such is alien to Hinduism. Recognizing this, Mohandas K. Gandhi criticized the practice in no uncertain terms: "I strongly resent these overtures to utterly ignorant men," he once protested, criticizing missionaries who, in order to gain converts, "dangle earthly paradises in front of them [the dalits] and make promises to them which they can never keep." (12)

Whatever one calls the offer of material allurements in exchange for religious conversion, it does not deserve the appellation "charity." But this is lost on missionaries like Paul, who offers no apologies when confronted with Hindu objections. "If Hindus believe that certain tactics like offering money, food, or clothes to their naked children in return for embracing Christ are immoral, then what can I say?" he protests. "All congregations and missionaries have been advised to follow these techniques, as others will only fail. Sounds immoral, but that is the only way."

One cannot help but ask how conversions garnered through allurements can be considered sincere, to say nothing of genuine, in the sense that the convert has experienced a significant change in beliefs. This has been a longstanding criticism of evangelical methods, and missionaries in India are reminded of it each time money runs short, when they are forced to renege on their promises and their flocks return to Hinduism. But when asked how aping conversion for a bowl of food could be considered a "real" conversion, Paul has a quick, if rather optimistic, answer. "Embracing Christ through 'food,' 'shelter' or some other way may be considered a full conversion," he says, because "their children," being raised in the Church, "will soon be one-hundred-percent Christian."

History suggests otherwise. Duarte Nunes, the missionary prelate of Goa, expressed the same doctrine as early as 1520. (13) Almost five hundred years have since passed, much of that time under the rule of pro-Christian imperial governments, and yet Christians stand at no more than 2.4 percent of India's population. India remains incontrovertibly Hindu. That may be why, out of either impatience or desperation, some missionaries have chosen to adopt more persuasive measures than allurement to secure conversions.

In the time of Duarte Nunes, Jesuits supported by the Portuguese military had Hindus forcibly seized and their lips smeared with pieces of beef, "polluting" them as Hindus and thus making Christianity their only option for salvation. (14) Such blatancy is not possible today. Instead, the violence of others can be used as a threat.


The tribal village of New Tupi lies in a deep, forested valley in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. It also borders the district of Nagaland, where a guerilla war between Nags separatists and the Indian government has ground on for decades. A Protestant missionary started a primary school in New Tupi and actively evangelized there for a number of years. Response to his ministry was lukewarm, however, and villagers report that the pastor was feeling pressure to move on to greener "unreached" pastures. Failing to uproot the people from their traditional Vaishnavite faith (a monotheistic branch of Hinduism) apparently became a prestige issue with him, so as a last resort he played what could be called his "trump card."

The pastor of New Tupi began preaching a new sermon. According to villagers, he told them to "get converted within one and a half months," or else "everybody will be in trouble." In his warning, he allegedly invoked the name of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN, the gun-toting insurgents in nearby Nagaland who, as locals knew well, indulge in kidnapping and extortion. The people of New Tupi clearly got the pastor's message: convert to Christianity now, or terrorists may soon arrive at your doorstep. (15)

Sadly, this is not solely the behavior of a few renegade clergy. Displaying the "neurosis of the converted," as V. S. Naipaul terms it, many ex-Hindu converts seek to demonstrate their faithfulness and worth to their new creed by affecting open hostility toward the faith they abandoned. This hostility is usually expressed through contemptuous labeling: calling Hindus "heathens" and Hinduism "demonic" or "evil." Too often, contempt escalates into physical aggression: disrupting Hindu festivals, harassing recalcitrant family members or neighbors, and desecrating Hindu temples and relics.

Tension between converted tribals and their Hindu neighbors gained national press coverage in Dangs, a district in Gujurat state. The conflict grew so intense that villages and even families were being rent apart, in 1999, India's National Human Rights Commission convened a special investigation into the conflict. Some of the most damning testimony that investigation heard was given by Ghelubhai Nayak, a respected social scientist and disciple of Gandhi, who has worked in tribal welfare in Dangs for over fifty years.

In his testimony, Nayak said that the conflict at Dangs was rooted in the work of Christian missionaries. In the preceding three years, Nayak stated, there had been at least fifteen instances in which Christian converts, "under the influence of their preachers," desecrated idols of the Hindu saint Hanuman, who has been venerated as an incarnation of the Hindu god Siva, a servant of Vishnu, by the Dangs tribals for generations. In one incident, he said, the converts urinated on a statue of Hanuman; in another they "crushed Hanuman's idol to pieces and threw it away in the river." In addition to the desecration, Nayak testified, converts had raised the ire of their Hindu neighbors by repeatedly, publicly denouncing Hindu saints as shaitans, or "Satans." This was done, again "under the influence of their preachers." The native clergy, it seems, were themselves ex-Hindus afflicted with the Naipaulian "neurosis." (16)


On the whole, no one can deny that, through the efforts of Christian evangelists, thousands of people across the developing world have been fed and clothed. But the question remains, when the benefits of mission work are weighed against the social costs of aggressive proselytizing, are the peoples of the Unreached Bloc better or worse off for having Christian missionaries in their midst?

One has to wonder. According to the World Evangelization Research Center (WERC), there are more than four thousand mission agencies. Collectively, they operate a huge apparatus, staffed by some 434,000 foreign missionaries and wielding an annual global income of eighteen billion dollars. And yet, for all the money that is spent an astonishing $359,000 for each person baptized--the benefits of evangelism are meager. (17) Even harsher realities are revealed by WERC research, which finds that most plans to evangelize the world have fallen "massively short" of stated goals and reveal that church embezzlement has come to exceed the global income of the missionary enterprise by a full one billion dollars annually. (18)

Meanwhile, the quality of life for India's Christian population remains dismal. Despite "crocodile-tears for the oppressed," says Edamaruku, and contrary to apologists' frequent boast that Christianization brings justice and equality to the "untouchables," dalits who convert find that as Christians, they remain "as 'untouchable' as they had been as Hindus." (19) While more than 75 percent of the Catholics in India are dalits, dalits make up less than 5 percent of Indian priests. The vast majority of the church hierarchy is uppercaste, a fact bitterly lamented by Christian "untouchables." (20)

Undeterred, Christendom forges ahead with its drive to plant churches. As Paul tells us, the Vatican planned to add 40 percent to its missionary budget for india in 2003. "That could mean a lot of rupees," he says. "More churches will be built in India, thus more converts." That those rupees could be spent on more productive endeavors does not occur to him.

Even the assertion that mere exposure to Western ideas and institutions provides some benefit holds little water, particularly when the principal effect of mission work is to replace one set of superstitions with another. Tales of miraculous healings, even exorcisms, are frequently found in evangelical newsgroups. In a typical testimonial, an ex-Hindu claimed that, after losing her sight following a fever, her husband had practiced Hindu "witchcraft" on her but could not heal her. But, after "accept[ing] the Good News" and taking a vow "never to worship idols," the woman "felt a touch" on her eyes and was miraculously made to see. "Now," she says, "I am all right and all my family members have accepted Jesus Christ." (21)

This is hardly the fruit of Western "enlightenment." In the end, evangelism seems to offer little more than an exchange of idolatry for bibliolatry, gods for devils, and magic for dogma. Meanwhile, families are ruptured, divisions are sown among communities, and indigenous ancient traditions no less valid or holy than those striving to replace them are disparaged for the sake of a jealous ideology bent on homogenizing the world.

It is not widely advertised in the West that Gandhi, that icon of compassion and self-sacrifice, detested proselytizing. In his multivolume The Collected Works, he states categorically that "the idea of conversion ... is the deadliest poison which ever sapped the fountain of truth." (22) If missionaries could not conduct service for its own sake, he said, if the price of their charity was conversion, he preferred that they would quit India altogether. This was a man who was neither a Hindu "fundamentalist" nor an extremist. And he well knew the suffering and need of his poorest countrymen. (23)

Nonetheless, missionaries in the field remain ever optimistic, albeit misguided, about what they are doing. "I do admit our means of conversion are almost horrible in nature," admits our friend Paul, "but I suppose we are doing this lot a reason." Self-doubt seems to hover in his words, but he then finds harbor in a familiar rationale. "The reason is Christ. It is honorable."

He then pauses and asks, "Wouldn't you say so?"

Ingersoll on Missionaries

Nineteenth-century agnostic orator Robert Green Ingersoll offered the following advice to American Methodists, the most indefatigable foreign missionaries of the day:

My advice to the Methodists is to do what little good they can right here and now. It seems cruel to preach to the heathen a gospel that is dying out even here, and fill their poor minds with absurd dogmas and cruel creeds that intelligent men have outgrown and thrown away

--Interview with The Press, Cleveland, Ohio, November 12, 1891, in Clinton P. Farrell, ed., The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll (New York: Dresden Publishing Company, 1900 and subsequent editions), vol. 8, pp. 475-76.


(1.) "The Last Frontier," International Mission Board, December 19, 2002, http:/www.imb.org/core/WE/lastfrontwo.htm. An updated version (November 6, 2003) is available at http://www.imb.org/WE/lastfront.asp. An entire research industry, deploying specialized racial and linguistic databases, ethnic mapping projects, and training resources has been mobilized for the world evangelism movement. See, for instance, Global Mapping International, http://www.gmi.org/index.html.

(2.) Sanal Edamaruku. "Indian Rationalists Defend the Right to Criticize Pope," Rationalist International 22 (October 25, 1999). See also "Vatican's Asian Agenda Revealed," op. cit., 25 (November 14, 1999).

(3.) Paul [pseud.], e-mails to author. December 23, 2000, through February 3, 2001.

(4.) Arun Shourie, Missionaries in India: Continuities, Changes, Dilemmas (New Delhi: HarperCollins India, 1994), p. 16.

(5.) Government of Madhya Pradesh. Report of the Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee, (Nagpur: Government Printing Press 993, 1956), vol. 2 part B, p. 54. quoted in Shourie, p. 8. The document is also available online as "Vindicated by Time: The Niyogi Committee Report on Christian Missionary Activities" at http://www.bharatvani.org/books/ncr/.

(6.) Particularly notable is the memoir of Susan Shields, former member of the Missionaries of Charity, whose unpublished manuscript, In Mother's House, is quoted in Christopher Hitchens. The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (London: Verso, 1995), pp. 43-50. Shields also published a brief article in FREE INQUIRY concerning her experiences ("Mother Teresa's House of Illusions." FI, Winter 1997/98, pp. 31-32.)

(7.) I. P. Mission Girls' High School, declaration of faith (July 1998, photocopy with translation).

(8.) Office of the Principal. I. P. Mission Girls' High School, letter to Rajkot VHP and Bajrang Dal (July 1998, photocopy with translation. See also Ravindra Agrawal, "Church Conspiracy in the Guise of Service," available online at http://www.hssworld.org/all/baudhik/christianity/ CHURCH_CONSPIRACY.html.

(9.) Sanal Edamaruku. "Are Christians Really Persecuted in India?," Rationalist International 43 (27 July 2000).

(10.) Vishwinath, "Church as an Edifice of Fraud!," Breezy Meadows (organ of the Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas Arunachal Pradesh Trust) 2, no. 9 (July 2601): 3.

(11.) Aravindan Neelakandan, personal e-mail to author, 11 January 2002.

(12.) Mohandas K. Gandhi, The Collected Works (New Delhi: Government of India Press, 1976) 64:400.

(13.) M.D. David, ed., Western Colonialism in Asia and Christianity (Bombay: Himalaya Publishing House, 1988), p. 8, quoted in Sita Ram Goel, History of Christian-Hindu Encounters, AD 304 to 1996 (Voice of India, 1996), p. 14.

(14.) David, p. 19, quoted in Goel, p. 12.

(15.) Vishwinath, "Pastor Threatens to Call Army of the 'Good Shepherd' to New Tupi!" Breezy Meadows 2, no. 6 (April 2001): 4.

(16.) Ghelubhai Nayak (fax transmitted to Special Bench of the National Minorities Commission, India, 7 January 1999), quoted in Arvind Lavakare, "A Gandhian Speaks Out from Dangs," Rediff On the Net, 19 January 1999 (19 December 2002), http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/jan/19arvind.htm.

(17.) David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, "Status of Global Mission, 2003, in Context of 20th and 21st Centuries," World Evangelization Reseacrh Center, January 2003 (November 6, 2003), online at http://www.gem-were.org/resources.htm. Nor are the mid-2003 figures unusual: Barrett and Johnson noted that "ecclesiastical crime" exceeded mission income by $1 billion in their 2002 report as well. According to their mid-2003 report, ecclesiastical crime is growing at more than 6 percent per year and is projected to exceed mission income by $5 billion in 2025!

(18.) $19 billion in "ecclesiastical crime" versus $18 billion in global income. Barrett and Johnson, loc. cit.

(19.) Sanal Edamaruku, "God Longs for All Hindus! Covert Operations of the Evangelical Church in India," Rationalist International 83 (29 November 2001).

(20.) See "Problems & Struggles: Archbishop Arulappa Condemns Vatican for Promoting a Dalit Bishop as His Successor." Dalit Christians (19 December 2002), http://www.dalitchristians.com/Html/arulappa.htm.

(21.) "India: And the Blind Receive Sight!" Fax of the Apostles (April 2001), quoted in "Religious World News for Mission Mobilizers," Brigada Mission Mobilizers, 27 April 2001. Electronic subscription.

(22.) Gandhi, The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (New Delhi: Government of India Press, 1971) 64:203.

(23.) Gandhi, 46:28.
The 2.5 billion number is a bit of a stretch. The Euro's are not very Xtian now, and in about 30-50 years, I expect an Islamic republic of Europe. Latin America has growing indigenous religious movements. And finally, the 2.5 billion are divided into dozens of different countries which have been fighting and killing each other for years. You guys leave us alone, and Hindus will definetly back off. No Hindu gives a damn what other people follow, unless they get in your face about religion.

You guys drink the blood and eat the flesh of Jesus Christ in your church, ofcourse this is simulated only (hopefully).

Genesis 22:1-12
Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

A person who does not know anything about any religion, what will be his thoughts?

<!--QuoteBegin-paulose+Jul 24 2006, 04:41 PM-->QUOTE(paulose @ Jul 24 2006, 04:41 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->You do not care whether issues in your religion sounds nonsense to me. Like that Christians also do not care. Each and everybody has the freedom to believe in any nonsense or sense.
I never said that you did not respect my religion. You are free to believe also the 2.5 billion people who are Christaians are insane. But that will not make them to believe that Hindu beliefs are sane and not man made.

<!--QuoteBegin-paulose+Jul 24 2006, 02:31 PM-->QUOTE(paulose @ Jul 24 2006, 02:31 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the people of the church are the scum of the world. i would much rather have preferred to see all the god-damned spaniards  dead and decaying than the great inca, maya and aztec civilzations (and the scores fo amerindian tribes) wiped out.
<b>May be. BUt the same church people are responsible for all the developments in all fields in the world.</b>

what should we do about that comment??

for me i suggest you read "guns and germs and steel" by Jared Diamond for a start.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Stick to the thread topic please.

I think that proving Jesus never existed is the most powerful way to break Christian propoganda.

Does that discussion belong in this thread or another one?
Guy n Gals,
stick to thread topic.
Has anyone read this book/report?
The Niyogi Committee Report - On Christian Missionary Activities
Any summary/review or a reader's digest condensed version available?
The funny thing is in about 50 years, most of the world's technology will probably come from Japanese, Chinese and Indian heathens. I think some Japanese Shinto guy came up with Fuel Injection technology, and Einstein was Jew (a huge enemy of the church). 2 simple examples where the church wasn't responsible.

<!--QuoteBegin-ben_ami+Jul 24 2006, 07:42 PM-->QUOTE(ben_ami @ Jul 24 2006, 07:42 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-paulose+Jul 24 2006, 02:31 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(paulose @ Jul 24 2006, 02:31 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the people of the church are the scum of the world. i would much rather have preferred to see all the god-damned spaniards  dead and decaying than the great inca, maya and aztec civilzations (and the scores fo amerindian tribes) wiped out.[right][snapback]54392[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>May be. BUt the same church people are responsible for all the developments in all fields in the world.</b>[right][snapback]54440[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
what should we do about that comment??
for me i suggest you read "guns and germs and steel" by Jared Diamond for a start.[right][snapback]54469[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-paulose+Jul 23 2006, 12:09 PM-->QUOTE(paulose @ Jul 23 2006, 12:09 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
I really find it astonishing in these forums that many writers can not stick to the point. In the span of 5 sentences usually at least 10 issues will be touched. That is confusing also. I was talking about just one point, rebirth in Hinduism. Conversion is not an issue here. Caste also is irrelevant here. Guna based varna or birth based catse has nothing here. Whether caste is sanctioned in Hindu scriptures also has nothing to do with rebirth.

If a person is born as a chandala, it is believed that he had commited some crimes or mistakes in his previous birth. That means he is responsible for his mistakes or SIN in a previous birth. The original sin belief in Christianity is an extrapolation of this concept. The first man commited a mistake or SIN. And part of that is passed from him to his generations. It is something like genes being transmitted into offsprings.

No, the problem is not the responses to your enquiries, but in your basic understanding of Hinduism, which seems typical of a fundamentalist Christian - you know hinduism in bits and pieces, and are trying to summarize it through your scanty, scattered knowledge. In your first enquiry, you talk about rebirths in the context of being 'born' a brahmin. I and other responders were trying to impress upon you that the quality of brahminness is nothing to with which caste group you are born into. Again, in your response above, you go back to the issue of being <i>born </i>into a chandala family as a result of crimes and mistakes in the pervious brith. Again, I repeat (is it so very hard for you to get this point - how else should I put it to make it easier for you to understand??) being born as a chandala or in a chandal family is not regarded as a sin or inferior. The idea of attaching inferior/superior label to the community you are born; whether kshatriya, vaishya, sudra, etc was a later-day social construction. Thus, being born chandala was later perceived as being inferior and thought to be as a result of one’s bad karma. In Hinduism, each is born according to his guna or disposition; but nowhere does it state that being born into a kshatriya family, for example, is superior to being born in a vaishya family. Each have their functions and duties to perform. To attain enlightenment for even a chadala is very much possible, as the numerous accounts of individuals born in low-caste becoming renowned saints and being worshipped by people of all social groups suggest.

If responders to your enquiry specificlly talk about the caste concept, even if you don’t, it is because you keep talking about being <i>born</i> into a particular family or community, as opposed to possessing certain qualities or guna. Since your idea of rebirth is based on caste-concept, this issue needs to be targeted. I suggest you get a good book on Vedanta/Upanishads or the Advaita and study those in detail, before coming here for discussions. Otherwise it is like talking to someone about advanced physics when the person has not even gone through physics 101, and has only hotchpotch understanding on the complex subject obtained some science-fiction movies.
<!--QuoteBegin-paulose+Jul 24 2006, 03:08 PM-->QUOTE(paulose @ Jul 24 2006, 03:08 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->That is absolutely wrong. If you sin you will have punishment for that. That is the Christian belief. That is the basis of Christianity. That is why there is a judgement day. On that day God punish all people who do some mistakes and crimes. And heaven is the reward for good deeds and hell is the reward for bad deeds.


This is total news to me: that the judgement day is reserved for those who commit sins, irrespective of whether or not they accept christ. Your version/spin on christianity is indeed very unique, certainly not the one practiced by the vast majority of christians around the world. In the new testament, the judgement day is reserved for those who commit sins and do not accept christ as their saviour. To escape the 'hell' sentence on judgement day, one needs to accept christ as his saviour, and repent the sins. No repenter, who has NOT accepted christ as his personal savior, can be reprieved, and must face 'hell,' even if he has done good deeds in order to cancel his bad deeds.

As for the children: "As to children that have personally done neither good nor evil, <i>the baptized must be distinguished from the unbaptized</i>. The former appear in the judgment, not to be judged, but only to hold the glory of Christ (Supplement 80:5), <b>while the latter, ranked with the wicked</b>, although not judged, will be enabled to realize the justice of their eternal loss." (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08552a.htm).

No doubt, christianity has tried to reinvent itself through time, borrowing heavily from vedanta and other eastern belief systems, in order to make itself more acceptable and palatable to people, particularly those who question its autocratic and oppressive theology and hypocricy. Perhaps your more liberal views are part of that reinvented theology, but definitely not the one I, who have been exposed to christian ideologies from very early age, would associate with christianity.
Paulose:<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BUt the same church people are responsible for all the developments in all fields in the world.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I don't know whether you have had the opportunity to watch the BBC series on historical inventions. Major inventions and discoveries in the world were done in the pre-christian and non-christian world (particularly India and China), whether they be in Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, and other sciences. With the advent of christianity, and its very adventurous, colorful crusades followed by imperialism, the church did everything to stifle these scientific advances, and impose christian myths to explain every natural phenemenon, and retard all scientific progress.

It was only in the last 1-2 hundred years, and with the separation of state and church, that scientific quests were allowed to progress unheeded. Interestingly, the majority of western scientists today are non-practicing christians. There are some that may believe in some sort of divinity, despite being astrophysicist, mathematician, or molecular biologist, etc., but do not endorse the narrow christian concept of God. Unfortunately, the increase in fundamentalist christianity in the US in recent years has led to increasing efforts by these groups to thwart scientific queries and advances, and impose the bilbilical myths as substitute.
<!--QuoteBegin-annamma,+-->QUOTE(annamma,)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Yes, i know, that is a difference between religions.

But, if we are arguing the case, I'd prefer to be realistic. I agree that its more appealing to see ourselves as divine!! But how do we excuse our shortcomings and tendency to be mean, and cruel and angry at the drop of a hat...that cannot be divine, sadly! <!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->

We do not excuse our shortcomings. Our shortcomings are exerted by our free will, not because of we are all inherently evil. Our experiences and life situations, and the way we deal with them, determines whether we progress to the path of divinity or wander away from the path of reliazation, and not because of 'maker' creates us with evil in our heart and incapable of doing any good without realizing christ. The problem in christianity is that it relies too much on 'christ' as saviour, and thus will not consder the possibility that amn coulld be good and do good deeds without belief in a particular god. In fact, my observations in the west, is that some of the best human beings, who the Hindus would call as divine souls, have been those who do not hold the christian idea of god. Many of my western teachers and colleagues who have behaved in accordance with their conscience, and have been fair, just, kind, compassionate, generous and truly non-discriminating, have all been non-practicing christian westerners. Majority of bigots, racists, nasty humans I have encountered have been praticing devout christians.

<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->IMO, it is the most realistic and yet the most positive belief system, which is why I am a Christian. But <shrug> thats each person's choice.

You assert that you find christianity to be the most positive belief system and realisitc. I still have failed to see your enthusiasm. Your empty assertion is akin to a neo-Nazi's emphatic declaration that 'blacks are inferior beings.' No scientific evidence, rational argument is going to alter his 'belief.' He beliefs what he wants to, even if his claims are totally unsubstantiated.

Can you please also post the original external URL of the article you have reproduced here - "Sins of the Missionaries: Evangelism's Quest to Conquer the World"? Thanks.
Here is link
<!--QuoteBegin-sankara+Jul 24 2006, 09:41 PM-->QUOTE(sankara @ Jul 24 2006, 09:41 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Paulose:<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BUt the same church people are responsible for all the developments in all fields in the world.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Actually the time when Europe strictly followed Christianity is known as the dark age of Europe. The real scientific progress started when they started defying church.

The real contribution of church is in sponsoring people to travel overseas to colonize and spread Christianity. Apart from making profit by identifying alternate route to India, Vasco Da Gama's intention was to convert locals. So was Columbus. British and French were more sophisticated in doing this because most of the scientifc development in Europe at that time happened in these two countries.

Anyway, back to topic.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BUt the same church people are responsible for all the developments in all fields in the world.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Remember also, that <b>the Catholic Church was the richest institution in the world, before the Enlightenment</b>. Money entered its hands, mostly because of <b>tithes</b>. It also owned quite a lot of land, and it had its own ecclesiastical laws that people in Catholic countries were subject to (within limits). The power of the Church rivalled the authority of many kings in Europe.

Try to understand the magnitude of tithes here. <b>A tithe is supposed to be a tenth of a person's annual income. Most countries before the 20th century did not tax their populations more than 2-3%!</b>

Considering its enormous wealth and political power, sure, they were the only ones in a position to fund any venture. Nobody else had that sort of money.
<!--QuoteBegin-sankara+Jul 24 2006, 09:41 PM-->QUOTE(sankara @ Jul 24 2006, 09:41 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Paulose:<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BUt the same church people are responsible for all the developments in all fields in the world.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Major inventions and discoveries in the world were done in the pre-christian and non-christian world (particularly India and China), whether they be in Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, and other sciences.

true. till the mid 16th century, all the books of math and algebra and astronomy (and possibly other sciences like physics too) were english/latin/french/german translations of persian translations of sanskrit originals.

you know given the way they took bits and pieces of buddhism and other religions/cultures and cooked up christianity, the way they took buddhist jataka tales and came up with ashop's fables etc etc, it wouldnt surprise me in the least if we someday learn that they took loads of stuff from hindu math and science and pased them off as their own.

Why are you even arguing with a scoundrel who claims that the Goan Inquisition never punished any Hindus despite tons of evidence to the contrary, louts like him belong in a mental asylum, as I said before many Christian saints have been murderers or criminals, Christianity can take the credit for producing absolute bigots like Martin Luther who wrote a book titled "The Jews and their lies" which the Nazis later reprinted with much enthusiasm and this criminal is supposed to be a great leader.

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