The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Chaos At Press Conference for Evangelist Benny Hinn's Bangalore Program

BANGALORE, INDIA, January 21, 2005: There was a total chaos in the press meet organized by the committee of "Pray for India and Festival of Blessing" (Benny Hinn's Program) in Bangalore. This colorful report from the Hindu activist RSS news service ("source") reads, in part:

The program organizers Gul Kriplani, Paul Thangaiah, former DGP Kolaso, Ruban, Satyavrat and Samuel spoke about the objectives of Benny Hinn's program to be organized in the city of 21st of this month. After all this, question/answer session started: First a Hindu Voice Representative questioned about the handbills which has been distributed throughout Bangalore city in which it has targeted Hindus as followers of idol worship, prostitution, black magic, etc. and advised to accept Jesus as the only God. Gul Kriplani evades the question by saying that it is not their pamphlet and they have nothing to do with that. He demanded a copy of the leaflet to be produced immediately and said that whosoever is responsible action will be taken against him. Suddenly a media person presented it to him saying, "Here it is." Stunned Gul Kriplani said: "I have no idea about it, Mr. Colaso and Paul Thangaiah will answer you." Paul Thangaiah and Colaso said: "This pamphlet is not for public distribution, but for Church circulation and should have been distributed only to Christians." Hearing this, the media men were on their feet and protested his comments, saying: "You people have already circulated over 300,000 pamphlets in all the pockets of Bangalore and now you are saying it is only for church circulation, who are you trying to fool? That means you are preaching hate against the Hindu community in your churches," for which both Paul Thangaiah and Colaso had become voiceless and were looking helpless.

HPI adds: It is a violation of Indian law to circulate material which is critical of other religions, which made the pamphlet a substantial issue.

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