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.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Evangelists Now Targeting Jain Community in India

January 7, 2005, 4:38 pm

Besides the rampant conversion drives targeting Hindus and Muslims in India, International Missionary Board initiative seeks to destroy the peaceful Jain community. A recently launched website (http://www.jaindisciples.org/) carefully details the population distribution of Jains and conversion techniques.

Jainism originated in India about 500 BC at almost the same time and place as Buddhism. The founder of Jainism (Mahavir) is reported to have interacted with the founder of Buddhism. There is some evidence that Jainism is even older (9th century BC) than this. Jains have their own unique sacred scriptures in the Prakrit language and according to Jains their religion is traced to the beginning of time. Jains have contributed much to the arts and sciences of India. Today the adherents of Jainism are about 3.5 million.

According to a sermon on conversion tactics (http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=61939&ContributorID=7352) by B.D.B. Moses, missionaries have chosen to prey on Jains because they are “a very isolated community… they do not often have exposure to the Gospel. There are factors that keep Jains from interacting with Christians on a social level. One of the factors that keep Jains isolated from believers in Christ is the vegetarian diet of the Jains. Jains find it difficult to interact with Christians who are mostly non-vegetarians.” The guide continues on to suggest that missionaries should attempt to convert a handful of Jains and then train them as missionaries to further propagate Christianity. They guide explains this by concluding “In this way the Jains keeping isolated from other communities does not keep Christ from the Jains but encourages the Gospel to move within the Jain community, Jain to Jain.”

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