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 30, 2005

Foreign evangelists in full swing

(‘Dinamalar’, Chennai)

Christian Missionaries are hyper active in most of the Tsunami affected coastal villages in Tamil Nadu. Though their conversion programs have been exposed by the Tamil Daily “Dinamalar”, Chennai (Jan. 25 and 27 2005), their activities continue unabated. And Jayalalithaa’s government deeply engrossed in maligning and persecuting the Kanchi Acharya, and bent on destroying the Kanchi Math, is least inclined in taking any action against the proselytizers.

According to Dinamalar (Jan. 27, 2005), the State and Central Government Intelligence Agencies were shocked to learn that the foreign missionaries in Tsunami affected coastal villages in Pondcherry and Tamil Nadu were very actively engaged in converting people to Christianity. Their presence is seen in Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Chengalpet, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, and Vedaranyam. Most of the lodges in these places are fully booked in the name of local Christian organizations, and these rooms are occupied by missionaries from America, Denmark, Singapore and other foreign countries.

Two Christian institutions, HBI College and New Calvary Church of Kalpakkam, Chennai, with their camps at Tharangambadi, have put up sheds and carrying on conversion activities from there. These missionaries call their conversion programs as “Kanneer Manimalai” (meaning “Tearful Songs”). They select mostly neglected and isolated places in the town and arrange for prayer meetings. And in the guise of relief to Tsunami victims, they are now openly indulging in conversion activities.

They also frequently visit a coastal village called Kesavampalayam, Tharangambadi, Nagapattinam District, and lure unemployed boys and girls for conversion. Here is an instance: Two young girls, Kalaimagal (age 22 years), daughter of Sambandam and Sarojini (age 21 years), daughter of Gopal, live in Karan Street in the said village. They have finished their plus two course and presently unemployed. A nun of John School managed by the Catholic Church, Tharangambadi, approached these two young girls and promised that she would provide tailoring course to these girls. She also promised them help for higher education. Believing the words of the nun, these two girls were sent by their parents to Sarlite School at Karaikal where they were accommodated. From there, these girls were sent to a Tailoring institute run by the Madurai Christian Association.

In this way, nuns go from house to house and take away the local children to Homes run by Christian Missionaries. These children are provided with boarding and lodging facilities, besides the necessary books and cloths. They are then brain washed and instructed not to worship Hindu gods and sing only songs praising Jesus. These missionary activities are concentrated mainly in Dalit localities.

Young Christian students wearing T-shirts and jeans visit these villages with 500 and 1000 rupee notes in their hands. They attract people of these villages by lavishly spending money and tell the villages that they are prosperous because they worship Jesus. These students invite the villagers and tell them that if they join them, they will render all help the villagers need.

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