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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Karnataka Police Concerned About Missionary-Provoked Violence

January 26, 2005, 12:52 pm

Vijay Times
Bangalore
27 January 2005

While the Government has managed to ensure that the controversial American evangelist Benny Hinn's recent 'Pray for India' show did not lead to any communal flare-up in the State, alarming reports from the Intellegence Department have forced it to brace up for tackling such an eventuality.

Sources in the Intelligence Wing of the Police Department have cautioned the Government against the moves of some over-enthusiastic Christian missionaries planning to play the cassettes of Hinn's 'miracles' in rural areas with the intention of propagating their religion.

This might create communal tensions in the villages where Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagrana Vedike had been active in spreading Hindu awareness, a senior intelligence official told Vijay Times. The officer, who compiled the report, spoke of his apprehensions by citing the instance of assault and arrest of a self-proclaimed pastor, who allegedly tried to propagate Christianity through a door-to-door campaign in Chennapatna. This was in retaliation against a religious congregation apparently with an intention of effecting conversions in Mysore. "The situation in Chikmagalur and Shimoga is even more sensitive," he added.

Some police officers have also expressed fears about these organisations misusing the cassettes showing the presence of the Chief Minister and other dignitaries at Hinn's show to lure gullible people of other religions. Interestingly, the organisers of the Hinn show claimed that around 22 lakh people attended the programme, while the police sources said that only around seven lakh participated in the three-day show. Lending credence to the reports, the pro-Hindu organisations have already warned that they would take action against those who came on a door-to-door campaign glorifying the 'abilities' of Hinn.

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