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, March 02, 2005

Conversion menace in Rajasthan too

By Vaidehi Nathan

Emmanuel Mission, an evangelical organisation, covertly indulging in conversion activities cried wolf when caught by alert Bajrang Dal workers. In the name of Bible classes, the Mission has been ferrying people from all over India to Kota in Rajasthan, apparently for religious conversions. Rajasthan is among the states that have not passed an anti-conversion law. Now, the state government has decided to bring in the law like Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Gujarat have done.

Last week, the Bajrang Dal tried to stop hundreds of people from being converted into Christianity under the guise of holding religious classes. There was a group of 600 people from Kerala, a tribal group of over 30 from Udaipur, and over 800 from Andhra Pradesh. While the Bajrang Dal managed to stop the groups from Udaipur and Andhra, the contingent from Kerala reached the venue of the Mission’s Bible class.

The Emmanuel Mission claimed that the people coming to Kota were already Christians and were only being brought there for the week-long Bible class. There are several questions, which are not answered by the Mission. Did the Mission inform the state government on the nature of the congregation and taken prior permission? The Mission claims it has 93 Bible schools in the country. So, what was so sacred about Kota that people from all parts of the country were being brought there? Why is it that all the people travelling under the Mission programme were from the lower economic strata? Bible is read in most parts of the country in the native language of the region. So what was the point of bringing someone from Kerala or Andhra for a class in Kota?

These people were transported to Kota for religious conversion. They were probably the showcase for inspection by foreign funders, as there is solid competition between various denominations of Christians to target-achieve conversions to receive the dollar doles.


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