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, April 17, 2005

Christian Businessman Accused of Bribing Hindu to Convert

Friday, April 15, 2005

A Christian business man has been accused of attempted conversion by an Indian court in Kayamkulam Taluka, in Kerala's Alappuzha district.

"Mr. Vidya Sagaran was arrested by local police on March 30," said defence attorney Ranjit George. "The Judicial First Class Magistrate of Kayamkulam granted him bail on the 31st."

Vishwanathan Pillai accused Sagaran of forcing him to convert from Nayar caste (Hindu sect) to the Pentecostal faith.

India does not have an anti-conversion law, and so in such a case section 153A of the Penal Code an be used to charge those accused of forced or fraudulent conversions.

Section 153A states: "Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious groups, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or both."

Pillai claims that Sagaran lent him money to entice him to convert. As Pillai says, later Sagaran insisted on returning the money since Pillai did not convert.

The defence attorney explained: "Sagaran was the mediator for the money transfer between his neighbour Pillai and third person. After he asked for money to be returned, Pillai accused him falsely."

In the area of India from where Pillai and Sagaran live there are three Christian churches including the Emmanuel mission church, the one attended by Sagaran. Hindus claim the radical calls for evangelism by missionaries in the tsunami torn areas have influenced on this small church.

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