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 10, 2005

Dayal says Hindu group is "the Number One Enemy of the Christians"

In a press conference given in Gwalior on April 4 for the launch of a campaign on behalf of discriminated Christian Dalits, John Dayal, General Secretary of the All India Catholic Union, mentioned the assurances given by India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Christian community.

A local paper, Dainik Bhaskar, reported that in his speech, Dayal called the Hindu social service group, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), “the Number One enemy of the Christians”. The comment roused anger among local Hindus who demonstrated outside the Carmel Convent School in Gwalior on evening of April 5. Angry Hindus burnt effigies of Dayal and demanded that the Church apologise for the insidious statement, threatening further action against other Church-owned organisations should it fail to do so.

Dayal was recently appointed to the National Integration Council by the Congress Government despite his outspoken support for conversions and evangelism. Following the incident, Dayal attempted to claim he was misquoted.

Chief Minister of Chattisgarh Raman Singh, said that conversion to Christianity was a major problem in his state. He accused former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, a Christian, of supporting missionaries in their attempts to convert the impoverished locals.

According to Dainik Bhaskar daily, the state of Chattisgarh is planning to tighten its existing anti-conversion laws because of the rising number of conversions to Christianity among Tribal Hindus.

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