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.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

1,800 reembrace Hinduism in UP

As many as 1,800 Christian converts re-embraced Hinduism in Etah on October 2 and 40 churches were handed over to Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Dharma Raksha Samiti, to transform them into temples of Maharishi Valmiki. These temples would be open for all. The home-coming drive, led by Gorakhpur MP Yogi Aditya Nath, saw a gathering of more than 3,200 villagers from 70 villages of Etah at the Saraswati Vidya Mandir. Earlier, about 5,000 Christian converts had also returned home in Etah in February this year. VHP regional coordinator, Shri Indrajit Arya, said the missionaries misled Dalit Hindus, especially Valmikis of Agra to take to Christianity. He said this community had always been considered untouchable and the missionaries took full advantage of this fact by promising lucrative terms like financial security and social equality. While the VHP had taken up this task of home coming only a few years back, the Valmiki community of Agra was being misled by the missionaries for far too long, he said. Some converts’ families, which arrived in the purification ceremony, had been Christians for two-three generations and now they wanted to re-embrace Hinduism, along with their children.

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