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.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lucknow convent forcing girls to convert to Christianity

Jesus Christ's 'appearance' in a leading missionary school here last week that had several girls fainting during the occult show is likely to snowball into a major controversy.

According to media reports, Christ 'descended' in the assembly hall of the premier Loreto Convent, a 140-year-old missionary educational institution last week. Christ entered the body of rickshaw puller-turned-priest Nobo Kumar Mandal in front of over 300 students drawn from classes 8 to 12.

Several girls fainted during the two-hour 'show', many others had to be given medical help. Even the teachers got scared.

An eyewitness who did not want to be named told IANS: "Mandal, who was meditating started writhing in pain and then fell on the ground. As he twisted and turned we thought he had had a heart attack and was dying. After a few moments he was up on his feet again and declared that Jesus had entered his body and he was ready to bless us!"

Mandal belongs to the little-known Chandra Mary Christian cult that has its headquarters in Krishnagar in West Bengal.

School principal Sister Monica conducted the show. Some angry parents are planning to take up the issue with the school authorities.

Both students and teachers, who were witnesses to the witchcraft-like act, are unwilling to talk about the "show".

"We will get into trouble if we talk about it," a Class 9 student told IANS.

"I am sorry, but we are not allowed to speak to the media without the principal's permission," a teacher pleaded.

Sister Monica was not available for comment.

In a media interview, the principal said: "What's wrong with that? After all what we did was just offered some prayers and took the blessings of Jesus."

She even said that she would not hesitate in hosting the 'show' again.

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