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, February 24, 2007

Baptist Tirupati, Pentecostal Mantralaya

J. Anil Kumar
Feburary 18, 2007
Karmavira, Kannada Weekly

(A reader translated the article from Kannada)

On January 8th, I reached Mantralaya. After taking the darshana of Brandavan of Sri Raghavendra Swami, I decided to go to the Panchamukhi-kshetra where Swami-ji had performed penance for 12 years. This is the place where Raghavendra Swami was blessed by Sri Anjaneya Swami. To go to Panchamukhi which is 21 kilometers from Mantralaya, I took an auto-rickshaw.

As soon as we left Mantralaya, we saw a Christian colony. We saw a white colored church. The door of every house had a big cross on it. On the top of every house there was a picture of Jesus also. I thought they may be the houses of local Christians.

After I continued on the road for 5 kilometers, I saw another large church. Around the church there were crosses on all the surrounding homes. It seems that the homes were recently decorated. As we came near the Panchamukhi village, a big steeple welcomed us. There also was a big church under construction.

Out of curiosity, I asked the auto-rickshaw driver about this. He said the following: "Sir, in every village in this district, there is a church. Some villages are completely Christian. These people have been tempted with new houses or jeeps or auto-rickshaws. This is famine-struck area. The farmers are on point of committing suicide. In this state of desperation, who would say no to money? "

The above experience of Gurudutt, a Non-Resident Indian. He has already published this on the internet. A copy was sent to me from my friend by email.

There was a campaign to convert Tirupati to Christianity. Pejawar Swamiji investigated and confirmed this to be true. He then fought against this plot of the missionaries. After the opposition of the Christian community of Andhra, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Samuel Rajashekhar Reddy pledged not to endanger the Hindu identity of Tirumala.

Now the same warning bells are being heard around Mantralaya. Why is it happening like this?

"We shall encircle and undermine them and finally storm…". This was the proclamation of the missionaries of the 19th century. Even in the present day, this motto is still in practice. This summer in the Iraq War, as the American army advanced, American Baptist and Pentecostal missionaries entered Iraq to convert the people like how sheep are herded. In 2004, the Christian Science Monitor reported in detail about this. It is breaking news that now candlelight processions have begun in villages across Nepal.

For the last two decades, the Christian churches in Europe have lost the attraction of the people. This is no secret. In European news media, reports and statistics are always confirming this. Therefore, the Catholic Church in Europe has wanted to convert people from other parts of the world for a long time.

America, which is comprised of groups of small churches, is competing with the Catholic Church. Before Catholic missionaries can start their work abroad, the Baptist and Pentecostal missionaries beat them to it. They will spend any amount for money to bring non-Christians into their fold. It is difficult for the Vatican accept this approach.

Cut-throat marketing! To convert non-Christians, there is competition between different churches! Not only this, but there is also a competition to convert other Christians from one church to another. In this also, American are far ahead.

There is reason for this. In America, conversion has become a business. Missionaries have good income. Their plans have a budget and their commissions are proportionate to their success. Vacation, traveling and other expenses are available to them. They are not only ordinary missionaries; these people may be tele-evangelists like Pat Robertson and Benny Hinn. They are kings of billions of dollar businesses!

To resolve the inter-church disputes, arising from attempts to convert non-Christians, there was recently a conference in Geneva to consider the viewpoints of all churches. As a result, a common "code of conduct" for conversion was written.

"In one Christian family, the husband is Catholic, the wife is an Evangelical Protestant, and the children are Pentecostal Protestant. We should stop this," says Sweden Lutheran Reverend Hans Yuko who took part in the Geneva World Council of Churches Conference. By 2009, the code-of-conduct is expected to be ready.

This basically means "We should not eat the whole animal when it is caught in a trap, we should compromise by dividing it and eating in pieces"!

In other words, Mantralaya is for one group, Tirupati is for another group, Iraq is for another and Nepal is yet for another!

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