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.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

VHP meets President; demands expulsion of foreign priests

NEW DELHI, JAN 8 (PTI)

Accusing the Christian groups of starting last month's communal violence in Orissa, VHP leaders today met President Pratibha Patil and demanded immediate expulsion of foreign priests from the country and a stop to fund to missionaries from abroad.

Several churches and a minister's houses were burnt down in largescale communal violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district in the last week of December following an attack on a VHP leader who led an anti-conversion movement in the state.

"We have urged the President that religious conversions be banned, money flow to missionaries from foreign countries be prevented and inquiry be held to determine the income of NGOs," Mohan Joshi, Central Secretary of VHP, said.

"We have also urged President Patil to expel foreign priests, who come here on tourists visas and indulge in illegal conversion activities, from the country," he said.

He claimed that more than 5,000 foreign priests, who arrived here on tourists visas, were currently living in the country with majority of them in south India.

"Christian missionaries are working like crusaders," another senior VHP leader Surendra Kumar Jain said.

Jain claimed that missionaries receive Rs 10,000 crore per year for the purpose.

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