Tuesday, July 28, 2009

For God's Sake

I have been reading about the voilence in South India against christians, about the henious crimes that were committed against the minorites and what had started these in the first place. Though this is a huge issue, what I want to talk about right now is the conversion tactics employed by some missionaries.

I have always maintained that religion is a private, personal matter which should not be questioned. Even if someone bribes another to convert, it is not the worst crime committed. Afterall the conversion is eventually helping the converted soul, even if in the most crude, monetary way. Different religions are just different paths leading to the God.

So why this incessant need to see just ONE religion as the most prevailent one? Why do some Muslim fundamentalists go on a rampage to kill all non-Muslims, and christian missionaries stoop to new lows every day to convert non-suspecting, naive people? Why cant everybody happily co-exist? Well, this is a big question, maybe out of scope for me right now. I just want to share with you what I just read today about some tactics employed by christian missionaries to convert people.

Here I quote from a site :

"Terrorist Organizations (North-East India) – These relatively small armed tribal groups are eventually nurtured by Missionaries into violent and sadistic terrorist groups: On December 4th, 2000, Christians converts under the direction of Missionaries, desecrated an ashram (Hindu religious retreat) set up by murdered Hindu leader Shanti Kumar Tripura. . They desecrated Hindu idols and destroyed photos of the slain religious leader revered by both Hindu tribals and Bengalis. The Christian converts also raped two female devotees and brutally attacked two men who had come to the ashram for puja (religious rituals). The next day, Christian converts brutally desecrated another ashram at Jirania Khola and forced the inmates to stop all Hindu rituals and practices at gunpoint. A group of seven armed converted Christian terrorists barged into the ashram and threatened the 150 Hindus with dire consequences if they continued to perform Hindu rites at the ashram. The terrorists fled only after a large group of locals rushed to the ashram. Due to threats by violent Missionaries and their Christian converts, altogether 11 ashrams, schools and orphanages set up by the murdered Hindu leader in various parts of the state have been forcibly closed down by the Christian fundamentalist terrorist organization known as “National Liberation Front of Tripura” (NLFT). In early October the same Christian fundamentalists had issued a diktat ordering the indigenous tribal Hindus to stay away from Durga Puja celebrations (Hindu Festival) and warned that any tribal members seen taking part in the festival would be instantly killed. In its official public statement, the NLFT said it wanted all tribals in Tripura to become Christians. They also stated that salvation for Tripura lies only in Christianity and would eliminate anyone who dared to come in the way of their plans to forcibly convert all of Tripura to Christianity. NFLT is still an active and powerful terrorist organization that operates in Northeast India. They have converted many Hindus and tribals forcibly at gunpoint, and are involved in rapes, and assassinations. They continue to receive arms as well as moral and financial support from Western Christian organizations and Missionaries. "

"Manhunts (South America) - Another method, aptly called "manhunt", involves the missionaries going out, sometimes in motorized vehicles, hunting for natives to integrate them into reservations set up for missionary work. The New Tribes Mission (NTM), for instance, went on such a manhunt in Paraguay. Five missionized natives were killed in one such manhunt. Those unconverted natives were taken to the NTM camp in Campo Loro. Within a short while, according to Survival International, all had died of new diseases they had no immunity to. Stung by criticism, the best reply the NTM 's Director in Paraguay could muster was: "We don't go after people anymore. We just provide transport." In another such "manhunt" in 1979, also in Paraguay, one of the frightened natives fell down from a tree and broke her leg. (Her right breast had already been shot off by a previous encounter with the missionaries.) She was compelled, with her broken leg, to walk back to the mission camp. She subsequently died. "

"Genocide (Brazil) – There are many accounts of genocide committed by Missionaries but they rarely reported in Christian media because of the perverse nature of the crime and because they are usually committed against remote tribals. One of the most horrific massacres was of Brazilian tribals by the grossly misnamed Indian Protection Service, which Christian Missionaries supported and often assisted in killings. In just a few years, the following tribes population was reduced due to Missionary genocide: • Munducurus tribe: reduced from 19,000 to 1,200 • Guaranis tribe: reduced from 5,000 to 200 • Cajaras tribe: from 4,000 to 400 • Cintas Largas: from 10,000 to 500 • Tapaiunas: completely extirpated • Other tribes were reduced to only a few (one or two!) individuals and some by only a single family. The Missionaries employed some of the following methods in their killings: • The Cintas Largas were attacked by dropping dynamites from airplanes. • The Maxacalis were given alcohol and then shot down when they became drunk. • The Nhambiquera were killed in huge numbers by machine gun fire. • Two Patachos tribes were exterminated by giving the unsuspecting Indians smallpox injections. • Some of the Indians were murdered by presenting them with food laced with arsenic and formicides. • One missionary persuaded 600 Ticuna Indians that the end of the world is taking place and they will only be safe on a ranch. On that ranch the Indians were made slaves and tortured. • The Bororos tribe was banned from performing customary religious rites on the dead. Deprived of their cultural identity, the Bororos, instead of converting, committed suicide on by one, until the tribe was extinct. "

"Fake Medicines – One common tactic employed by Missionaries is to give a sick villager fake medicines which have no medicinal value and ask them to worship in the name of their faith for wellness. After several days, the missionary gives the villager an identical dose of the medicine, but this time it is the real medicine. Then the missionary will instruct the villager to now pray to Jesus. Soon after, due to the medicine and not due to Jesus, the villager will be cured. The uneducated and gullible villager, however, will attribute his cure to Jesus and convert to Christianity."

"In 1975, Christian Missionaries were unsuccessful in converting the Panare Native Americans of the Colorado Valley. The missionaries had converted the Bible to their native language, but the peaceful and simple tribe could not understand the concepts of sin, guilt, war and plagues. So instead, the missionaries changed the Bible so that instead of the Romans and others, the Panare were responsible for the death of Jesus. One excerpt read:
”The Panare killed Jesus Christ, because they were wicked. Let's kill Jesus Christ, said the Panare. The Panare seized Jesus Christ. The Panare killed in this way. The laid a cross on the ground. They fastened his hands and his feet against the wooden beams, with nails. They raised him straight up, nailed. The man died like that, nailed. Thus the Panare killed Jesus Christ…
God will burn you all, burn all the animals, burn also the earth, the heavens, absolutely everything. He will burn also the Panare themselves. God will exterminate the Panare by throwing them on the fire. It is a huge fire. I am going to hurl the Panare into the fire, said God.”
And the simplistic Panare tribe immediately claimed they loved Jesus, fearing they would be burnt by God. Missionaries seem to go to any extent to convert others, even if it requires gross deception and misrepresentation of their own holy book, the Bible will for the benefit of “winning souls”."

These are just a couple of examples of wat I was talking about. I might go on & on but these examples are easy to come by in google search if you want to read further. It is disturbing to know that these atrocities are still prevailant and not many people know about these. This, by the way, in no way means that christanity is bad in any way. I have a christian friend and it is a pure bliss to see him talking about Jesus. His face glows with love when he talks about God, about his hymns, his prayers. And I love him for all this. It is simply beautiful. But this is not the same religion that these missionaries I was talking about are preaching.

With rich organisations funding them, many schools prevailent to teach them underhand tactics to "spread christianity" and apparent lack of morals to stop them, these have always been a dangerous force. I am disturbed by the fact that I cant do much about it, except write here and spread the awareness. It is an open ended discussion, you are welcome to correct/help me.

I am quoting the lyrics of a song by Antardhvani here. Though they mention Allah and Ram, their meaning extends to all the religions in the world.

I'm sorry. I hope this doesnt count as plagiarism.

"Bole Allah
Bole Ram
Kiye tune kaise kamm
Lekar mera naam
Kiya tune mujhe badnaam
Mujhe badnaam......

Roti hui teri aankhe
Ukhadi hui teri saansein
Kehti hain tune
Diya hai daga

Jo tha rakshak
Ban gaya bhakshak
Kiye usne katle-aam
Lekar mera naam
Kiya usne
mujhe badnaam.....

Zindagi ki do raahein
ek hai jhooth
Dooja mera naam
koi bole mujhe Allah
koi bole Ram...

Gar jo tu chune......
Mera naam...
to na tu ise karna...
kabhie badnaam...
kabhie badnaam....

Main tum hun, tum main hun...
Gar mil jayein to hum hain..."