Evangelism: Impact on Faith, Culture, Economy and Life of Indigenous Tribes of India, India Foundation, New Delhi, Pp 64
A strong movement is building up within Western Christianity itself against the practices of false conversions and mass evangelism. The likes of Billy Graham are facing increasing opposition within the community. Movements like ‘Stop False Conversions’ are spreading. However, none has started in India, and these existing movements in the West are taking time to reach out shores. In the meantime, a lot of damage is done. India Foundation has initiated to study and know firsthand how these evangelical activities have damaged India’s national fabric. The study especially focused on the Vanvasi communities of India and invited representatives of various Vanvasi communities to come and present their personal experiences at the hands of the evangelicals.
For this objective a two-day National Tribunal was organised in Lok Kala Kendra, New Delhi this year. Over 150 representatives from various tribe groups from all over India attended the Tribunal. The Tribunal was led by Shri PC Dogra, former Director General of Punjab Police. The Tribunal had eminent personalities as members including Justice DS Tewatia, Justice VK Gupta, KPS Gill, Air Marshal RS Bedi, Col. PK Panda, Dr JK Bajaj, Bhavdeep Kang, etc.
Testimonies of about 40 representatives from various Vanvasi groups were recorded in two days. This served as an eye-opener to everyone present. Representatives from different groups narrated graphic incidents detailing how evangelical zealousness is causing enormous damage to the life, culture, traditions, economy and social relations of people in India’s tribal territories. The stories of evangelical excesses range from simple deception and intimidation to resorting to extreme measures like murder.
The proceedings of the Tribunal and the outcome of the entire study have been compiled in a book, Evangelism: Impact on Faith, Culture, Economy and Life of Indigenous Tribes of India, by India Foundation. The 64-page book has been prepared by Ms Bhavdeep Kang, a distinguished member of the Tribunal. The book is only for private circulation. (FOC)
(India Foundation, New Delhi, [email protected])