Churches, through their proselytisation machinery, had a dubious role to play in consolidating colonial power in the southern coastal region during the 18th century. Preachers were specially hired to divide the Indian society and convert Hindus through inducements, cheap freebies and vilification campaigns. These practices continue even today. Christian missionaries have been using ‘tool kits’ for conversion since over hundred years now. These kits are just updated from time to time to target a wider spectrum.
Mahatma Gandhi, one of the earliest victims of induced conversion by educated pastors, described his painful experience in his book ‘Christian Missions: Their Place in India’ (Published by Navajivan Trust in 1941). In this book he exposed the methodology that proselytisation activists employed. One Mr Baker targeted Gandhi, then a lonely student in England, to convert. After some persuasion, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was taken to a prayer meeting, where he was given a ‘special’ place to pray exclusively. “Lord, show the path to the new brother, who has come amongst us. Give him, Lord, the peace which thou hast given us. May the Lord Jesus, who saved us, save him too. We ask all this in the name of Jesus”. Gandhi was strong-willed and did not fall prey to the special prayer treatment given by the ‘brothers’. This ‘tool kit’ was, however, successfully converted many other Indians.
In the same book, Mahatma Gandhi explained incidences of how Christian pastors invaded people’s privacy in Rajkot, Gujarat. They would visit the houses of Hindus uninvited and start preaching and distributing literature on Christianity. This practice continues even now. Children studying in schools run by missionaries experience the same forced exposure to the Christian style of prayer. In the name of campus discipline, these schools prohibit boys or girls from wearing or carrying ‘Hindu symbols’ such as bindis, bangles, mehandi and pictures of Hindu Gods in school premises.
Christian prayer is a compulsory morning ritual in such schools. Then there is the moral class, where only stories from the Bible are taught – never from Hindu scriptures. Girls are often taken to the convent to showcase the life of nuns – tempting and coercing them to interact with the nuns. This is supposed to work like ‘slow poison’ on young minds, which are at a formative stage.
- Pastors are assessed by their foreign Church masters on the basis of the number of conversions done by them. The financial support they get from abroad depends on this ‘assessment’
- Christian education institutions invite pastors to talk to students about their studies. Then the parents are asked to visit. Every school visit ends with a church visit, where some essential items are presented as gifts
- Poor families are helped with payment of fees, uniforms, bed sheets, sweaters and other things. These actions also work as inducement for the neighbours to join the Christian congregations
- Magic tricks show Hindu Gods in a bad light. For example, a wooden cross (coated with metallic paint) will be seen floating on water while a stone/metal idol of a Hindu God will be ‘drowned’ in water. With this trick they prove Jesus’s “power”. This is a very common trick used to lure innocent villagers
- ‘Miraculous’ healing through prayer is demonstrated in public, while actually it’s nothing more than drama. A boy acts like a cripple and as the pastor prays for the boys, he starts walking normally. This is one of the usual dramas of ‘faith healing’
- Teenagers are lured through nocturnal meets where young boys and girls are allowed to mingle freely and ‘enjoy’. These meetings are labelled as youth camps. They are photographed, and these photos are used in church sessions. Once in the clutches of these pastors, a web is woven around them so that they feel compelled to accept Christ as their ‘Lord’
It is recorded in Gandhi’s book how the missionaries are trained to act. The poor and hungry are to be given food first. Then, before providing them the next meal, divide them into small groups and introduce them to Jesus. In the name of ‘service’, this is how the poor and the hungry were (and continue to be) exploited in India. Though there were innumerable poor and hungry people in Europe at that time, the missionaries did not ‘serve’ them but only targeted Indians – because the purpose was not to eradicate poverty or hunger but to harvest Jesus in India.
The establishment of Christian missionary schools and hospitals is not to serve the needy but to misuse them as centres for conversion. At hospitals, the treatment starts with a prayer. Gullible Hindus are made to believe that it is not the medicine which cures but the prayer to this particular God. As a gratitude, the patient should remain faithful to the new God. Precisely because of this, a Church is always part of the school and hospital. After the initial introduction in schools and hospitals, the pastor is takes over and leads ‘them’ to believers’ life.
In rural areas, the Christian preachers perform ‘miracles’ to lure the simple village folk. The miracles are nothing more than magic tricks.
The question that Gandhi posed in his writings was – why should one change his/her religion to Christianity to receive aid in the form of food or medicine? The motive of the aid was obviously not to serve in the true sense but to exploit and convert.
The latest tactic to attract teenagers in colleges and universities is youth camps. It’s a free trip for girls and boys to a secluded place with promised fun and sport. The intent is to make Christian youth target Hindu boys and girls for conversion. In the youth festivals, the camps start with fun, games, songs and dance, and later the participants are taken to a prayer session. Here the real action starts. By the time one realises, he or she is already caught in the quagmire of Christianity, chained through physical attraction including liberal sexual pleasures.
What shocks and stuns is the fact that this conversion activity, which seeks to destroy our social fabric, continues under official patronage in peninsular States, post-Independence. This activity has reached its zenith now in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Punjab under the present dispensations. The ruling leaders here speak about ‘Gandhian values’ with scant regard for what the Father of the Nation had warned about.
The present chief minister of Andhra Pradesh has never hidden his Christian identity but voters allowed themselves to be fooled in the 2019 election campaign. In the CM saddle now, Jagan Mohan Reddy has bared his true Christian colours.
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin’s rationalism was exposed as a façade when he proudly proclaimed “I am the CM because of you” while addressing a Christian gathering. That was a continuation of his family’s ‘rationality’, set by MK Karunanidhi, as anti-Hindu and pro-minority. The fact is that both Jagan and Stalin won the elections because of the support of the Church and a huge population of crypto-Christians, to an estimated tune of 20-30 per cent.
Christian groups are now openly active in Tamil Nadu, confident that no action will be taken against them since their CM is at the helm. Ever since the ‘rationalist’ DMK came to power in 1967, the anti-Hindu Churches got a free hand. The 1951 census in the then Madras state showed 90.47 per cent Hindu population, which was down to 87.58 per cent by 2011. In Kanyakumari district, Hindus were in majority but are now reduced to less than 48 per cent of the population.
Jagan’s indirect support to the Church and its conversion activities comes from the way government funds are disbursed to pastors. The Andhra Government has made it a policy to give monthly salary to about 30,000 pastors who are not affiliated to any established church. Each pastor is given Rs 5,000 per month. Then there are over 10,000 organised churches, which make the pastors 50,000-strong. As per the 2011 census, the Christian population in Andhra Pradesh was less than 7 lakhs, which means the state had a Christian pastor for every 15 believers.
The role of crypto-Christians is also diabolical. These are church-goers who remain Hindus in official records, to enjoy the benefits of reservations in education and employment – thus denying the chance to true Dalits.
That the rampant conversions have official sanction was confirmed when the DMK Government failed to take action on a school and hostel where a girl committed suicide on being pressurised to convert. Both the institutes were running without the requisite permissions. Such pressurised conversions are happening in almost all Christian educational institutions. These institutions, which have a church and a 24/7 pastor in waiting, are the centre of indoctrination of innocent boys and girls in the formative age. These is no official verification of illegal religious activities happening inside. Non-Christian students and their parents are harassed if they complain. There are allegations in some cases that those who complain are targeted by the governmental machinery and false police cases are booked against them. In villages where crypto-Christians dominate, the Hindu population feels helpless as the official machinery is against them.
The crypto-Christian population is not restricted to Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. It’s an all-India phenomenon now, and needs immediate attention of the government and counter action from the Hindu society.
The Association of Integrated Christian Council national president Sonthi Nagaraju had claimed in March’ 22 that the Christian population in India will soon be 30 per cent. To this end, foreign-based organisations provide big funds to target Indian population. The ‘secular’ polity of DMK and YSRCP is the same.
The Hindu places of worship, on the contrary, are seen as revenue generating wings of the government. Both the Stalin and Jagan governments have taken over temple properties, lands, gold and even the reserve funds of temples to fund minority-oriented schemes. Using the power given under the Endowment Act, the CMs have turned temples into their own political party property. The temple trusts are filled with non-believers and even by crypto-Christians with the mandate to reduce the sanctity of the temple. At times the temple properties sold and the temple lands are assigned for other purposes while the lands of the Church remain untouched.
Both the state governments have strategically started fixing very high price for darshan as well as pooja in all major temples, thus pushing away ordinary Hindus from these temples. The intent to make the poor feel that the Hindu God is not for them but only for the rich. This feeling is encashed by Christian missionaries who project themselves as followers of a God who charges nothing to meet Him. Affluent Hindus need to understand the subtle design behind these actions of the governments of Jagan and Stalin and act accordingly. Else, it will have a very long term impact on the Hindu belief system.