What does a random incident of Church Violence in Haryana have to do with a Rape in Bengal ?
How does a decorated formerPolice Officer get away with an exaggerated Op-Ed Column in a major Indian News paper claiming to be on a “Hit List” for being Christian
Christian Alarmism over random unrelated incidents in India seems to have hit a new high
With the media, Church and opposition on an overdrive to highlight so-called attacks on minorities the NDA government seems inexorably to be falling into the trap of taking these charges seriously. India is a huge country, a sixth of the world population. Nearly 500 rapes happen every week.
What makes a nun’s rape in West Bengal, potentially by “Bangladeshis”, national news forcing the Prime Minister’s Office to respond to it?
In the thousands of burglaries in New Delhi, what makes India’s education minister rush when Rs. 8000 is robbed from a Christian school. While a minor church theft in Delhi becomes national news, 265 Hindu temples were robbed in Delhi alone in one year, practically saw no media coverage or tweets from the Highest Offices of Government.
Shall we look at the lack of news on many more temple attacks or absence of tweets from the Government, as merely accidental omissions?
Should this also lead Hindus to conclude as Ribeiro did, that Hindus are on the “hit list”?
The hyperventilation about minor church incidents by the national and international media needs to be seen in context or the Modi government will find itself completely entrapped.
Even before the BJP government came into power there was scare-mongering that it would lead to “violence against minorities”. A set of intellectuals and British MP’s even wrote an open letter that Modi’s election would “would bode ill for India’s future as a country that cherishes the ideals of inclusion and protection for all its peoples and communities.”
What happened with all the scare mongering?
Well, nothing. There were no riots in the streets, no blood politics as Rahul Gandhi warned. Rather than Modi government has been fixated on governance and the economy, even to the dismay of some of its staunch supporters that wish for it to tackle entrenched anti-Hindu biases.
So what to do now?
First we must look at the players. As I had documented in the article, “The Conversion War and Religious Freedom,” India is the biggest target in the global Christian evangelical war. If we think this is some “Hindutva” delusion, here is a report from Tehelka.
“Religious expansionism has not witnessed this scale, scope, and state resources in a long time. Detailed investigations by Tehelka reveal that American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated and strategised religious conversion plan. The operation was launched in the early 1990s but really came into its own after George W Bush Jr, an avowed born-again Christian, became president of the United States in 2001. Since then, aggressive evangelists have found pro-active support from the new administration in their efforts to convert some sections of Indian society to Christianity. At the heart of this complex and sophisticated operation is a simple strategy-convert locals and then give them the know-how and money to plant their own churches and multiply.
Around the time that Bush Jr moved into the Oval office, a worldwide conversion movement, funded and effected by American evangelical groups, was peaking in India. The movement, which began as AD2000 & Beyond and later morphed into Joshua Project I and Joshua Project II, was designed to be a sledgehammer-a breath-taking, decade-long steamroller of a campaign that would set the stage for a systematic, sophisticated and self-sustaining “harvest” of the “unreached people groups” in India in the 21st century. It was just as the operation was taking off that the script changed. Much to the delight of American evangelicals, one of their own, George Bush Jr, became the occupant of the White House.”
It would be a mistake to however link this just to George Bush.
The US foreign policy has always included support for Christian evangelism. Even Congress was concerned about the influence of Baptists in the North East and the links to the CIA. The Niyogi Commission report was published in 1956 and as Sita Ram Goel wrote, this was “Vindicated by Time” with mass conversions in the North East. More recently the AD2000 movement, driven be a belief in the coming of the “end times” and impending Judgment Day, combined with a high level of coordination between Christian evangelical groups took this attack to a new level. As I quote Tehelka in my 2005 paper, about the Joshua Project:
“A large-scale intelligence operation that brought together American strategists, theologians, missionary specialists, demographers, technologists, sociologists, anthropologists and researchers to create the most comprehensive people group profiles in the 10/40 window… The 10/40 window, denoting the latitudes on the globe considered the prime target for conversion, has India squarely in its sights.”
The planning for the Joshua Project is literally at the scale of a war. Territories are assigned, local missionaries are trained with vast foreign funds, sales quotas are given out and church are “planted.” With the advent of the UPA government under Sonia Gandhi, this perfect war planning effort met a favourable local environment, leading to some of the biggest “conversion harvest” ever in India. This large scale conversion naturally causes local resentment especially as the converts are specifically taught to hate the local culture.
I had quoted a missionary site:
“Anyone who is familiar with India knows that India has always been a challenge to the Gospel. Hinduism that teaches, “Just as all rivers lead to the ocean, all religions lead to God”, dominates the thinking of the masses. … Many Hindus revere Jesus as another god. Yet their eyes are blinded to the uniqueness of Christ.”
The goal then of evangelical conversion is to lift the “blindness” of pluralism to convert into an exclusive belief system. Indeed without that no conversion can take place. All conversion is a conversion into exclusivism, it is a conversion into hate of the existing traditions. Small wonder then that it leads to conflict.
Nonetheless, Hindu society has shown a remarkable forbearance to this all-out assault that is causing a huge amount of social unrest. India is the softest of targets because most other non-Christian countries, including Islamic countries and China severely regulate Christian missionary activity. Sri Lanka also passing an anti-conversion law.
While neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan have experienced major attacks on churches, including mob violence, burning down of churches and bombings, India is lucky to have escaped without major incident despite extreme provocation.
But Hindu forbearance is not enough.
Hindu society is kept on the defensive for the evangelical expansion to continue without interference. The whole international tamasha about church “attacks”, including Obama’s gratuitous advice has to be seen in this context.
Several Hindus have been killed in the last few months in explicitly communal and racist attacks in the US and Australia, while no Christians have been killed in India over the same time. Yet Obama is not raked over the coals and expected to make a statement every time such an attack happens against Hindus in America. It is barely even news. India is being put in the international dock for minor incidents, which often are not even specifically linked to religious violence against Christians, is part of a strategy with active collaboration from political and media groups in India.
As Mangalorean Catholic Robert Rosario pointed out to me in a recent interview, there is hardly a single attack on a Church in India that could be called communal.
In many cases, disgruntled Christians have been behind incidents. In others, these are routine robberies, many more take place at Hindu temples.
Yet as Rosario points out, there is an explicit strategy to give such incidents a communal colour to create a sense of victimhood in the Christian community by the Church. This serves a threefold purpose, to keep the “flock” together and increase the feeling of them being under siege. This allows the Church to exercise greater power and control over them such as manipulating them for block-voting based on the Church’s political agenda. Secondly, as Rosario points out, it helps to deflect attention from the Church’s own irregularities and internal scandal. And thirdly, and most importantly, it puts the government on the defensive and doubly solicitous to Church’s interests and power.
Even when there are incidents, like the vandalism in a church in Haryana, it is in response to predatory proselytization. A church was built in a village in Haryana which had no Christians. It is not there to cater to a Christian population. Rather it was an illegal under-construction church planting, likely with foreign funding, to facilitate conversions. This is not an issue of “minority rights” as it is made out to be but of a globally super-dominant imperialistic religion using its resources to target and eradicate the few remain native traditions in the world that it hasn’t yet eliminated.
In conversation with the head of a senior BJP-aligned think tank a few weeks ago, I was surprised to find complete naiveté about this international power game. Rather I was told that Modi is focused on development and was told by international visitors to “forget about any investments if attacks on Christians continue.” This explains Modi’s hyperactive response to these stray incidents. But that is to fall into a well-laid trap.
Government should be clear that evangelical forces cannot be appeased. Most Indians simply do not understand totalitarian Universalist religions, who see this is a religious war authorised by God. From my study:
““Declare his (God’s) glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.” Psalm 96:3 God wants Southern Baptists as a people to mobilise vast resources for reaching all people groups for Jesus Christ.”
The International Mission Board is very clear in its goals – its stated vision is to “to lead Southern Baptists to be on mission with God to bring all the peoples of the world (‘panta ta ethne’) to saving faith in Jesus Christ.” This vision is apparently authorised by no less than God himself:
“We must realise that this is not our mission; however, it is God’s mission, and He has called us as His people to join Him in fulfilling that mission.”
Their aims are nothing short of the apocalyptic end of the world. As their documents proclaim:
“It is a vision that will be fulfilled, for Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a witness to every nation and then the end will come.””
How do you appease people who believe they are on God’s mission and Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and all others are the “grip of Satan.” There can at most be a tactical truce with Satan. As the Native American tribes learnt at great loss, even when Christians made treaties with them, they did not abide by these. Treaties were mere tactical ceasefires towards their eventual annihilation.
Even with this huge influx of right wing Christianity, ironically with the active support of Indian “liberals”, many Indian Christians, particular older communities with a long history in India, have imbibed India’s pluralistic ethos. External forces with apocalyptic visions of the “end of the world” hardly care if their actions foment great conflict in India. But it is necessary for all those who care about Indian pluralism to speak up.
The NDA government is moving towards its own defeat in the policy of appeasement. We are in a civilisational war, one not of our choosing. The “human rights” regime is written to facilitate this war and to make native cultures defenceless against evangelical attacks in the name of preserving “religious freedom.” African traditions have also been decimated in the last century by these same forces. As African scholar Makau Mutua writes.
“The (human) rights regime incorrectly assumes a level playing field by requiring that African religions compete in the marketplace of ideas. The rights corpus not only forcibly imposes on African religions the obligation to compete—a task for which as no proselytising, non-competitive creeds they are not historically fashioned—but also protects the evangelising religions in their march towards universalisation … it seems inconceivable that the human rights regime would have intended to protect the right of certain religions to destroy others.”
Rather than being on the defensive it is time to forge an international coalition with Buddhist countries and others with significant native traditions. This coalition should articulate the principle of religious and cultural diversity and of mutual respect. It should restrict all organized institutional efforts are converting others while allowing any individual the liberty to follow any path of their choosing. Diffidence is not going to get Modi liked any better by those that seek to bring him down. We need to be clear we are on the moral high ground in the conversion war and we need to seized and articulate it. We needed to be committed to religious pluralism and diversity, to ensure which it is necessary to restrict the spread of monopolistic ideologies. We need to do this before the forces of conflict set in play with evangelicals lead to actual serious attacks rather than simple trumped up ones.
There are Christian communities in India with long histories, and some of them find hate-mongering neo-evangelicals strangely foreign.
Pluralistic Indian Christians must speak up against right wing evangelical Christianity just as many Muslims have spoken up against Islamists. At the same time the government should be clear that curbing evangelical-fed hate is necessary. We cannot expect to be liked for this position by those that dub us, and all others, Satanic and we need to be prepared for that.
Source: WHN Media Network
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