February 2011


Now it is none of my business as to what her faith is or what she belives her lord has so far done for her.

Neither can I object how she uses her ‘born again baptized believer’ son’s fame to meet and influence people of ‘high positions’. It  is entirely her choice to work for the religion of sinners by birth, who need to be salvaged in their lifetime by the only son of the only god, in their effort to go to ‘heaven’.

It appears that such salvation is also incomplete unless the followers are able to ‘harvest more souls’.

One wonders whether this is a religion or a contagious disease that needs to infect more and more human souls.  

 

Mira Bhupathi’s Confession

 Mira Bhupathi

I was born as a Christian, but a “sleeping” one, who had no time for church or even a Bible study. I spent years of my life being totally worldly and a man pleaser. I went to the lord only when I needed something. Most often I got what I wanted, but soon afterwards I forgot my blessings. I went to college and met with a Hindu boy married him and from then on my religion was forgotten, till one day doctor told me that I could not have a child due to several complications. I immediately started praying desperately and a while later miraculously my son Mahesh was born. After that God blessed my husband and me with Kavita, our beautiful daughter.

I know that when doctors say something is impossible, our Heavenly Father still says, “All things are possible”. After my children grew up we returned to India after spending 15 years in the Gulf. I felt a voice speaking to me, telling me to witness to the world that Mahesh is the Lord’s child. The voice was very clear, but I didn’t want to hear nor obey it. So the Lord had to force on me. He allowed me to feel very lonely and unwanted. One day, after a family feud, I ran out of our house in sheer frustration to kill myself. I was driving my car with the only intention of having a head on collision with a bus or truck. Little did I realize that the Lord had different plans for me.

Suddenly I realized that the steering of my car had turned in my hands and the next thing I knew was that I was parked outside of my church (which I had started attending weekly). I was crying bitterly. Suddenly I heard a knock on my car window and it was a lady who convinced me to come tot her home. I believe that she was an angel from the Lord sent to rescue me in my pain.

She ministered to me and prayed with me. That night she invited me to stay in her home, which I did. Since I was so hurt, I didn’t want to go home. It was that same night that the realization dawned on me that it was my Lord Jesus who had rescued me from death. I committed my life completely to Him and promised my Lord that from that day I would belong to Him.

The next day I went back home and was lovingly greeted y my family who were very worried about me. I realized that it was only the Lord’s intense love for me that had protected me. That was the day that my whole life changed.

I began testifying in the Churches about what the Lord had done for me. This was in March 1997. Although up until that time, my son had been only a national tennis player, on June of that same year Mahesh brought the first international Grand Slam title to India (our country of one billion people). This victory was won on Mahesh 23rd birthday.

From that day until now the fire of the Lord had been burning in me, and a tremendous passion for souls had been kindled in my heart. Since the Lord knows my heart and how much I love Him, He has begun to use me more and more. Already in five countries He has used me to share the Gospel. He had used me in every denominational church in India to challenge the biggest doctors, engineers, business people and even pastors and bishops.

The Lord has lifted me up from being just a very shy housewife to become a successful and confident evangelist for Him. The Lord is using me where no pastor or bishop can reach. As the celebrity mother of Mahesh Bhupathi, I have access to the highest officials in India. I have already been blessed to be able to give the Gospel to two chief ministers as well as to actors and to people in high positions. Mahesh is the only sportsman in India to bring 10 Grand Slam titles to our country, only because of the Lord’s grace and blessing. Today he is a born again baptized believer.

My burden is for India, since in this country we fight with about 33 million other gods. And the Lord is moving in such amazing ways. My walk with the Lord has not been easy. I’ve gone through the fire, but did not get burned. The Lord has always been holding my hand.

I am also very blessed to be associated with ADHONEP (The international association of Full Gospel Businessmen). I am really touched that ADHONEP has such a great burden for India. I am sure that the Lord will do great thing for them in return.

The Lord has blessed us with so much fame, name and position, that I feel I need to give Him in return as a family. Ever since I came to the Lord, He has blessed my children so much.

Right now I know that I am someone who loves the Lord so much that I can give up my life for Him. I was praying that before I reach heaven I will take at least 10,000 souls with me, but now with God’s grace, that number has increases since the Lord has helped me to be an instrument in the salvation of thousands. Praise Jesus! “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph 3:20).

Now when we pray I am blessed that so many deliverances take place and even cancers are healed. The Lord is really honoring me. It is four years since I consulted a doctor regarding any serious illness. I believe that the Lord always keeps His word. As I “seek the kingdom first” in my life, in return I am greatly blessed (Matthew 6:33).

The whole world may let us down, but our Lord Jesus will never ever let us down. This is my personal testimony. Not once in these past 10 years has the Lord Jesus ever turned His back on me. He has only lifted me higher and higher. 

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“Whatever some people may say, that we are a lame duck government, that I am a lame duck Prime Minister, we take our job very seriously. We are here to govern, and to govern effectively. Tackle the problems as they arise and get this country moving forward” – Manmohan Singh, PM, India

Fraudulent Conversion is an invasion of the sovereignty of our nation by the imperial Western colonialists. It is unfortunately, mostly trapping the unknowing and ignorant,  poverty-stricken, tribal communities, while the majority community remains dispassionate about the slow erosion of the Indic society, caused by the harvestors of souls.

Fraudulent Conversion happens because there is a overt or covert backing of the secular (read anti Hindu) leadership of the country, starting from the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi.

 

The question of Evangelism in India

 

Suhag A. Shukla.

“Conversion, murder and India’s Supreme Court” by Mathew Schmalz, Professor of Religious Studies at College of the Holy Cross, was featured on Washington Post’s On Faith a few days ago. I take this opportunity to respond to two questions he posed, namely, “Is conversion wrong?” and “Is anger over conversion an extenuating circumstance for murder?”

I’ll respond to the second question first, as the answer is simple. No — anger over conversion is not an extenuating circumstance for murder. Violence of the kind inflicted on Graham Staines and his two young sons is wholly unacceptable, and against teachings of the Hindu religion, India’s legacy of peaceful intra and inter-religious coexistence, and the law. Many, including the Hindu American Foundation, though, see the specific comments by the Indian Supreme Court now modified, not as a basis for justifying extenuating circumstances, but rather an expression of the growing concern over foreign missionaries and their impact on India’s hallmark pluralistic ethos. This takes us back to the first question: “Is conversion wrong?”

The answer, as one might expect, is complicated. Professor Schmalz states that many Indian Protestant and Catholic denominations “eschew overt conversion efforts,” but the reason he cites as to why — that of “political repercussions” — short-changes the overriding influence Hinduism’s pluralistic worldview has had not only on Christianity, but other religions in India. India has long been a beacon of religious pluralism. The sage Hindu observation — Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti (The Truth is one, the wise call It by many names) — has fostered an environment in which an unprecedented diversity of traditions and religions have, for the large part, peacefully co-existed for millennia. Like America, India’s shores accepted and sheltered the religiously persecuted — from Jews arriving 2500 years ago, to early Christians bringing the message of Christ, not to Hindus, but to their brethren, the Cochin Jews. Later came the Parsis from Iran. Others came not to escape but on their own free will — Arab Muslims to trade, and others from far away lands seeking India’s spirituality. Each one of these newcomers sought to live and let live, mixing in, as the legend goes, like sugar in milk.

But since the 12th century, starting with the Islamic invasions and colonizing European missionaries to today, India faces a different kind of religious visitor — one that seeks not to sweeten the milk, but curdle it.

Exhibit A — the evangelical Joshua Project — is just one example of what India, at the heart of the 10-40 Window, is facing. The Joshua Project is an information powerhouse — detailing logistical information about people groups around the world, and providing ideas to Evangelicals committed to mass church-planting, and in turn conversions, among every ethnic group. The data is meticulous and well-researched, and both shocking and disturbing.

The Joshua Project lists the percentage of unreached in India as 93.3% — that’s basically every Indian Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist. Last-name, clan, caste, or tribe-based communities are catalogued according to location, religious affiliation, language, and population — the data collection puts the postal systems of most developed nations to shame. Technical acronyms such as CPI, or Church Planting Indicator, with a ranking system of 0 to 5, measure the progress of church growth based on churches established and number of “believers” regularly attending. Then there’s the progress scale which allows the “Saved” to track, well … “progress” of the “Harvest” — red indicating less than 2% Evangelical and less than 5% Christian, yellow indicating less than 2% Evangelical but greater than 5% Christian, and green indicating from 2% to greater than 5% Evangelical. And of course, what worldwide project of this scale and in this century would be complete without an iPhone App?

The response by a few states in India to campaigns inspired by projects like Joshua, and what can be characterized as nothing less than primarily American and European faith-based ops intended to alter Indian religious demographics, has been what most outside of India refer to as “anti-conversion” laws. Interestingly, many of these same states, as well as Indian states with rising inter-religious tension, when cross-checked with the Joshua Project’s “progress” scale, are states that show increasing green and yellow. Some may ask, what’s the big deal? Doesn’t the 2001 Indian census indicate only 2.3% of the population as Christian? Yes, but these percentages have come under question given the fact that a large number of converts retain their Hindu names and claim Hindu status for a variety of reasons. The data from Joshua Project, which doesn’t account for non-Evangelical efforts, also suggests rapid growth.

Contrary to what “anti-conversion” laws may imply by their title, they do not outlaw the right of any individual to convert based upon genuine faith, belief, study, or religious experience. They also don’t restrict Christians who provide social services in various parts of India with no ulterior conversion motive. Most anti-conversion laws seek only to address conversions “by force, allurement, or fraudulent means.”  They are the effort of sovereign states to regulate those, mostly Christian aid groups, for which the provision of aid to these vulnerable communities is not altruistic, but rather part of a soul-saving numbers game. While such motives have proven difficult to document, media reports following the 2004 Asian Tsunami revealed incidents where missionaries actually packed up and left when the residents of some tsunami-shattered villages in India refused to convert as a precondition for receiving material aid.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and other human rights groups have long decried these laws against fraudulent conversion that have emerged throughout the 10-40 Window, or as is more affectionately referred to by some missionaries, “The Resistance Belt.” Human rights violation or denial of religious freedom are the frequently recited mantras in these “watch-dog” circles. But as adherents and advocates of a non-proselytizing, non-exclusivist, pluralistic tradition, we at the Hindu American Foundation have always asked — the religious freedom of whom? The freedom of foreign missionaries to proselytize and prey upon vulnerable, generally poor people to convert them to a myopic religious worldview that denigrates or denies the legitimacy of all other traditions, or that of adherents of mostly non-exclusivist and pluralistic traditions, to be treated medically, educated, or employed without having to sell their souls?

Religious freedom, according to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, incorporates, “the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” This concept of religious freedom has unfortunately failed to address, at the expense of adherents of pluralist and non-exclusivist religious traditions such as Hinduism and other Dharmic traditions, the right to retain one’s tradition and to be free from intrusion, harassment, intimidation, and aggressive, exploitative, and predatory proselytization by non-pluralist and exclusivist religions.

The world community has for too long turned a blind eye to aggressive and predatory proselytization and resulting conversions that have been carried out for centuries in Asia, Africa, North and South America, the Middle East and Europe. This collective complacency is counter-productive to peace and has bred a resurgence in international campaigns which harass, intimidate, and exploit the most vulnerable segments of society by, among other ethically questionable methods, conditioning humanitarian aid or economic, educational, medical or social assistance upon conversion; overtly denigrating other religions to seek converts; and intentionally promoting religious hatred, bigotry (hate speech), and violence. Conversions gained through such means must be recognized for what they are — unethical, fraudulent, forced, coerced, or provoked.

Professor Schmalz says that the concerns about conversion are unfounded. But we need only look to the annual statistics of just one missionary organization and recognize that there is a multiplicative effect.

Exhibit B — Houston-based Central India Christian Mission. In 2010 alone, its evangelical missionaries proselytized to over 320,000 people and converted more than 19,600 inhabitants — that’s enough people to fill a basketball arena — in central India. This is only one of countless U.S. based Christian organizations engaged in aggressive and predatory “soul harvesting” campaigns. Consider the plethora of Catholic and Protestant organizations that are actively pursuing the monopolistic path of religious exclusivity, and the numbers, and more importantly, the impact, are beyond mind-blowing.

Exhibit C — eye-opening information from India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act which collects data on incoming foreign aid. In 2007, the top two non-governmental donors to India were U.S.-based missionary organizations, World Vision International at ~$155 million and Gospel for Asia ~$99.5 million — together that’s $255 million into India in just one year. Overall, an astonishing 18,996 organizations in India, a disproportionate number linked to Christian missionaries, received donations totaling $2.4 billion in 2007 alone.  And the inflow has been growing rapidly. 2007 showed contributions more than double of 2002. With these numbers, how can we say the concerns are unfounded?

At the end of the day, numbers and statistics, though illustrative, fail to address the very real human factor on the losing side of the proselytization and conversion equation. Conversion, when born from genuine faith, belief, study, or religious experience, can be beautiful. But, conversion begot by aggressive or predatory proselytization is a form of violence. As one of the co-founders of HAF, Aseem Shukla, eloquently stated, “The violence of conversion is very real. The religious conversion is too often a conversion to intolerance. A convert is asked to repudiate his sangha (community), reject the customs and traditions of his family passed down for generations, and refuse to attend religious ceremonies that are the very basis of daily life in much of the world. A person’s conversion begins a cascade of upheaval that tears apart families, communities and societies creating a political and demographic tinderbox that too often explodes.”

Got milk? India does and she’d like to keep it sweet.

Also Read: 

One more evidence: Sonia led Congress working for Christians

 Interview of an ‘honest’ Christian Evangelist in India

Fraudulent Conversion: Insider’s statement

Really our President is quite a ‘talented’ lady!  A president who reached there,”by cook or by crook

  

Raj minister sacked for calling Prez a ‘cook’

 New Delhi: Rajasthan rural development minister Ameen Khan, whose remarks on President Pratibha Patil triggered a controversy, submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday.

“Ameen Khan has quit his post and his resignation has been forwarded to Governor Shivraj Patil for acceptance,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Gehlot said.

Amin Khan had been asked to put in his papers for making derogatory comments about President Prathiba Patil.

Khan had created a furore by his remarks that Patil was “rewarded” with the post of President for her loyalty to the Gandhi family.

Gehlot had discussed the issue with Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s Political Secretary Ahmed Patel and Union Minister Mukul Wasnik in-charge of party affairs in Rajasthan.

The Chief Minister is also understood to have talked to the President and expressed regrets over the remarks made by Khan.

Addressing Congress workers in Pali district on Tuesday, Khan had reportedly said that Patil did not ask for any position but was made the President due to her loyalty to the Gandhi family and cited instances of her association with Indira Gandhi.

A section of the local media quoted Khan as having told the party workers that Patil was so dedicated that “she used to make tea and cook food at Indira Gandhi’s residenceand due to her honesty,devotion and loyalty, she is now the President.

Khan, however, denied having said so.

Khan told reporters at his residence in Jaipur that he did not intend to insult the President and just gave an example of loyalty.

“I just gave an example of loyalty and did not intend to make any comment on the President. I said that she was a committed and simple worker,” he said. 

 Did Modi get a clean chit from the SIT team?  The answer is both YES and NO.

It depends on which side of the secular fence you belong, who do you want to believe and whose half-truth you trust more. 

In India, the ‘seculars’ even judge the court’s verdict and unfortunately the court often responds to their demand shamefully.

And in India, you can be guilty just because the ‘seculars’ say so.

 

A witness for the persecution

Ravi Shankar Etteth

In the early 14th century, Bertrand de Goth, the archbishop of Bordeaux informed Pope Clement V that the Knights Templars — a religious order of warriors formed in 1119 AD to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem from Muslim marauders — were guilty of blasphemy and sacrilege. Though no proof existed to support the charges apart from confessions obtained through torture — including that of grand master Jacques de Molay — the Templars were found guilty and hundreds of knights were burned at the stake. Narendra Modi has, perhaps, become the modern de Molay. The 600-page SIT report indicts Modi for complicity in the Gujarat riots. But in a bizarre denouement, the SIT also confessed it had no proof to prosecute him.

In democratic India, the partition riots of 1947 baptised the ancient rivalry between Hindus and Muslims with blood; an enmity that began in the decade starting 1010, when Ghazni massacred thousands of non-Muslims.

Post-1947 communal obituaries tell their own story — more than 8,000 recorded deaths between 1953 and 1990 of which 964 occurred in Gujarat alone, according to an Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies report. The majority of these happened during Congress rule: 183 in Ranchi in 1967; 512 in Ahmedabad in 1969; 2,000 in Moradabad in 1980; 146 in Maharashtra in 1984. The biggest ever pogrom in India after 1947 was during 1984 when 2,733 Sikhs were killed by Congress-led mobs. Rajiv Gandhi reportedly explained, “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes.”  

According to a Citizens for Democracy document, “On October 31, Congress party officials provided assailants with voter lists, school registration forms, and ration lists.” So, in retrospect, does this make Rajiv the Modi of 1984? And the Congress, the VHP of the Nineteen Fifties to the Eighties? In the end, it is all politics, stupid. And politics is economics. After Nano found sanctuary in Gujarat, a beaming Ratan Tata embraced Modi in public. Anil Ambani has pledged Rs 50,000 crore as investment in Gujarat. Vibrant Gujarat netted Rs 20.83 lakh crore in MoUs.

It is Gujarat’s economic power that prompted Darul Uloom vice-chancellor, Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, to declare that “all communities” are prospering in Modi’s Gujarat and there was “no discrimination against the minorities in the state as far as development was concerned.”

In a trial by TV, pop-secularist Javed Akhtar yelled that “everyone” knows what a religious fanatic Modi is. By this yardstick, is corporate India non-secular?

Narendra Modi is the man everyone loves to hate. He is also the man everyone hates to love.

The Hindutva of Development is the Rupee-yatra of late 2000 — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal follow Gujarat — and aids the development of modern Hindutva. Modinomics threatens Manmohanomics; in this age of scams, spiralling prices and coalition pressures, the Congress party is returning to minority politics as its survival strategy for the next decade.

Analyse this — the minority vote is the heart of India’s secularism; Marxist historian Bipan Chandra, in his book Communalism in Modern India, writes; “Communal tension and riots… did not occur in India on any significant scale till 1946 (472). A clear relationship between communal riots and politics was established for the first time in 1946, when the Muslim League gave its direct action call on August 16, 1946.”

In 2011, the SIT has not been able to establish a clear relationship between Modi and the genocide of 2002, though he has been declared guilty. But Narendra Modi is indeed responsible for the deaths of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus—morally — because they happened on his watch. The responsibility for 58 deaths of Hindu karsevaks in Godhra also lies with him. The morality of secularism is being put to a macabre test by the politics of opportunism. Meanwhile, the ghosts of Godhra haunt the political subconscious, unpartisan and unavenged.

The author is Executive Editor of this newspaper.