Indians, Hindus, Bengalees and specially Kolkatans are highly sensitive about Mother Teresa, proudly claiming her as one of the Nobel Laureates “from Kolkata”.  

After her death, the ‘secular’ Government of India, had decided to break out of protocol and observe state mourning all over the country and accord her state funeral status, an honor normally reserved for India’s highest political leaders.

But few are aware of the other side of the mother ……..

 

Mother Teresa’s altruism and generosity claimed to be a ‘myth’

Washington, Mar 2 (ANI): The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa has been dispelled by a group of researchers, who claim that her hallowed image-which does not stand up to analysis of the facts-was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education have made the claims.

“While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination-Mother Teresa-whose real name was Agnes Gonxha,” Professor Larivee, who led the research said.

“The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further,” Larivee said.

As a result, the three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa.

After eliminating 195 duplicates, they consulted 287 documents to conduct their analysis, representing 96 percent of the literature on the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (OMC). Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa.

In their article, Larivee and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not take into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.

At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries.

The missions have been described as “homes for the dying” by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta.

Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care.

The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers.

The problem is not a lack of money-the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars-but rather a particular conception of suffering and death.

“There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens.

Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.

Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering.

During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid, the researchers said.

On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti.

Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO’s various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivee said.

“Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?” Larivee said.

Despite these disturbing facts, how did Mother Teresa succeed in building an image of holiness and infinite goodness? According to the three researchers, her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC’s Malcom Muggeridge, an anti-abortion journalist who shared her right-wing Catholic values, was crucial.

Muggeridge decided to promote Teresa, who consequently discovered the power of mass media.

In 1969, he made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle,” when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak.

Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize.

In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: “I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing-direct murder by the mother herself.”

Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process.

The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain.

The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen.

Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her.

The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint.

“What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?” Larivee and his colleagues said.

Despite Mother Teresa’s dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it, Serge Larivee and his colleagues point out the positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth.

“If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice. It is likely that she has inspired many humanitarian workers whose actions have truly relieved the suffering of the destitute and addressed the causes of poverty and isolation without being extolled by the media. Nevertheless, the media coverage of Mother Theresa could have been a little more rigorous,” they said.

The research is set to be published in the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses. (ANI)

 

One can further enlighten oneself from

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Mother_Teresa
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Missionary_Position

 ………. Christopher Hitchens details Mother Teresa’s relationships with wealthy and corrupt individuals including Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and his wife Michèle Duvalier, enigmatic quasi-religious figure John-Roger, and disgraced former financial executive Charles Keating.

Hitchens argues that her support for unscrupulous figures contradicts the alleged humanitarianism of her work

Charles Keating 

The book includes the reproduction of a letter written by Mother Teresa on behalf of Charles Keating to Judge Lance Ito who was presiding over Keating’s trial for defrauding his investors of billions of dollars. The letter urged the judge to consider the fact that Keating had donated generously ($1.25 million) to the Missionaries of Charity and suggested that Judge Ito “look into [his] heart” and “do what Jesus would do.”

Hitchens also includes the contents of a letter written to Mother Teresa by the man prosecuting the case against Keating, Deputy District Attorney for Los Angelos, Paul Turley. In the letter, Mr. Turley pointed out to Mother Teresa that Keating was on trial for stealing more than $250 million from over 17,000 investors in his business. In addition, Turley expresses his opinion that “[n]o church, no charity, no organization should allow itself to be used as a salve for the conscience of the criminal” and suggests:

Ask yourself what Jeses would do if he were given the fruits of a crime; what Jesus would do if he were in possession of money that had been stolen; what Jesus would do if he were being exploited by a thief to ease his conscience? I submit that Jesus would promptly and unhesitatingly return the stolen property to its rightful owners. You should do the same. You have been given money by Mr. Keating that he has been convicted of stealing by fraud. Do not permit him the ‘indulgences’ he desires. Do not keep the money. Return it to those who worked for it and earned it! If you contact me I will put you in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession.” 

After the conclusion of the letter, Hitchens notes: “Mr. Turley has received no reply to his letter. Nor can anyone account for the missing moneysaints, it seems, are immune to audit.”

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Conversion!. A topic that our leaders rarely talk about, a news item that our media is usually reluctant to report or explore, a truth that majority of  Indians are either ignorant about (and prefer to remain so) or brush it aside as propaganda of right wing Hindus of the RSS, VHP or BJP  kind.

India is the favorite hunting ground of the evangelist Christian soul harvestors because there is no fear of retribution, unlike the Islamic countries  or communist China.

The vast majority of Indian Christians, coming from socio-economically deprived background, and converted under false pretext (as below) hardly ever get to realise  the promises doled out to them. But a section of the leadership do enjoy great undue privileges because of their religious affiliation. 

A large section of the Indian public is confused with the repeated affirmation that ‘all religions are the same’ and still suffer from the colonial aura that anything that has a flavor of being English, Christian or Western has to be  progressive and modern. 

The enormous amount of resources including funds available (mostly  from  foreign countries, often in the form of genuine donations by ignorant westerners, done in good faith), the advantageous opportunities accessible through ownership of private health and educational institutions,  a favorable atmosphere enabled by the ruling government and the menace of vote bank politics – all have contributed to the wildfire spread of Christian evangelism, often violent, thoughout India in recent years, especially the states of North East India and that of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and  Tamil Nadu.

Unfortunately such news, as below, are not highlighted ( may not be ‘permitted’ or ‘profitable’) by our media, at least not  even close to the overwhelming zeal with which they sensationalize Valentine Day protests or vandalised church or try to glorify Pink Chaddi or Slutwalk campaign.

 

The Indian preacher and the fake orphan scandal

An Indian missionary charity falsely portrayed young Buddhist girls from Nepal as “orphans” of murdered Christians in a global fund-raising operation involving British and American churches

Parents paid a child-trafficker more than £100 to take their daughters to good schools in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, but instead they were taken more than 1,200 miles to Tamil Nadu, southern India.

At the Michael Job Centre, a Christian orphanage and school in Coimbatore, they were converted to Christianity, given western names and told that its charismatic founder, Dr PP Job, was now their father.

On websites, the children were given serial numbers and profiles. The charity claimed they had been either abandoned by their parents who did not want the financial burden of raising girls, or orphaned after their “Christian” parents were murdered by Nepal’s Maoist insurgents.

The profiles were used to attract financial sponsors from around the world.

Many of the donors were in the United States, Holland and Britain, where Dr Jobs’s sister organisation, Love in Action, is run from St Mary’s C of E Church in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset. ………………….. (deleted)

 

and the update

46 more children with parents identified in Sulur orphanage

 COIMBATORE: The ongoing probe into the alleged international child trafficking racket involving an orphanage here after 23 Nepalese children were found in their custody under the guise of orphans has become murkier. The Child Welfare Committee probing into the institution has identified and sent 46 more children to their rightful parents so far.

More such cases are expected to crop up in the coming days claimed officials involved in the process. Majority of these children were from Assam and Bihar. Even though they were not orphans, they were lodged at Michael Job Centre for Orphan Girls in Sulur.

“We are probing into the matter. More such children were identified and the Child Welfare Committee is expected to send a detailed report to me in the coming days. It is a sensitive issue and we have to handle it carefully,” said M Karunagaran, District Collector, Coimbatore.

The chairman of the institution Dr PP Job, a famous evangelist based out of New Delhi was also asked to appear before the Child Welfare Committee but has not complied with the order so far.………..

………. The officials have also cancelled the license of the centre. As of now 485 children reside there and are given a formal education. ……… (deleted)

 

 

How long should truth be suppressed?  Does Vatican thinks mere compensations and apologies are enough for decades of atrocities committed to hundreds of victims, traumatized for the rest of their lives?

 

Hague court asked to prosecute Pope over sex abuse

The Hague, Sep 14 (IANS/AKI) Two groups have jointly asked the International Criminal Court at The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for ‘concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world’.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and lawyers from human rights group the Center for Constitutional Rights have submitted to the court an 80-page complaint and more than 20,000 pages of supporting material to back up their case, the groups said Tuesday.

‘Crimes against thousands of victims, most of them children, are being covered up by officials at the highest level of the Vatican. In this case, all roads really do lead to Rome,’ said attorney Pam Spees in a statement.

The complaint names Pope Benedict in his current job as pontiff, as well as in the capacity of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he led the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — the watchdog responsible for tackling sexual abuse by priests.

Pope Benedict led the congregation for around 25 years starting 1981.

Also named are the former and current Vatican secretaries of state, Angelo Sodano, who held the office from 1991 to 2006, Tarcisio Bertone, who was appointed Sodano’s successor in 2006, and former archbishop of San Francisco, Cardinal William Levada who was appointed by Pope Benedict to succeed him as Vatican Congregation prefect.

According to the New York Times, lawyers familiar with the international court said it was unlikely that the case would fit into the court’s mandate of going after war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

But even an examination of the issue by the prosecution office would serve the plaintiffs’ goal of getting international attention to the case.

The Vatican has not commented on the case.

Hundreds of cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have come to light in US and in several European countries including Austria, Germany, Italy and Belgium. Pope Benedict issued an apology in March 2010.

 In a way admitting “inappropriate methods of exercising mission by resorting to deception and coercive means”.

Christians issue rule book for spreading faith

By Robert Evans 

Reuters – Tue, Jun 28, 2011

 GENEVA (Reuters) – A coalition of major Christian churches including the Vatican launched a rule book on Tuesday for spreading their faith that aims to reduce hostility from Islam and other religions to efforts to convert their followers.

The five-page code of conduct, which has been under negotiation since 2005, was unveiled at a Geneva news conference by the World Council of Churches (WCC), a senior Roman Catholic prelate and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

It urges Christians wanting “to share the good news of God’s kingdom” — missionary work or simply publicly testifying to their faith — “to build relations of respect and trust with all religions” and adapt their approaches to local conditions.

It reaffirms their right to proselytise, or promote their beliefs and seek converts.

But it also urges them to abandon “inappropriate methods of exercising mission by resorting to deception and coercive means”, saying that such behaviour “betray the gospel and may cause suffering to others”.

The code, entitled “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, comes amid growing tension between small local Christian communities and majorities from other religions in many, especially Muslim, countries.

This is often sparked by the activity of missionaries, both overt and covert, who seek to convert non-Christians, and are often denounced by local religious leaders — Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist — as enemies of what they see as the true faith.

In some Islamic countries, a Muslim who converts to another faith can face the death penalty, and Christians who proclaim their religion are often accused of blasphemy, which can also be a capital offence.

In recent years, there have been increasing incidents of attacks on Christian churches seen as the focus for conversion activity — in Pakistan, Egypt, India, Indonesia and others — in which many Christian believers have died.

The new code — initially promoted by the Geneva-based WCC, which unites a wide range of Protestant and Orthodox churches — says conversion “is the work of the Holy Spirit”.

But Christians should “conduct themselves with integrity, charity, compassion and humility, and overcome all arrogance, condescension and disparagement” with regard other religions.

However, it declared that religious freedom — which many activists argue does not exist in Muslim countries — and the “right to publicly profess, practice, propagate and change one’s religion” are based in human dignity.

And it calls on governments “to ensure that freedom of religion is properly and comprehensively respected, recognising that in many countries religious institutions and persons are inhibited from exercising their mission”.

(Editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Alastair Macdonald)

Forceful conversion?

Must be a BJP, RSS or Bajrang Dal conspiracy.

Ask John Dayal, Ambika Soni, Digvijay Singh and they will vouch that such arrests are violations of the Christists’ right to propagate their religion peacefully .

I am sure a delegation will be visiting Sonia Gandhi and soon our Prime Minister will declare that it is a national shame.

 

Six held for forceful religious conversion

Thane, Apr 22 (PTI) Six persons were arrested from Vasai and Palghar areas here for allegedly indulging in forceful religious conversion of tribals, police said today.

The accused–Vincent Benedict, Alfansoi Davre, Cyger J D’Souza, Santia Manvel D’Souza, Solomon Shinde and Hari Rama–were held last night for forcing Hindu tribals in these talukas to convert to Christianity on the eve of Good Friday, they said.

The arrests came soon after scores of tribals protested in front of the Palghar police station demanding immediate arrest of those involved in conversion activities.

Bowing to pressure, police apprehended the accused and registered complaints against them under sections 295 A and 34 of the IPC late last night.

Evangelical Christianity: Devils in high places

DNA / Yogesh Pawar / Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:00 IST

 

In his explosive new book The Armies Of God: A Study In Militant Christianity, British-born, Malaysia-based academic Iain Buchanan blows the lid off a subject that most scholars and journalists tend to shy away from: the rise of US evangelism as a force in global affairs. 

His book looks at how some of the powerful evangelical outfits operate — often as US government proxies — in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and of course, India, and the disastrous effects this has had on the relationship between the Christian West and non-Christian cultures, religious communities and nations. He also unmasks the role played by the seemingly secular ‘success motivation’ industry, and its leadership gurus such as Zig Ziglar and Ken Blachard, who are not only management experts but also conscious agents of US-style Christian evangelism.

Excerpts from an interview:

What led you to write this book?

I grew up in an agnostic family with respect for spirituality of all kinds — from animism to true Christianity. I suppose one of my strongest incentives for writing the book was to show how, in the West, inherently decent things like liberal secularism and Christian spirituality (no necessary conflict here!) are so deeply corrupted by political power and so dishonestly vaunted as marks of cultural superiority.

Not many would want to come out in the open and talk about the issues raised in your book. Was that a concern for you?

In the West, certainly, there is a reluctance to enquire too deeply into the affairs of organised Christianity — both at home and overseas. Western culture is a deeply, subliminally Christian culture, and even committed secularists have trouble avoiding Christian parameters in their arguments, and recognising the Christian capacity for wrong-doing. Among other things, this leads to a rather benign view of the behaviour of our missionaries overseas — fed partly by ignorance, and partly by a sense that the Christian mission can be equated with civilisation. And such myopia has increased dramatically over the past 40 years, as the secular West has managed to define a global order largely in its own terms, with decisive help from its Christian missionaries. By contrast, of course, the behaviour of non-Christians (especially Muslims) is scrutinised ruthlessly, misunderstood, and demonised.

Academics who have attempted to study the work of missionaries in India have been accused of helping the right-wing Hindutva brigade. Has this been your experience too?

The glib response to this would be to say that religious extremism of any kind needs to be exposed. But it is more complex than this. There is a need to go beyond the purely religious objection to Christian missionising, and examine the global forces which define it, and which are subverting countries like India in a far more comprehensive and profound way than most people realise.

A key contention of my book is that the extremism of Christian evangelicals is no more benign than the extremism found in non-Christian religious groups. Indeed, its local impact can be hugely destructive — precisely because of its ability to draw upon a vast global network of forces (including powerful secular ones), and its ability to penetrate and shape local forces, whether they be ethnic, religious, political, or social, according to alien priorities.

You speak at length of the US’s use of Christianity for it own geopolitical designs. Is this manifestly part of US strategy worldwide?

Most Western leaders (not just Bush and Blair) will claim they are inspired by their Christian beliefs. Sometimes, as with both Reagan and George W Bush, they quote chapter and verse in support of policy, although usually it is not so blatant. Certainly, deep in Washington, self-professedly Christian pressure groups (like the Fellowship Foundation and the Council for National Policy) have a highly influential membership and a powerful grip on policy.

Of course, one can debate whether US strategy is manifestly Christian in inspiration — few Americans would say it is not, although most would probably insist that such strategy is guided primarily by secular concerns.

But there is no doubt at all that US strategy makes deliberate (and somewhat cynical) use of Christian agencies in pursuit of foreign policy — and that the distinction between the religious and the secular is deliberately blurred in the process. There are over 600 US-based evangelical groups, some as big as large corporations, and between them they constitute a vast and highly organised network of global influence, purposefully targeting non-Christians, and connecting and subverting every sector of life in the process.

Most of the major evangelical corporations (like World Vision, Campus Crusade, Youth with a Mission, and Samaritan’s Purse) operate in partnership with the US government in its pursuit of foreign policy goals. World Vision, which is effectively an arm of the State Department, is perhaps the most notable example of this. There is also the benefit of a custom-built legislation, with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 providing necessary sanction to bring errant nations into line.

This means that evangelisation is an intensely secular pursuit, as well as a religious one. In turn, of course, the secular powers, whether they be departments of state or corporate businesses, find such evangelicals to be very effective partners.

Indeed, most missionaries are not obviously religious. A case in point is the Success Motivation industry.Many of the most popular ‘leadership gurus’ — Zig Ziglar, Paul Meyer, Os Hillman, Richard DeVos, John C. Maxwell, and Ken Blanchard, for example — are not just management experts, they are also evangelical Christians and conscious agents of US-style evangelisation. Conversely, groups which, on the face of it, are primarily religious, may also serve a powerful secular agenda, such as the collection of intelligence, the grooming of political or commercial elites, or the manipulation of local conflicts.

Some accuse the church of fomenting dissent among poor tribals by exploiting them; others say the church is a liberating force. This debate has gone on for decades in India’s North-East. What is your view?

The situation of India’s tribal people, like that of tribal people elsewhere in Asia, is certainly tragic. And it may be that Christian activity offers an opportunity to escape the various forms of homegrown oppression — state and corporate abuse, Hindu contempt, and so on. But Christianity in India is a very diverse thing. There are many situations where the Christian church has taken firm root, and is deeply involved in local administration, social welfare, education, and so on. Nagaland is a case in point. There are movements for tribal welfare elsewhere which are Christian-inspired and doing excellent work.

But there are many cases, too, of evangelical missions which go into tribal areas with little respect for local realities, and with an agenda far removed from tribal welfare. In this, they may be no better and no worse than the home-grown oppressor. But there is an important difference. Such missionaries often belong to an evangelical network whose strategic purpose is defined elsewhere, and which has little loyalty to the local population, its cultures, its communities, and its welfare, let alone to the nation as a whole. This is particularly true of the new breed of US-inspired evangelicals, led by Baptists and Pentecostalist/Charismatics, who have spearheaded evangelisation over the past 50 years. It is the working of this wider, and self-consciously global, structure of behaviour which is of concern.

It is unfortunate that missions doing good work in tribal areas have their efforts tarnished by others whose approach is more opportunistic and exploitative. For the new evangelicals, distaste for paganism is just part of the equation — oppressed tribal groups are a relatively easy target to penetrate in a much wider war against non-Christians generally, and for influence in strategic (especially border) areas. In this respect, even a relatively long-established Christian presence — as in Nagaland — has utility as a strategic outpost.

These are turbulent times for India as its number of hungry and poor are growing exponentially even as the wealthy in the cities are becoming billionaires. Does this make harvesting of souls easy? Do missionaries love turbulence?

It certainly seems, sometimes, that evangelicals thrive on suffering and disaster. India’s own KP Yohannan, for example, welcomed the tsunami of 2004 as “one of the greatest opportunities God has given us to share His love with people” — and he was only one of many expressing such sentiments. There is no question that many evangelicals exploit the poor and marginalised for reasons which have a lot to do with narrow theology and political self-interest, and relatively little to do with long-term practical help.

But evangelicals court the wealthy and the powerful of a society with equal passion. One of the most telling features of the new evangelism is the way it has turned Christianity into a force for protecting the rich and powerful. US Protestantism, in particular, has worked hard to undermine the impulse in the church towards social justice and reform. A measure of its success has been the defeat of Liberation Theology and the remarkable expansion of US Pentecostalism in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. More than a quarter of all Christians now belong to Pentecostalist and Charismatic churches.

In these, as in most new evangelical churches, great attention is paid to a ‘theology’ of economics which stresses individual profit, corporate obedience, the sanctity of making money, and the power of “miracles, signs, and wonders.”This ‘theology’ is a key part of modern imperialism: it offers something to both rich and poor, it is safely counter-revolutionary, and it ties tightly into the wider global network of more secular influences (in business, government, education, the media, the military) which underpins Western expansion.

So the evangelical church has a key role to play in a society as disparate as India’s. It is a form of social management: it gives divine sanction to the rich, it gives hope to the struggling middle class, and it cultivates discipline (and distraction) amongst the poor — and it does all this with a keen eye to the West’s self-interest. This is not to suggest that India does not have its own mechanisms for doing the same things. But such evangelisation, as a concomitant of Westernisation, is bound to strengthen as India urbanises and looks ever more Westwards.

A recent issue of the Texas-based magazine, Gospel For Asia, says: “The Indian sub-continent with one billion people, is a living example of what happens when Satan rules the entire culture… India is one vast purgatory in which millions of people …. are literally living a cosmic lie! Could Satan have devised a more perfect system for causing misery?” How and why does such propaganda work in a developed country like the US in the era of the Internet and the media?

There are two important points here. First, we must not assume that the ‘developed’ West is free from wilful ignorance. Indeed, wilful ignorance is often a very useful weapon. We need enemies, and, as religious people, we need demons. The utility of Islamophobia is a case in point.Besides, there’s a useful role for such bigotry within the system: as a foil for the liberal powerful to prove their liberal credentials.

But such attitudes are nothing new, of course. Christians have waged such ‘spiritual warfare’ against their enemies for centuries, and with the same kind of language. What is new is the vastly increased facility, offered by the electronic media, for fighting such a war. And this is the second point.

New technology is spreading, and hardening, such bigotry. Since the mid-1960s, the evangelical movement has systematically computerised its entire global operation, creating huge databases of information on its non-Christian enemies, centralising administration, and linking some 500 million ‘Christian computers’ worldwide for the purposes of fighting ‘spiritual warfare’ against non-believers in strategic places. And ‘spiritual warfare’, for the evangelical Christian movement, is not just a matter of prayers and metaphor: it is also, very decisively, a matter of ‘virtuous’ troops, tanks, and drones.

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.