Former U.S. President Bill Clinton in an address to university students in U.K. opined "It is the religious conversion that is the root cause of religious terrorism, mother of all terrorism." The zeal to convert has been the prime motivating factor behind wars. Religious fanaticism set in motion battles, wars and conflicts. Religious zeal gave the momentum for sustained, protracted battles, and the motivation to perpetrate ghoulishly unnatural outrages against humanity, the resource to co-ordinate and conduct systematic operations to decimate innocent civilians. By unleashing a deadly cycle of violence comprising of savage killings, abduction, rape, loot, plunder and devastation a climate of terror was created. Such violence was sought to be justified and condoned in the name of divine commandment.

Religiously inspired zealots by their austere life styles and puritanical interpretations found both material and ideological sustenance on the fringes of vast religious bureaucracies. Marauding fanatics traversed the globe engaged in ruinous wars causing violent social and political upheavals. Fractured societies became cauldrons of human suffering. Barbaric invaders were conferred titles like "holy warriors", "Jehadi "and "crusader".

During the medieval ages both Christianity and Islam spread out of the deserts in quest of new converts. Their contesting rival claims of "true faith" and "only path to salvation" had to necessarily result in conflict. Europe witnessed the clash of the crusaders and the jehadis. Killings, destruction, mass slaughter, rape, pillage and burnings terrorised Europe. Medieval Europeans tended to cower before the mighty and cruel jehadis and finally when the army of Charles Martel defeated the Muslims in the Battle of Poitiers in 732 A.D.. Europe breathed a collective sign of relief. The Muslims also gave up their designs on Europe due to climatic and economic reasons, instead they turned towards the East and headed towards Iran, Afghanistan and swept into the plains of Northern India. It was the same old story of death, destruction, rape, loot and violent barbarism. Wholesale slaughter, forced conversions of womenfolk and children after putting the entire male population to death was the patented strategy devised to spread Islam.

Barbaric Arabs swept across Iran, Afghanistan and the plains of Northern India spewing an orgy of violence, destruction and butchery. Whole nations were converted at the point of sword, mass rapes, abductions and unspeakable brutality. The Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mongols and Mughals who invaded and ruled India for over 800 years converted millions of Hindus after subjecting them to violent brutality and persecution.

Not to be outdone the Crusaders set forth further West and ended up decimating the South American civilizations. The Spaniards, the Portugese and a host of other marauders set out by sea in search of new lands. Wherever they set foot it was an orgy of violence, killings, rapes, looting and destruction. The Spanish conquistadors completely ravaged, plundered and destroyed the Ayamara and Nazca Indians of the Peruvian - Bolivian Andes. The Crusaders converted the West while the Jehadis converted the East beyond India. Whole nations were converted at the point of sword, their ancient cultures and civilization destroyed ruthlessly to spread these two desert religions.

Europe witnessed another orgy of barbaric violence under the notorious Spanish Inquisition. Savage torture by the Church became systematised. Thousands of innocents died on account of violent torture, brutality and burning by the Christian clergy.

When Christianity became the official religion of Rome, it was transformed from a meek, humble and lowly religion into an imperial, despotic and absolute order. In his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbons had estimated that no more than 2,000 Christians had fallen victims to Roman persecution during the entire history of Rome. But when Christianity became the religion of the empire, it began a wholesale destruction of the pagans and other non-believers. Emperor Theodosius ordered the systematic massacre of 7,000 to 15,000 men, women and children in Thessalonica. Charlemagne decreed that anybody who rejected baptism should be put to death. How many innocents fell victims to this decree in 33 years of relentless persecution is anybody's guess. The cost of Christianising Europe is estimated at from 8 to 10 million lives. Even Christians sects, like the Albigenses and Hliguenots, who differed from the dogmas decreed by the Church in Rome, were not spared. Christian zealots killed in one day - St. Bartholomew's Day - more of their fellow-Christians than did the French Revolution in its entirety. The entire civilizations of the Incas, Mayas and the Aztecs were destroyed with an untroubled conscience, costing 10 million lives in the name of Christ and his Virgin Mother Mary. It is reported that the Spanish conquerers of Peru baptised the Inca babies and then dashed their brains out so that the babies could reach the kingdom of God in a pure Christian state.

The Laussane Convenant states' we believe that we are engaged in a constant spiritual warfare"..The famous Huntington document, which delineates half a dozen cultural groups as the ultimate actors of the world's political stage, has placed religious conversion in a new perspective. Christianity was a state enterprise for all European countries. Well organised religious conversion can be a potential bomb to explode cultural values, disturb political affiliations and torpedo national loyalties.

Mahatma Gandhi called religious conversions a fraud on humanity. "This proselytisation will mean no peace in the world. Conversions are harmful to India. If I had the power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytising". Christianity as a cult put up by St.Paul, believes in the St Caprian's axiom, Extra ecclessiam nulla salus (outside the church no salvation). Sarva Dharma samabhava is a heathen idea, a doorway to hell. Evangelising the heathen is the holiest task of a believing Christian. I.C. Kumarappa who was a faithful Christian himself exposed the political ambition of the missionaries: "Before these Christian missionaries landed in Africa, the Africans had their land with them, but not the Bible. Now the Africans have the Bible and the missionaries their land". When Sir. C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer was the Chief Minister of Travancore, the temples of the state were thrown open to the harijans but the Archbishop of Canterbury resented the legislation on the ground that it gave a serious set back to the conversion of harijans into Christianity. "In fact missionary activity is like ideological warfare. It is systematic, motivated and directed, that looks to establish a particular religion for all human beings, in which the diversity of human race, mind and needs is forgotten. The global missionary business is one of the largest businesses in the world. Not only Catholic church but also various Protestant organisations have set aside billions to convert non-Christians to Christianity. Organised conversion activity is like a trained army invading a country from the outside. The missionary army goes to communities where often there is little resistance to it, or which may not be aware of its power or motives. It will take advantage of the communities that are tolerant and open minded about religion and use that to promote a missionary agenda that destroys this tolerance" - David Frawley. Dr. S.Radhakrishnan told an audience in Oxford that to the Indian Christian, Jesus was the whiteman's god marching with a sword in one hand and the Union jack in the other. Chou En Lai's reply was crisp and categorical." As for religious freedom I must make it clear to you that we have sent away these foreign missionaries who were really at heart colonists and who did harm to China. They will not be allowed to come back. The doors are indeed closed once and for all in China to the imperialistic Christian missionaries." On January 31, 1994, premier Li Peng of China enforced strict ban on conversion of Chinese citizens by foreigners through series of regulations on the management of religious activities in China and places of religious activities.

The Christian missions work through the World Council of Churches and international Council. These organizations work under the direction and control of the governments of the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia. The Church is a terribly vast organization and with huge resources to save souls. It cost 145 billion dollars to operate global Christianity, records a book on evangelisation. The church commands four million full time workers, runs 13,000 libraries, publishes 22,000 periodicals and four billion tracts a year, operates 1890 radio and TV stations, It has a quarter million foreign missionaries over 400 institutions to train 4hem:. These are figures of 1989. A famous Gandhian thinker, J C Kumarappa himself a good Christian said the western nations have four arms -1. The Army, 2. The navy, 3. The Air Force 4. The church,. On March 14, 2000_in a fully televised speech, Pope John Paul II asked for forgiveness for the past errors of the Roman Catholic Church during a solemn mass in St.Peters Basilica. " We ask for forgiveness for divisions between Christians, for the use of violence in the name of truth, and for the diffidence and hostility engaged against followers of other religions." In the entire church history he was the only Pope who asked for forgiveness on 94 counts for all the wrong goings of the church. But the activites of the church are continuing unabatedly and have not been stopped and that is the root of the problem.

The problem is with the Church and its tactics. There are more than 22,000 separate Churches, sects and denominations that make up the Christian faith the world over today. Hundreds of them are active in India. Most of these are foreign funded, see India as a "harvest field" and compete with each other in running evangelisation programmes. They act and behave like cheap salesmen and in the process reduce their faith to the level of a commodity such as toothpaste or a soap cake. The Encyclopedia Britannica (a product of the Christian Civilisation) has brought out this fact succinctly in these words "Christianity from its beginning tended toward an intolerance. Early Christianity aimed at the elimination of paganism, the destruction of its institutions, Temples, tradition and the order of life based upon it. Christian missions of later centuries constantly aimed at the destruction of indigenous religions. This objective was not realised in mission areas in which Christian political powers did not succeed in conquests - e.g. China and Japan but in India Goa, for example, the temples and customs of all indigenous religious were eliminated by the Portuguese conquerors. It is not that the Church was intolerant only of other faiths. It's intolerance extended over to those Christians who did not conform to its chosen brand of Christianity. Ambedkar (writings and speeches Vol.5 ) has described in detail how followers of Syrian Church living on the Malabar coast were persecuted by the Catholic Church after the arrival of St.Francis Xavier in 1541 in Goa. Their fault, they did not recognise the Roman Church. Don Alexis de Menezas, the then Archibishop of Goa, decided to make them fall in line. He used both money and muscle power to achieve his goal. In Ambedkar's words, "like a wolf on the fold, down came the delegates of the Pope upon Syrian Churches". He describes the plight of the vanquished Syrian Christians in these moving words —" The presecutions of Menezes were grievous - for he separated priests from their wives, ex-communicated them on trifling grounds and destroyed all the old Syriac records which contained proofs of the early purity of their faith. The irreparable barbarism of this act was not to be forgotten or forgiven".

The stated position of the Catholic church that Jews are cursed for killing Jesus has not been withdrawn till date. In the Third and the Fourth Councils of Lateran (1179-1215), the church codified all previous enactments against the Jews. They had to wear a badge of shame, it was saffron in England, it was yellow in France and in Germany and it was a red hat in Italy - later changed to yellow.. Jews were forbidden all contact with Christians, barred from administration, deprived of their lands, forbidden to own shops and herded into ghettos and the gate was bolted at night.

During the Crusades Jews were slaughtered in thousands and for almost two thousand years, they suffered. In Nazi Germany stars were daubed on Jewish homes, to license their destruction. The church had a cross with the inscription INLI (Jesus of Nazereth, the King of Jews) and in the foreground there was a banner" Juden sind hier nichterwinscht (Jews are not welcome here). In 1936, Bishop Berning of Osnabruch has talked with Hitler and Hitler assured his lordship that there was no fundamental difference between National Socialism and Catholic church. "! am only doing what the church has done for fifteen hundred years" i.e. slaughtered Jews.

Being a good Catholic, Hitler admitted that he wanted to promote Christianity. The final result was Auschwitz, Bergen Belson, Dachan, Ravenbruch and Treblinka, where more that 90 lacs Jews were slaughtered. It may also be noted that there has not been a single instance of religious murder in the history of Hinduism and whereupon the Hindu leaders had to apologise.

The role of the Vatican in aiding and abetting the rise of Fascism and Nazism in Europe in the 1930s is well known. Related to this is the Vatican's silence during the Holocaust and the assistance given to fugitive Nazi war criminals by the Holy See after the war, so that they could escape justice. There is now concrete evidence about the unsavoury role of the Vatican in all these matters. As early as in the 1960s, the German scholar Rolf Hocchuth wrote the controversial play, the Representative, about the entente between Pope Plus XII (Cardinal Pacelli) and the Nazis. Pacelli was a Germanophile who maintained his neutrality throughout the course of World War II. Although the Vatican received detailed information, as early as 1942, on the murder of Jews in concentration camps, the Pope refused to intervene. A study published by the Cambridge historian John Cornwell (Hitler's Pope) is much more damming. Cornwell, a practicing Catholic, had access to the Vatican archives, and demonstrates meticulously that plus XII colluded with the Nazis on the pretext that they would save Europe from Communism Equally incriminating is the evidence released recently by the US State Department that the Vatican was a repository of gold looted by the Nazis from occupied countries.

The Vatican comes out even more poorly as far its role in the socio-political structure of developing countries is concerned. In South America, the Vatican, under the stewardship of the present Pontiff, strenuously opposed the Liberation Theology of the local Catholic church and went to the extend of expelling Leonardo Boff, one of the leading exponents of this doctrine. Ironically, Boff was "tried" for these alleged offences in the same room in the Vatican where Galileo was sentenced to death. The Vatican luminary, who presided over this kangaroo trial, was the German Cardinal Ratzinger, an unrepentant Nazi sympathiser. From the 1950s onwards, the Vatican consistently sided with the most brutal and venal military juntas in South America, and did not hestitate to betray local church leaders to these military regimes.

The arrest of US Christian aid workers by the Taliban in Afghanistan has brought to light the "growing phenomenon", of placement of evangelical protestant missionaries in Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu countries using visas falsely identifying them as secular workers.

The increasing instances of evangelicals being posted in non-Christian majority countries in the guise of aid workers, is causing tension.

The Washington Post reveals that the missionaries are particularly active in what is known as the '10/40'window the rectangular area that stretches from latitudes 10 degrees North frojn West Africa to East Asia, which includes most of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims, 800 million Hindus and 350 million Buddhists. Despite the risks involved, a growing most often called aid workers are being despatched by Christian groups in the US, Britain, Germany, Australia and other countries to the region where most of the world's Muslims live. This despite evangelical restrictions existing in most of the world's 49 Muslim majority countries.

The region is home to the largest number of 'unreached people groups', the term mission groups use for ethnic populations that have never heard the New Testament message (from the Bible), says a report in The Washington Post. Since getting visas and entering these countries as missionaries is difficult, these 'aid workers' from countries like the US Britain, Germany and Australia plan to enter Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu countries using visas identifying them as 'secular workers'.

In most of the countries situated in this region, including Pakistan, there are laws against proselytising - trying to convert others to Christianity.

Buddhist countries as Bhutan, Laos and Myanmar also have evangelism limitations. Since most of these countries do not issue visas to people who identify themselves as missionaries, Christian missionaries list their occupation as teacher, doctor, nurse, geologist, urban planner, artist, businessmen or engineer, reveals the Washington Post.

In most Muslim countries, asking is allowed, as is answering the question. But passing out Bibles and other literature, worshiping with alien nationals and showing videos is technically prohibited. When violations do occur, foreigners most often are told to leave the country permanently. Locals who convert can face severe punishments. Mission work in the area has grown rapidly since the mid-1980s, when mission leaders began retooling their organisations to move beyond Latin America and Southern Africa. Thousands of Christians work in the '10/40' Window' as missionaries, relief workers and business people. Precise counts are difficult because organisations that financially support these Christians do not publicise numbers, names or locations for security reasons.

Willis, of the Richmond based Baptist Mission Board, said about 27 percent of the board's 5,000 missionaries are stationed in the '10/40' Window.

These Missionaries have no idea of secularism for their fundamentalist faith decrees otherwise. In the Book of Isaiah 45:5 God states :l am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God." Again in Isaiah 46:5 God says, "To whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?" And in Isaiah 45:22 He says. "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.

The western powers want social and political conflicts to continue unabated all over the world in order to justify their arms sales. Every nation that is having a population of 100 millions is considered a potential enemy, in order to sell arms, and treat every nation as a business partner, a curious dichotomy.

A few major religious conversions located strategically can work wonders. One Pakistan was carved out of India.

The very literature produced by the International Missionary.   Council and World

Council of Churches put in circulation through evangelical literature societies and proclamations made by Billy Graham and other evangelists that they must produce at least one thousand million converts, for this they have to work in Asia, especially India.

No state, especially a developing country like India can cope with such pressure where full time missionearies have increased from 420 in 1973 to 5,986 in 1998. Any one caring to visit the resource availability to Christian organisations to study conversion plans not only for Arunachal Pradesh but for all India. India is divided into 186 individual people groups, and a long description is followed by advice on how to convert each to Christianity.

It is to be noted that those holding high ranking positions within the Church councils and missionary organisations happen to be all war veterans. These veterans use technical war lingo of exporting revolution to countries. The developed countries are now making serious efforts to subvert and overthrow governments established by law in developing countries using churches as their tool.

Theocentric and theocratic eclectics are as dangerous as nuclear warheads. The Church's concept of "my god is your god, but your god is no god," does not foster harmony and fraternity.

This exclusiveness, this feeling amongst Christians that "we are the only true religion, all other gods are false gods", has had the most catastrophic and bloody consequences: millions have been killed in the name of Christ, entire civilisations, such as the Atzecs and Incas, have been wiped out, in order "to bring them the word of Jesus: and Christians have even savagely murdered each other, whether in France or England.

One would hope this intolerance, this fanatical drive to convert, forcibly or otherwise, pagans to the "true" God could cease in this new millennium of "enlightenment". Unfortunately it is not so. For nearly three centuries, India has been the target of a massive conversion drive. It is even more so today, as Christianity is dwindling in the West - there are less and less people going to church and very few youth willing to become priests and nuns. The church is thus looking for new converts in the Third World, particularly India, where people have an innate aspiration to spirituality.

Indeed, the Pope has earmarked the new millennium for "the evangelisation of Asia". And it is in the Northeast that this evangelisation is meeting with the most success, as it is peopled with simple, poor and uneducated tribals, who make easy targets. In Tripura, for instance, these were no Christians at Independence, the Maharaja was a Hindu and these were innumerable temples all o\- r the state. But from 1950, Christian missionaries went into the deep forests of Tripura and started converting the Kukis. Today, according to official figures, there are 120,000 Christians in Tripura . a 90 percent increase since 1991. The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1,710 Christians in 1961, but 115,000 today, as well as 700 churches! What to say of Mizoram and Nagaland, where the entire local population is Christian!.

Isn't it also strange that many of the Northeast's separatist movements are not only Christian dominated but also sometimes have the covert backing of missionaries? The

Don Bosco schools, for example, which are everywhere in the Northeast, are known by the Tripura Intelligence Bureau to sometimes harbour extremists at night.

The unabated conversion going around in different parts of the globe are all hot spots of potential terrorist movements.

A convert has a great burden cast on him to prove himself to be more loyal than the king. Moreover, the greater his doubts about the actual need for his own conversion, the more vehement his abuse of his earlier religion will be. in the Mafia groups, a new recruit is always assigned a tough job as a challenge to prove his new loyally.

In other religious groups, the convert's total loyalty is measured in terms of the vituperation against his former religion and the number of converts he can engineer. This problem is more pronounced in societies where the convert has to live with others of whom he was an inseparable member before.

Conversions inevitably create a bitter division among the populace in terms of 'us' vs 'them' and lead to perennial conflict when the converts are into religious books that divide humanity into 'believers' and 'non-believers'. Intolerance and communal tension are inherent in such an erroneous and untenable conviction.


Disclaimer :  Facts and Opinions in this article are solely the personal statements of the Author. Publishers are no way responsible or liable to the readers for any errors or omissions and actions taken by readers by relying upon this article.

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