Christianity is one of the oldest and most practiced religion in the world. The biggest reason behind the mercurial rise of Christianity is the setup of missionaries, which acts a catalyst. There is a closely coupled network of hundreds of thousands of missionaries around the world, who believe that Bible compels them to spread Christianity to others, there sole objective is to convert the people from other faiths to Christianity and for that they never shy away from taking immoral and illegal steps.
How Missionaries came into picture
In earlier era, the church used to send Christian groups to evangelize people in Africa, Europe or Asia, later in 16th century these religious group of people were known as missionaries. The word Missionary derived from the Latin word ‘Missionem’, which means an “act of sending”. The word has significant meaning when understand it in light of Bible, in the Latin translation of the Bible, Jesus Christ uses the word when sending his disciples to preach the gospel in his name. The term is most commonly used for Christian missions with an objective of spreading the Christianity, It could be used for any creed or ideology. There sole objective was to engage with people, discuss the Christianity practices and faith and then bring them into the fold of Christianity.
During the colonial era of the 19th and early 20th centuries, missionaries did start spreading their tentacles from several European countries and started travelling to the so called 3rd world countries like traveled to countries like India, Congo, Nigeria and several other African countries and started constructing religious structures like churches and so called humanitarian establishments like hospitals and schools.
Missionaries changed strategy – Globally
While, their prime objective was to influence innocent people and bring them into Christianity, but it was not that easy to execute. So adopted a strategy where in they started presenting their work in humanitarian terms, like educating local people or providing them disaster relief, or helping them counter pandemics. But, actually in practice Missionaries often use tactics to lead innocent people away from their religious beliefs, their spiritual ethos and practices, at the same time missionaries were instrumental in facilitating the colonial regimes in their takeover of land. These missionaries were acting like a middleman for Dutch, French and British colonial regimes, and that is the reason why Church and Missionaries across the world possess huge number of real estate properties and land.
Even Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta explained these dubious activities of British missionaries in his country and made a startling statement, where he said that “When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.”
Past World War – II, many countries achieved independence from their respective colonial rulers. However, the trend shows that the numbers of Christian missionaries were on rise during this entire process. As per Center for the Study of Global Christianity, there were approx. 240,000 Christian missionaries worldwide, which grew exponentially and in 2000, that number had grown to 440,000.
Missionaries become Mafia
With the passing time, the gravity of mission’s work was started taking a different shape, and this paved the way of a structural change in the very profile of a typical Christian missionary. Now, the missionaries are acting more like a ‘Conversion mafia” which historically used to have an explicit goal of converting people to Christianity.
Nowadays, these missionaries are quite less inclined to preach people about their faith by handing out translated Bibles, and more likely to show it through their work. They work in alliance with some foreign funded NGO’s which often presume to be worked on some social projects, and these push their conversion agenda via these NGO’s or other organizations. We have seen such recent example during Nepal’s earthquake, where several NGO’s rushed to Nepal under the garb of ‘disaster relief’ but the moment people checked their relief material, they were shocked, as they bring copies on translated copies of Bibles only.
Missionaries are not merely about spreading the gospel truth, they are now more of a coordinated mafia, which is working in tandem with other organizations and their objective is not just increasing the followers of Christianity, their objectives include usurping the land, making the demographic changes in any strategically important areas, to arm-twist the government to not make anti-conversion laws etc.
The Church has started pumping huge money for conversion, as if this is the most important task at hand, to make everyone a Christian. If you look at the social and economic status of the most number of the Christian converts, you will find that money alone plays the biggest role. Christian pastors from all over the world travel to the nations on their target, they visit those nations on tourist VISA, they are making fool of gullible people, luring them with money and false notion of heaven.
Christian Missionaries are notoriously known for using devious tactics to deceive innocent people, in order to convert them. They generally prey on the poorest, people from the lower strata, mostly rural people under the guise of helping them out of poverty. Missionaries and Pastors promise them better living standard, education for their children, medical facilities and above all, love of Jesus. Wherein, the fact is, missionaries chosen to convert them because they are the most uneducated and therefore they are the most likely to fall for their deception.
How Missionaries deceit people in India
Several hundred foreign Pastors travel to India every year. They has started employing some highly dubious tactics to deceit the people. In rural areas in India, Christian missionaries conduct public meetings, where they place a stone idol of a Hindu Deity in bucket of water, the statue will obviously sink in the bucket. Then they bring a wax-coated idol of Jesus or Virgin Mary and place them in the same bucket of water. The Christian idol will float due to wax coating and pastors will conclude that it is afloat because it is more powerful and great. The gullible villagers, not knowing anything about density or buoyancy principles, falls for this fake propaganda of Christian missionaries. Here, this is important to note that Christianity prohibits the usage of idols in such way.
There is no doubt that large scale conversions have been taking place across India, accelerating over the last 5 years led by evangelical groups from the West. The North East has been converted with Arunachal and Tripura being now targeted. Tribal belts across Odisha, Jharkhand, Gujarat and MP have seen large-scale conversions for several years now.
Recently, Indian Government has taken some stern action against foreign NGO’s, that pump huge money in India for conversion and several other such acts. There was a huge outcry against the government and several anti Indian government articles were published in western media. However, the Indian Government didn’t back off and keep the rigor on as far as restrictions on such missionaries and their associated organizations are concerned. But, we have seen a new pattern of their operation in recent times, missionaries are now acting like Corporate organizations and Startup.
Missionaries adopting corporate culture to accelerate their agenda
We have seen a new phenomenon in recent years, specially in south India, where missionaries are going full-Monty as far as increase in evangelical conversions are concerned. Missionaries are using Media, by spending vehemently on advertising via several regional TV channels. Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are the forefront of their conversion project.
In Andhra Pradesh, the situation is quite alarming, where the interiors and the coastal regions, has been specifically targeted due to the red carpet laid by a now deceased Chief Minister whose son-in-law is a Pastor with his own outfit. The impact of huge funding and corporate way of conversion has been visible across the state. As per some evangelical group’s claims, almost 9-12% of undivided AP has been converted, and have sought special benefits from the State for converted people, which in turn used to lure more people to get converted to Christianity in the name of those benefits..
Missionaries has adopted an extremely sophisticated operation for their associated evangelical groups, they are assigned clear target for souls, professional help is sought and custom made marketing campaigns are being used, mass prayer and fraudulent healing meetings have been organized in full galore. Evidence is available in plenty on videos on YouTube, social media, press reports, and on the ground. They have even started using the social media to influence people, the massive example of the same is Punjab.
Pastors have been openly tweeting about souls converted, and saving people from idol worshippers. Some pastors have tweeted with glee about converts reaching 60 million, declaring a target of 100 million, and have also requested for financial support for this openly. Violence in some areas due to this has vitiated the atmosphere. The traditional institutions of both denominations are losing out to the new age evangelicals with their sophisticated marketing, money and legion of supporters from the West. One can almost classify these groups as hyper-growth startups – with a cost per acquisition, a roadmap for acquiring followers, a fund-raising machine, and a gamified approach (with rewards and incentives) to “conquering” new markets.
The conversion is not bad, only and only if it is done without any malice and agenda. Religion is a personal matter, and under no circumstances, nobody should be allowed to indulge in such acts of force conversion by luring people, destroying and mocking their religion, their belief system. Government should keep a strict vigil on such missionaries, pastors and corporate organizations, which are acting like a middle man and used to pump money in India, that can be used for conversion. Government has recently taken some credible steps, but that is not enough. A strong resolve to weed out such religious outfit is very much required.