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November 16, 2008

Vatican owes us an apology for their murders

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Communists, Hindu, India, Indian congress, Muslims, Sonia gandhi — Tags: , , — truecongresspolitics @ 5:27 pm

Vatican owes us an apology
http://dailypioneer.com/134662/Vatican-owes-us-an-apology.html
Kanchan Gupta

His Majesty the king has ordered that there shall be no Brahmins in his land and that they should be banished.”
“In the name of his Majesty I order that no Hindu can or shall perform marriages…” 
“The marriages of the supplicants are superstitious acts or functions which include Hindu rites and ceremonies as well as cult, adoration and prayers of Hindu temples…” 
“I order that no Hindu temples be erected in any of the territories of my king… and that Hindu temples which already have been erected be not repaired…’ 

Anybody familiar with the brutalisation of Hindu customs and practices, indeed Hindu faith and belief, could mistakenly believe these extracts have been taken from royal decrees issued during Muslim rule. The harshness with which suppression is prescribed in these decrees, the callous disregard that is advocated for the other’s sentiment, the cruelty that is so palpable in both thought and action, suggest that thesefirman could have been issued by one of the “shadows of god” who ruled this land, laying to waste Hindu lives and temples.

But these are not extracts from firman issued by the Mughal court of, say, Aurangzeb. They have been taken from firmans issued by the Portuguese who ruled Goa and recognised no religion other than Christianity as the legitimate means of communion with god. It was no secular rule that they imposed, but a ruthless system of pillage disguised as trade and a cruel administration for whom Hindus were nothing more than “supplicants” to be crushed into submission or exiled into oblivion. 

The horrors inflicted on Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition — the Vatican has now admitted that the Church was wrong and Galileo was right — are well known. Not that well-known, and tragically so, are the horrors inflicted by the Goa Inquisition. Every child reads about Galileo’s trial and how it is symbolic of the triumph of science over faith. But there is no reference — indeed, all reference is scrupulously avoided — to the brutal attempts of the Church to stamp out Hinduism in the territories controlled by the Portuguese in India. 

And this silence is not because there exists no evidence: There exist, in full text, orders issued by the Portuguese Viceroy and the Governor. There exist, in written records and travelogues, penned not by the persecuted but by the persecutors, full details of the horrors perpetrated in the name of Christ. Hindus who dared oppose the persecution were punished, swiftly and mercilessly. Those who were fortunate, got away with being banished. The less fortunate had their property seized and auctioned — the money was used, in large measures, for furthering proselytisation. The least fortunate were forced to serve as slave labour on the galleys that transported loot from Indian shores to Portuguese coffers. 

Viceroy D Constantine de Braganca issued an order on April 2, 1560, instructing that Brahmins should be thrown out of Goa and other areas under Portuguese control. They had a month’s time to sell their property — it is obvious who gained from such distress sale. Those found violating the viceregal order, it was declared, would have their properties seized. Another order was issued, this time by Governor Antonio Morez Barreto, on February 7, 1575, decreeing that the estates of Brahmins whose “presence was prejudicial to Christianity” would be confiscated and used for “providing clothes to the New Christians”. 

The attitude of the Portuguese administrators in India and the Church hardened over the years, to a point where each fiat, each decree, each order, each letter, became an instrument of religious persecution. The Third Concilio Provincial — a gathering of bishops and other clerics — met in 1585 to review, among other things, the progress of converting the “heathens” to the “only faith”. The Concilio adopted a resolution which said, ‘His Majesty the king has on occasion ordered the Viceroys and Governors of India that there should be no Brahmins in his lands, and that they should be banished therefrom together with the physicians and other infidels who are prejudicial to Christianity, after taking the opinion of the Archbishop and other religious persons who have experience in the matter. As the orders of His Majesty in this regard have not been executed, great impediments in the way of conversion and the community of New Christians have followed and continue to follow.” 

One can quote from many other orders, resolutions and instructions that resulted in the hideous Vatican-backed Goa Inquisition. The details are not unknown to most of us; they are definitely well known to the Vatican. The reason I have raised the issue of the Goa Inquisition is two-fold. First, Pope Benedict XVI should bear in mind the horrors inflicted on Hindus in the name of Christianity before he berates them for being intolerant towards Christians. Second, the Vatican owes an apology for the crimes committed during the Goa Inquisition; it must apologise and repent for its misdeeds against Hindus and gross attempts to stamp out Hinduism. Not to do so would amount to continued endorsement of the crimes and the unfair practices of missionaries. 

Ten years ago, the Vatican issued a 14-page document, ‘apologising’ and ‘repenting’ for not doing enough to save Europe’s Jews from the Holocaust. While it is common knowledge that Pope Pius XII did not feel particularly appalled by Hitler’s ‘final solution’, the Vatican claimed in its 1998 document that he was unaware of the concentration camps, the mass slaughter, the gas chambers and the furnaces. The document, understandably, failed to impress Jews who have made it clear that Pope Benedict XVI is not welcome to visit Israel unless he offers an unqualified apology and makes public documents of that period which are now stored in the Vatican’s archives. The Vatican may have eliminated the phrase “perfidious Jews” from its liturgy and Pope John Paul II may have made it fashionable for the Pontiff to refer to Jews as “older brothers”, these are seen as no more than meaningless, insincere gestures. 

The purpose of securing an apology for the Goa Inquisition is not to belittle the Vatican, but to drive home the point that it cannot seek to occupy the moral high ground till such time it has apologised and atoned for the sins committed against Hindus. If the Vatican can say sorry to others, there is no reason why it cannot say sorry to Hindus. Their faith is no less than those of the Book

Both Islamic and Christian terrorism have been labeled by the Sonia Congress ,the UPA government, CNN-IBN, NDTV as MINORITY RIGHTS or what I call as STATE-SPONSORED SECULAR COMMUNAL TERRORISM.

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Communists, Indian congress, Islam, Muslims, Sonia gandhi — Tags: , , , , — truecongresspolitics @ 3:30 pm

http://newstodaynet.com/col.php?section=20&id=10806&catid=33

UPA warns Hindus & BJP States only?
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By: V Sundaram vsundaram@newstodaynet.com
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Saturday, 20 September, 2008 , 02:23 PM 

Islam-embracing, Christianity-coveting and Hindu-baiting UPA government, under the political stranglehold of a pretender and autocrat from Italy, has functioned as usual as a political agent of Christian terrorism in Karnataka and Orissa by issuing A STRONG ADVISORY(so jocularly described) to the Karnataka and Orissa State governments, saying that the violence against the Christian community was a breach of constitutional privilege. 

 

When Swami Lakshmanananda, a Hindu saint and sage in Kandhamal district, was brutally murdered by Christian missionaries on Krishna Jayanthi Day on 23 August 2008, the central government ignored it and forgot about the Indian Constitution. Similarly when Hindus get killed in Jammu and Kashmir everyday by Islamic terrorists, no such advisory is ever deemed necessary by the central government in respect of state government Jammu and Kashmir. Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir are victims of UPA backed Islamic terrorism; Hindus in Orissa are victims of Christian terrorism and Hindus in Karnataka are victims of Christian terrorism. Both Islamic and Christian terrorism have been labeled by the Sonia Congress and the UPA government as MINORITY RIGHTS or what I call as STATE-SPONSORED SECULAR COMMUNAL TERRORISM.

 

All the battered and shattered Hindus of India affected by the secular terrorism of Sonia Congress Party and UPA government are going to rally behind Narendra Modi (an Afzal Guru according to I Gandhi and her slaves!)for his heroic declaration at a massive public meeting in New Delhi yesterday: ‘The Centre’s approach is nothing but a TAMASHA (staged show).  They are not concerned about innocent people dying but are more concerned about innocents getting caught.  This was the reason they are not allowing a stronger law to fight terror… Vote bank politics will continue to feed terrorism and it is high time to bring an end to such politics.  Gujarat experience has shown that the war against terrorism could be won.  Gujarat atank ea age mujra nahin karega (Gujarat will not dance before terrorism).  I do not believe in giving messages to terrorists.  I take stern action against them.  Main eent ka jawab pathar se deta hoon  (I reply to a brick with a stone).  In Gujarat we would be starting two Universities, one imparting education on National Security and the other focusing attention on Foresnic Science.  We are ready for a long battle against terrorism’. 

    

Though Narendra Modi has met the Prime Minister and the Home Minister several times during the last two years and pleaded with them for the enactment of a tougher law against terrorism, yet the UPA government (taking hourly instructions for non-governance from Sonia Gandhi!) has chosen to remain cold, wooden and inanimate. They have treated Narendra Modi’s reasonable request with supreme political and official contempt. Perhaps according to the central government, majority Hindus living in Gujarat are not Indian citizens!  The fact that both Sonia Congress and the central government are open supporters of Islamic terrorism in Assam can be seen from their attitude towards the repeal of Illegal Migrants (Determination through Tribunal) Act (IMDT Act) of 1984 which was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of India on July 12, 2005.  The apex Court also directed that all Tribunals functioning under the IMDT, which has been declared unconstitutional, would cease functioning with immediate effect. Taking note of the huge influx of Bangladesh migrants into Assam, the Court directed the state government to constitute sufficient number of tribunals under the Foreigners Act to deal with the situation effectively.  No advisory under Article 355 has been taken to the Congress Government for sending out the illegal Muslim migrants (most of them being Islamic terrorists from Bangladesh but declared as Indian citizens only to serve as voters for the anti-national Sonia Congress Party!).

 The BJP party has rightly condemned the Union government’ss patently political (in no way constitutional!) advisory to Karnataka on violence against Christians. Even a cursory perusal of the vicious, vulgar, obscene, barbarous anti-Hindu literature distributed by the Christian missionaries in Karnataka for purposes of induced, forced and fraudulent conversion has been the main cause of provocation of the Hindus of Karnataka. The open rebellion of the Hindus in Karnataka against these Christian atrocities is not only legitimate but also reasonable.  The Sonia-directed UPA government (an extended political arm for the propagation of Christianity and Islam in India) is unconstitutionally using the advisory under Article 355 to crush the legitimate religious feelings, sentiments and urges of the Hindus in majority who have risen in revolt against the obscene literature produced by the Christian missionaries for purposes of unconstitutional conversion in the States of Karnataka and Orissa. 

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has attacked the Congress President Sonia Gandhi saying the advisory under Article 355 is an attempt to please her.  Madam ko 355 candles ke aarthi uteri gayi hai’ (355 candle sticks have been used to please Madam Sonia Gandhi).  He also exposed the double standards of Sonia Congress UPA government when he asked why Article 355 was not used against the West Bengal Government for the situation marked by great public peace and tranquility in Nandigram in West Bengal.  Similarly in Assam, which is ruled by the Congress, large number of innocent Hindi-speaking and other bonafide residents of Assam having killed by elements encouraged by ULFA.  No advisory has been issued to Assam Government, Narendra Modi added. 

 

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad has also condemned the Centre’s move to issue Directive to the two States of Karnataka and Orissa as politically motivated, highly prejudicial and patently discriminatory.  Likewise Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has also described the Centre’s decision to issue an advisory to his government as‘Unfortunate and politically motivated’. 

 

The Sonia directed UPA government has become internationally famous for its politically programmed petty-mindedness, small-mindedness and viciousness against the innocent Hindus of India.  In these columns on 16 May 2006, under the title ‘Heroic pseudo-secular much ado about nothing’, I had observed as follows:

 

Michel Eyguem De Montaine (1533-1592), the great Renaissance French writer said in the 16th century: ‘No man is exempt from talking nonsense. The misfortune is to do it solemnly’. Perhaps Montaine had pseudo-secular Sonia stooges like Shivraj Patil in view when he spoke those timeless words of wisdom. I am referring to the comedy of Shivraj Patil putting himself in a state of combat readiness to deal with the localised riot situation in Vadodara and thereby endeavouring to make mountain of a mole hill situation. Four days ago the Municipal authorities in Vadodara in Gujarat demolished a wayside Darga and also a few temples to make one of the roads fit for traffic after obtaining Court Orders. This led to communal riots resulting in the imposition of a curfew. Explosive incidents are still rocking the area. It has been reported that the Centre has given what is called a ‘firm’ message to the so called Saffronised Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, asking them to take all necessary steps to ensure that violence ends in the trouble-hit Vadodara. The ever sleeping Union government in respect of all the Indian citizens excepting in the case of their favourite non-saffron minorities (Muslims and Christians only) have declared that they are closely watching the situation and that they are ready to take any action to control it. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has declared with brazen bravado: ‘I don’t think that these kinds of situations can remain uncontrolled. The state government has to do it and we will see that it is done. We are watching and the state government must end the violence.  Meanwhile, in a bid to contain the violence, the Centre has dispatched more than 500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel to be deployed in and around the trouble-torn city. Army units and paramilitary units have been sent to Vadodara and other affected areas of Gujarat. The Centre has also offered all kinds of assistance to the state government’.

 

To concludeI would like to ask the question: Why is the self-deluded surrogate UPA government in New Delhi ‘secularly’ committed to the oddly fraudulent and fraudulently odd official philosophy of viewing all THE INTOLERANT CHRISTIAN ACTS OF CONVERSION LET LOOSE AGAINST THE HINDUS IN KARNATAKA AS TOLERANT? That is why perhaps all the acts of murder, death, loot, plunder, abduction, rape, hijacking, bombing of towns and cities and other benevolent acts by Islamic terrorists are considered as acts of humanity, charity, understanding and broad-based tolerance by our disgraceful Union Home Minister. The whole UPA government is raised on a superstructure of political perversion.  When such perversion becomes a constitutional principle, when prostitution becomes a noble practice, when rape becomes the righteous rule, murder becomes a meaningful message, goondaism becomes an act of grace, and political rascality is elevated to the level of national secular righteousness and as a part of legitimate minority rights, then are we not creating ideal conditions, extending an open invitation to an armed revolution in the immediate future?

 

What is politically treasonable in other countries of the world becomes highly reasonable in India under the supreme umbrella of pseudo-secularism. The policy of UPA government today is Muslim and Christian appeasement, appeasement at all costs, in spite of all terror and however long and hard the road may be. For without appeasement there is no survival, no survival for Sonia Gandhi and the Nehru clan, no survival for the UPA government, no survival for the urges and impulses of secular vermin like Arjun Singhs, Antulays, Yadavs and Paswans and Karunanidhis. The UPA government is proclaiming to the whole world that INDIA IS ONE OF THE FAILED STATES. No patriotic citizen would be permitted by this government to ask this question:  Who dies if India lives and who lives if India dies? This question will be brushed aside by the UPA government as highly communal. The standard Sonia Congress message to our falling, if not fallen, nation today is this: Who dies if UPA government lives and who lives if UPA government dies?

 

Truth about karnataka christian missionaries and attacks

Filed under: Christian Missionaries, Indian congress, Sonia gandhi — Tags: , — truecongresspolitics @ 3:27 pm

http://newstodaynet.com/col.php?section=20&id=10790&catid=33

 

Blasphemy of Hindu Gods by peace-loving Christians
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By: V Sundaram vsundaram@newstodaynet.com
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Friday, 19 September, 2008 , 03:08 PM 

After a mass Hindu rebellion in Jammu and Orissa, we are seeing a mass uprising of Hindus in Karnataka against the illegal conversions through inducements, force and fraud let loose against the Hindus by the Christian missionaries in Mangalore, Udupi, and Chikmagalur Districts. 

All these troubles keep on arising every now and then only because the Christian minorities (very much like the Muslim minorities) are very confident all the time that they can fully depend upon the political support of the anti-Hindu Congress party and other equally anti-Hindu secular parties like the RJD, SP, LJS, DMK, CPI, CPI(M) etc. The fact of the matter is that neither the Christian conversion agencies nor the Islam-embracing, Christianity-coveting and Hindu-baiting Congress and other secular parties nor the main line English media(both print and electronic) want to understand the simple fact that our Constitution sanctions ‘freedom’only for the practice and propagation of any faith or religion and certainly not induced or forced‘conversion’.

This fact was asserted by the Supreme Court of India, way back in a landmark verdict in 1977 (Stanislaus vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1977 SC 908). The Supreme Court decided that Article 25 of the Indian Constitution (the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) is not an absolute right, unlike some other fundamental rights like protection of life and liberty (Article 21) and right against exploitation (Article 23). 

The Supreme Court decided that Article 25 is subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of Part III of the Constitution.  In the same judgement, Supreme Court also laid down the law to the effect when it said, ‘the propagation of one’s religion could not impinge on the ‘freedom of conscience’ of other citizens’.

With elections (both Assembly and Lok Sabha) round the corner, the Congress Party after sweeping the polls in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Gujarat and Karnataka, wants to garner all the minority votes in Karnataka in the coming Lok Sabha elections.  Likewise it wants to garner minority votes in Orissa. That is why in a politically shameless manner, the Centre has issued a strict warning to the government of Karnataka and the government of Orissa over the recent attacks on Churches and Christian community in these two States. 

Recently the Hindus living in Mangalore, Udupi and Chikmagalur District of Dakshina Karnataka have risen in open revolt against the fraudulent methods of conversion being resorted to by some Christian Agencies.  In these areas several churches have been vandalised by the agitating and provoked Hindu activists.  The Karnataka Chief Minister and the Home Minister of Karnataka have made it very clear that the Hindus of Dakshin Karnataka have been unduly provoked by the publication of highly objectionable anti-Hindu evangelical literature on the one hand and fraudulent methods of illegal conversion on the other.

 

There is no doubt whatsoever that there has been an organised blasphemy of Hindu Gods and Goddesses by Christian Missionary Agencies and Christians which has deeply wounded the Hindus of Karnataka.  The pseudo-secular mafia of mass media in India – both print and electronic – have been presenting only one-sided, untruthful, and distorted version of the Hindu-Christian clashes in Mangalore. These very unscrupulous anti-Hindu men in the media—nay despicable vermin –had predicted resounding Congress victories in the Gujarat and Karnataka elections.  The common people of Gujarat and Karnataka summarily rejected not only Sonia and her Congress Party but also the vicious anti-Hindu men in the media.

I am presenting below the vital facts relating to the blasphemous anti-Hindu literature produced by the missionary and evangelical agencies in Karnataka:

 

 1. First of all, this is not a case of Hindu-Christian clash at all. It is nothing but a public attack on NEW LIFE — a Christian sect that is known for irresponsible aggressive proselytisation. New Life had distributed several pamphlets maligning Hindu Gods in a language that can only be termed Crass, Vulgar and abusive.  The UPA government in New Delhi will never issue a warning to such anti-Hindu and anti-national Christian organisations engaged in nefarious conversion work in different parts of India.  Sonia Gandhi, Man Mohan Singh, Shivraj Patil and all the Congressmen would only talk against the Sangh Parivar!

I am giving below a short list of abuses against Hindu Gods and Goddesses from one such book – SATYA DARSHINI – distributed by the missionaries of New Life all over Karnataka and more particularly Dakshina Karnataka. This book is in Kannada language.  It is understood that this book was printed in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh for large-scale distribution in Karnataka:

a)Urvashi – the daughter of Lord Vishnu – is a prostitute. Vashitha is the son of this prostitute.  He in turn married his own Mother. Such a degraded person is the Guru of the Hindu God Rama, (page 48)

b)When Krishna himself is wallowing in darkness of hell, how can he enlighten others? Since Krishna himself is a shady character, there is a need for us to liberate his misled followers, (page 50)

 c)It was Brahma himself who kidnapped Sita.  Since Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were themselves the victims of lust, it is a sin to consider them as Gods, (page 39)

 

d)When the Trinity of Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) are consumed by lust and anger, how can they liberate others.   Their projection as Gods is nothing but a joke (page 39)

e)When Vishnu asked BRAHMA to commit a sin, he immediately did so.   How can such a ‘evil Brahma’ be a Creator of this Universe? How is it possible for both the sinner and the entity, which provoked the sin to be gods? (page 39)

 

f)God, please liberate the sinful people of India who are worshipping false Gods that believe in the pleasures of illicit ‘Vyabichari’ relationships. (Page 39).

 

2.All the 16 incidents of violence that took place were not attack on Churches. In fact, unauthorized prayer halls were attacked where the blasphemous pamphlets of the kind detailed above were distributed and aggressive proselytisation was taking place. These 16 incidents were not localised but took place across three districts of Mangalore, Udupi and Chikmagalur.

 

3.The only place where attacks took place apart from New Life Prayer Halls was at a small prayer hall in the premises of Milagres Church in Mangalore, where some miscreants had damaged a Jesus idol.   The VHP and the Bajrang Dal have condemned the attack at this place. Following this incident, a Christian mob gathered and the situation went out of control as the mob started pelting stones and disrupting traffic. The police was forced to intervene and this resulted in unsavory violence.

 

4.Further during the past two days from 15 September to 17 September 2008, it has to be noted that we are not having Hindu-Christian clashes at all. It will be more appropriate to call it  ‘Christian-Police’ clashes since the Christians holed up in Churches have engaged themselves in pelting of stones and disruption of traffic. The Police were forced to enter the Churches to clear the mob and they found to their horror and surprise, arms inside some of the Churches.

 

5.Incidents of Stabbing were reported in around four or five places across Mangalore district. In fact, an activist belonging to Shri Ram Sena was stabbed which led to a bandh call by Shri Ram Sena – a Hindu outfit that is not connected to Sangh Parivar.

 

6.The VHP and the Bajrang Dal have condemned the desecration of Jesus idol at the prayer hall adjacent to the Milagres Church in Mangalore. They have also clarified that they are not against the Catholic faith and the Churches. However, they have clarified that the public outcry would continue as long as illicit conversion activities and blasphemy of Hindu Gods take place.

 

7.Even the Kandhamal murder—which involved the killing of Hindu monk Swami Lakshmananda by missionaries – seems to have caste a shadow on this incident since the general public seems to have seen through Christian aggression.

 

8.It may be recalled that there was a public outcry against illegal prayer halls in Davanagere district last week. In that case, the administration had closed the unauthorised prayer halls that were mushrooming in the region.

 

The above facts were taken to the notice of Krishna Palimar, Karnataka Minister In Charge of Mangalore District who had convened a ‘Peace Meeting’ at the PWD Office in Mangalore on 17 September 2008. Magesh Rao I A S, Deputy Commissioner of Mangalore District also participated in the meeting.

 

Representatives of Christian and Missionary Organisations and Hindu Organisations participated at that meeting. Dr. Puranic, VHP President and RSS Sanghachalak of Mangalore District brought out the above facts at that meeting. Both the VHP and RSS representatives categorically clarified one point to everyone present at that meeting in this short and succinct manner: ‘The time-honoured religious feelings of millions of Hindus have been deeply wounded by the blasphemous anti-Hindu literature published and distributed on a large scale by New Life and many other Christian agencies in Karnataka.  The Hindus of Karnataka would never permit these agencies to carry on their anti-social and anti-national work of fraudulent conversion, in violation of the Laws of our Constitution and the other Laws of the Land.  So long as they continue to indulge in these anti-Hindu and anti-national conversion activities, there will be no peace or public tranquility in Karnataka’.

 

Conversion is a form of religious and cultural violence.  Jesus was the first religious teacher in history to threaten those, who did not agree with him, with eternal damnation. This is the only original idea that he contributed to the world’s vast body of religious thought, and in two millennia it has destroyed nations and whole civilizations and caused THOMAS JEFFERSON (whom Abishek Singhvi would love to describe as belonging to the Sangh Parivar in accordance with the dictates of his High Command today!) to declare, ‘The Christian God is cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust’.

Evangelisation has gone beyond the limits of tolerance by abusing the constitutional provisions for freedom of religion

http://newstodaynet.com/col.php?section=20&catid=29

 

Blasphemous distortions
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By: B R HARAN letters@newstodaynet.com
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Tuesday, 11 November, 2008 , 02:18 PM 

ATamil weekly magazine has reported the following in its latest issue (dated 14 November):

Active Image

Book titled ‘Light in Darkness’

 

‘On Friday 24 October, the devotees of the world famous‘Sri Kapalishwarar Temple’ Mylapore, Chennai were literally shocked when they were given five booklets each containing defamatory write-ups about Hinduism, Vedas, Vedic heritage, Hindu Shastras, Hindu culture & tradition, Sabarimala Ayyappan and denigrating articles on Sage Thirumoolar, Nayanmars and others, by a bunch of mean-minded Christian evangelists just in front of the Temple entrance! For example, in the book titled ‘Light in darkness’, it is written that, the word ‘Sadhaa in the verse ‘Sadhaa Shivaaya’ means ‘forever’ and there is only one God, who blesses and takes care of this world forever, and he is ‘Jesus’ and the verse ‘Sadhaa Shivaaya’denotes only him! All the five books are said to have contained more defamatory stories about Hindu Gods and Religious Gurus. Many people have called up this magazine and sent mails to it giving complete details about what happened in front of the temple that day’.

 

Incidentally, the Santhome Cathedral stands on the ruins of the original Kapalishvarar Temple, which was destroyed by the Portuguese invaders and now the evangelical invaders are trying to destroy the Hindu culture and religion in front of this reconstructed Kapalishvarar Temple.

 

This outrageous incident has brought out the following facts:

The evangelists have made bold to distribute blasphemous literatures and conduct a hate-campaign against Hinduism, that too in front of a very famous historic temple.

 

 

The minority appeasement policies of a ‘minority’ government, which openly said that it is committed to the welfare of minorities, and its anti-majority stand have emboldened these evangelists to indulge in this kind of illegal activity.

 

 

The policemen who have been posted near the temple for security (Mylapore temple is under terror threat) have turned a blind eye to this venomous act, probably due to fear motivation from the ‘minority’ government or money motivation from the evangelists.

 

 

The Hindus have just exposed their ‘dhimmitude’ by remaining passive without acting against those evangelists. Sadly, not even one devotee has exhibited the courage to lodge a police complaint against them. The traders near the temple have not bothered to drive away those Christian rapscallions. Certainly the number of devotees must have easily outnumbered those evangelists and they must have caught them with their collars and taken them to the Mylapore police station. Instead of doing all this, some people have written to this particular weekly magazine.

 

 

Similarly, in Coimbatore, on 24 September, five staff of Chennai based ‘East Coast Christian Matriculation School’ have been arrested by the police for distributing blasphemous literatures propagating Christianity and degrading Hindu Gods and engaging in evangelisation. The police action has been prompted by the complaint given by the local people belonging to BJP and Hindu Makkal Katchi, who caught those evangelists and took them to the nearby police station. Ironically those evangelists have asked the students (most of them are Hindus) to distribute those pamphlets and the innocent students have obeyed the order out of fear. This has been done while taking the students on an excursion (study tour) to Ooty. If this is the way study tours are conducted by a Christian School, one can imagine the standard of education imparted by it.

 

In this context, it must be noted that in most of the schools run by the various Christian denominations, Hindu students (who obviously are more in number) are not allowed to sport ‘Thilaks’ on their forehead and girl students are not allowed to have flowers on their heads. Last year a boy was reprimanded and sent out by the management of a Christian school in Chennai city for having applied ‘Mehendi’ in his palms. His parents were made to run from pillar to post to reinstate him. In another school in Dindigul, some boys, who were ‘fasting’ forSabarimala pilgrimage, were allowed to write their examinations only after having a haircut and removing their ‘Tulasi Maalaas’. In certain schools ‘Bible’ is being taught and the Hindu students are forced to attend such classes. The parent community is also aware of these kinds of tortures undergone by their wards, but they prefer to keep quiet in the fear that their wards’ education would be affected.

 

Recently in a Church in Kakkan Nagar, in the Ambedkar slum dwellings of Adambakkam, a Chennai suburb, the pastor, during morning prayers, had openly ridiculed the practice ofAbishekams of Amman Deities saying that ‘they are nude & naked worships performed with an erotic motive’. As the Pastor was addressing a group of ‘converts’, his blasphemous speech was heard by the slum dwellers through loud speakers. A Hindu woman, who was drawing drinking water from a nearby Municipal water-pump, got outraged by the blasphemous speech, threw out the water from her vessel and filled it with gutter from the nearby ditch and threw it inside the Church. Only then the Hindu men realised the seriousness of the issue and reportedly damaged the windowpanes of the Church. The Pastor lodged a police complaint and the police promptly booked those Hindus, who damaged the windowpanes, and the Pastor, who was the real culprit as per the law of the land, went Scot-free!

 

These incidents may look like isolated due to the fact that the Hindus rarely exhibit courage to take on those evangelists, but these strategies adopted by the Church and missionaries are a regular phenomenon going on for years in the state. Mariamman and Aiyappan are two Deities, which attract millions of devotees, particularly the Scheduled Castes, as evidenced by the Sabarimala pilgrimage and Melmaruvaththur pilgrimage. Since the SCs are the targeted audience of the evangelists, the Churches come out with literatures, pamphlets and books denigrating Goddess Amman and Swami Aiyappan and ridiculing their worship.

 

An evangelist by name Dr Theivanayagam has founded an organisation by name ‘Diravida Aanmeega Iyakkam’ (Movement of Dravidian Spiritualism) to spread the concept of ‘Thomas Christianity’, in the name of ‘Aadhi Christhuvam’ (Early Christianity). Through this concept, he attempts to project Shivisim and Vishnavism as sub sects of Christianity. He wrote a book titled ‘Vivliyam (Bible), Thirukkural, Saiva Siddantham – Oppu Ayvu’ (Comparative Research) and published it in 1985-86 and has been steadfastly campaigning on this concept since then. Very recently, he convened ‘Agila Ulaga Dravida Samaya Maanaadu’ (International Dravidiyan Spiritual conference)under the aegis of Mylapore diocese, in which the following blasphemous distortions were projected as researched facts:

 

‘Aadhi Christhuvam’ (Early Christianity) was promulgated and established in Tamilnadu by St.Thomas is the original religion of the Tamils.

 

 

The Aryan invaders distorted Thoams Christianity and conceived new concepts called Shivism and Vishnavism and hence they must be treated as the sub sects of Thomas Christianity.

 

 

The ‘holy trinity’ of ‘Father-Son-Holy Spirit’ is denoted by ‘Shiva-Muruga-Shakthi’ and the same is also denoted by ‘Brahmma-Vishnu-Rudran’

 

 

The ‘holy trinity’ concept has beautified the Indian Religions. The ‘Holy Spirit-Father’ combination can be identified with ‘Arthanarishvarar’ and ‘Sankaranarayanar’ formations.

 

St Thomas’s teachings were abounding in Thirukkural and Sage Thiruvalluvar was a disciple of St Thomas.

 

 

Active Image
Book titled ‘Sacred Ash, or, The Cross?’

 

Many such blasphemous distortions were presented in the conference. Close on the heels of the conference the inauguration of the Rs.50 crore production of a movie on St.Thomas was also conducted. The Chief Guest of the inauguration was none other than the Tamilnadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi, who waxed eloquent on the ‘supposed’ history of St.Thomas, despite having excellent knowledge on Thiruvalluvar and Thirukkural.  Dr Deivanayagam has recently released a book titled ‘Thiruneeraa, Siluvaiya?’ (Sacred Ash? Or, The Cross?), in which, he has again brought out blasphemous distortions. A few examples are given below:

 

The Hindu practice of applying ‘sacred ash’ on the forehead has actually started from ‘Ash Wednesday’ the first day of the ‘Penance’ (lent-days). The sacred ash comprises within it all the three stages of ‘Death, Resurrection & Pardon due to the fact that the ‘ash’ cannot be destroyed, as how the resurrected body cannot be destroyed.

 

When Visnavism got separated from Shivism, the style of applying sacred ash was changed from horizontal pattern to vertical pattern.

 

 

Shiva is supposed to have given his left half to Shakthi. If that left half is worshipped as woman, it becomes Shivism and if the same is worshipped as man it becomes Vishnavism.

 

 Thiruneetru Pathigam’, a collection of Shivite Hymns sung by Sage Thirugnaana Sambandhar comprises a number of messages of Christianity.

 

All Shivite literatures namely ‘Thirumurai’, ‘Thevaram’, ‘Thiruvasagam’ and‘Thirupathigam’ do not talk about the four Vedas namely Rig, Yajur, Sama andAdharvana. Also, as they carry the messages of Christ the ‘Bible’ is the only‘Veda’.

 

 

All these things go to show that a sustained campaign has been going on for years and the momentum keeps on increasing with foreign aids and local support. The Dravidian political parties, which are bent on alienating the Tamils from the Hindu fold, have been aiding and abetting these anti-Hindu forces and this unholy nexus between them is creating havoc in the society. Though the Religious Gurus are deeply concerned about the speedy developments in this area of evangelisation and the alarming rate of conversion going on in the state, they feel helpless and fear the Dravidian rulers. So, the onus lies purely on political and social Hindu organisations to take legal actions against persons like Deivanayagam and their organisations for destroying the Hindu cultural heritage and Religious traditions posing a danger to communal harmony.

 

Evangelisation has gone beyond the limits of tolerance by abusing the constitutional provisions for freedom of religion and the general public must also be aware of their moral responsibility to act against those who indulge in blasphemy against their religion and the government machineries must also act as per the rule of law.

Christian missionaries and Christian NGOs in India Preparing for the harvest

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main.asp?filename=ts013004shashi.asp&id=1#

 

 
Preparing for the harvest …

A new mood of aggressive evangelism has been emanating from America. Well-funded, superbly networked,
backed by the highest of the land, seized of its moral supremacy, it has India as one of its key targets, reveals 
VK Shashikumar
 in a disturbing exposé

This could be the plot of a fevered thriller. A jingoistic president, multi-million dollar corporations, high technology, a grand if furtive mission, networks spanning the globe, and biblical invocations.  

Only it’s real. And its got India in its crosshair.

Religious expansionism has not witnessed this scale, scope, and state resources in a long time. Detailed investigations by Tehelka reveal that American evangelical agencies have established in India an enormous, well-coordinated and strategised religious conversion plan. The operation was launched in the early 1990s but really came into its own after George W Bush Jr, an avowed born-again Christian, became president of the United States in 2001. Since then, aggressive evangelists have found pro-active support from the new administration in their efforts to convert some sections of Indian society to Christianity. At the heart of this complex and sophisticated operation is a simple strategy-convert locals and then give them the know-how and money to plant their own churches and multiply.

Around the time that Bush Jr moved into the Oval office, a worldwide conversion movement, funded and effected by American evangelical groups, was peaking in India. The movement, which began as AD2000 & Beyond and later morphed into Joshua Project I and Joshua Project II, was designed to be a sledgehammer-a breathtaking, decade-long steamroller of a campaign that would set the stage for a systematic, sophisticated and self-sustaining “harvest” of the “unreached people groups” in India in the 21st century. It was just as the operation was taking off that the script changed. Much to the delight of American evangelicals, one of their own, George Bush Jr, became the occupant of the White House.

In a major policy decision taken very early into his presidency, Bush, on January 29, 2001, unveiled a “faith based” social service initiative that included a new White House office to promote government aid to churches and Christian faith-based organisations. This, in effect, threw the massive weight of the federal government behind religious groups and religious conversions. The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was set up in the White House in the first week of February 2002 and a man called Jim Towey was appointed director. (A snap introduction to Towey: he was the legal counsel to Mother Teresa in the late 1980s.)
Though Bush’s initiative to fund “salvation and religious conversion” is stalled in the Congress over constitutional and civil rights concerns, he has pushed for its implementation through executive orders.

White House-Christian Coalition nexus

The American press is replete with reports on Bush’s largesse to faith-based organisations. They say it’s his “return gift” to the Christian Right for having loyally supported his presidential campaign. The Christian Coalition, founded by American TV evangelist and head of the multi-billion Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Pat Robertson, played a crucial role in the 2000 election. Recently, in his TV programme, Club 700, broadcast on CBN, Robertson created a stir by announcing that he is confident Bush will win the 2004 election in a “blowout” because God has told him so.

Indeed, Bush is keen to retain what we call the votebank and Americans ‘the base’. After all, the Far Right Christian evangelists have also been the most loyal backers of his hardline militarism in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

But there is another, perhaps more important, reason why Bush is keen on supporting his evangelist friends who run huge transnational missionary organisations (TMOs). In the decade 1990-2000 they ran a global intelligence operation so complex and sophisticated that its scale and implications are no less than staggering. This operation has put in place a system which enables the US government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse. This network in India, established with funding and strategic assistance from US-based TMOs, gives US intelligence agencies virtually real time access to every nook and corner of the country. (See ‘List of TMOs Active in India’)

Since Bush’s ascendancy to the presidency this network of networks has multiplied rapidly in India. Bush supports conversion in India because he supports those American TMOs who fund and strategise conversion activities in this country. Organisations like the International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Aid, World Vision, Seventh Day Adventist Church and multi-billion enterprises run by evangelists like Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and Roger Houtsma, amongst many others, were instrumental in running a coordinated conversion campaign in India under the banner of AD2000. These later became the Joshua Project and when the decade-long movement officially closed down in March 2001, Joshua Project II was launched to sustain conversions and intelligence-gathering. Graham’s TMO, Billy Graham Evangelist Association, supports conversion activities in Gurgaon, Haryana, and Kolkata.

When AD2000 was conceived for India, the plan was based on a military model with the intent to invade, occupy, control, or subjugate its population. It was based on solid intelligence emanating from the ground and well-researched information on various facets of selected people groups. The idea was to send out spying missions to source micro details on religion and culture. The social and economic divisions in the various Indian communities were closely examined. Given the oppressive and institutionalised caste system in the Hindu society, American evangelical strategists chalked out plans for reaching these various “unmixable” caste groups. The many faultlines running through the country-divisions in terms of ethnicity, caste, creed, language and class-were all factored in during the generation of ethnographic data.

North India was designated the core target of American evangelists. It was described as the “core of the core of the core” of a worldwide evangelical movement conceived by fundamentalist American missionaries. This movement that took shape over the 1990s, has now taken off because of a unique collaboration between the American government and US-based evangelical mission agencies. In the 1990s this movement was shaped by the World Evangelical Fellowship (an international alliance of national evangelical alliances), working with the AD2000 movement. It brought together a wide variety of individuals and organisations, under the single goal of achieving “a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000.” Its focus was missionary mobilisation and church planting in India and other regions of the world where the Christian population was negligible. This movement was also a massive intelligence gathering exercise funded and supported by American missionary organisations that were responsible for the election of George W Bush.

Global evangelism plans

AD2000 first attracted attention at a convention of international evangelical missions called Lausanne II in Manila in 1989. The movement then spread rapidly around the globe to help catalyse evangelism. The strategy behind the movement was to establish pioneering global partnerships to eventually provide a church within every “unreached people group”. Ralph Winter, founder of the US Center for World Mission, characterised the movement as “the largest, most pervasive global evangelical network ever to exist.”

This movement, spearheaded by Luis Bush from the movement’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, US, was planned for large conversion of people living within the “10/40 Window”. Incidentally, Billy Graham, a Christian fundamentalist and rabid evangelist, who was responsible for George W’s “born again” Christian status and whom the president considers as his godfather was the honorary co-chairman of the AD 2000 movement.

The 10/40 window is the rectangular area comprising parts of North Africa and large parts of Asia between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude where 95 percent of the world’s “least evangelised poor are found.” AD 2000 movement mobilised and funded evangelical operations in India. Further, they sponsored the May 17-25, 1995, Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE) in Seoul, South Korea, where nearly 4,000 Christian leaders from 186 countries, including India, gathered to draw up secret and covert evangelical plans. Many American evangelists now describe GCOWE, Seoul, as “the most strategic Christian gathering in history.” That year also saw the transformation of the movement to a higher plane in the name of Joshua Project. 
The first GCOWE consultation was held in Singapore in 1989. The first five years of the decade (1990-2000) were the years of seeding the clouds with the vision of a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000. This involved the building of a new kind of partnering relationships, a grassroots networking structure…a “network of networks.”

While AD2000 spied out the land and its inhabitants to get an accurate picture of opportunities and challenges for conversion activities in India, they also framed subversive strategies to implement their plans. Concepts like PLUG, PREM and NICE were conceived. PLUG refers to the target group-people in every language, urban centre and geographic division. PREM refers to the techniques to use-prayer, research, evangelisation and mobilisation. NICE refers to how the work is to be done-networking, taking initiative, and using an evangelist to spur existing groups and cohorts in their efforts to convert people to Christianity.

Local networks

For Indian evangelical groups, access to American technology meant faster and more secure communication with their patrons. And, of course, the availability of the Bible in local languages, In fact, in today’s India, the Bible is available in almost all languages and dialects. If the translation of the Bible was a symbol of huge transnational exercise, the massive distribution of gospel literature was nothing less than a distribution marvel. In India, a coordinated gospel literature distribution exercise was staged to reach 600,000 villages by the end of 2000. Finally, American evangelical organisations that also run cash-rich television channels pumped in money to buy slots on Indian television networks. In fact, Pat Robertson, who recently stepped down as the chairman of the Christian Coalition and the owner of the CBN set up a studio in Hyderabad to help Indian evangelicals minister through television programmes. These programmes are broadcast on various networks in India where CBN buys time.

The Joshua Project, started by a splinter group of CBN, was also a large-scale intelligence operation that brought together American strategists, theologists, missionary specialists, demographers, technologists, sociologists, anthropologists and researchers to create the most comprehensive people group profiles in the 10/40 Window. In fact, the ethno-linguistic profiling of the people groups in India, probably, cannot even be matched by data with the government of India. The logic behind this massive intelligence gathering operation was to “make a priority of establishing as a minimum, a pioneer church-planting movement within every ethno-linguistic people of over 10,000 individuals by December 31, 2000.”

The launch of the Joshua Project in the mid-1990s resulted in scores of American research teams arriving in India to lay preliminary roadmaps for the church-planting mission. Everyone came on tourist visas and, on their arrival in India, their respective mission partners took them in. This partnership with Indian researchers resulted in the production of enormous field data on various people groups in the country. This, in turn, led to the identification of areas and regions where evangelical activities could be carried out in a focused and methodical manner.

Joshua Project II is a continuation and expansion of the original plan. Its professed aim is to “highlight all the least-reached peoples (non-Christian) of the world and to help build ministry networks and partnerships focusing on these people.” The constant research and updating of ethnographic data from India should ring alarm bells within the intelligence agencies in India. In fact, the project maintains its “peoples lists” in cooperation with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptists, as will be seen later, have traditionally worked hand-in-glove with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). India’s ethno-cultural data collected by the project is categorised by them as ‘Security Level 2’ because there is a danger to Indian and foreign missionaries if data relating to their conversion activities is made public. 

The main target: India

As part of AD2000, Christian organisations in most countries, including India, had an embarked on an ambitious National AD2000 Initiative. In India the Evangelical Fellowship of India was central to the fulfillment of the goals set by this initiative. According to the founders of AD2000 (and that includes Bush’s pal Billy Graham) north India is the ‘kairos’, the key. India is where the era of modern missionary effort began nearly 200 years ago with the arrival of William Carey, the father of modern evangelical missions. However, the nine north and central Indian states of Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were considered areas of immense strategic importance for the following reasons:

The Gangetic belt is one of the most heavily populated regions of the world. Forty percent of the Indian population lives here;
New Delhi is the capital and centre of political power in India;
It is the most socially deprived area of India (the Hindi belt has a literacy rate of 30 percent, infant mortality is double the national average and the government of India officially designates four of these states as BIMARU (sick));
This area of India is known as the heartland of Hinduism, a religion that boasts of some 33 million gods; and It has the smallest Christian presence in all of India. According to the 1991 census, the Christian population of North India is 0.5 percent of the total population.

Clearly, north India was strategically important for the missionaries. What made things easier for them was the new buoyancy in India-US relations. Therefore, it was open to researchers and their research plans. Billy Graham and his ilk openly admit that they dispatched spying missions to India. “Just as Joshua sent out the spies to survey the land and report on its condition before the children of Israel moved out in obedience to God’s command, many more missionaries and Christian workers are finding research information invaluable in laying their plans,” say the AD2000 and Beyond Movement documents. Over the past eight years, tremendous energies and resources have been spent on spying out the land and its inhabitants.

The India Missions Association (IMA) in partnership with Gospel for Asia, another big American missionary outfit, researched and published very informative and accurate books that unraveled the intricate mosaic that is India. Some of those books are in Tehelka’s possession. One of the big achievements of the Chennai-based IMA was conducting a detailed India-wide PIN code survey. India’s postal service is one of the world’s largest and it is important to understand why American mission agencies picked on India’s postal system to devise their covert conversion strategy. The Indian postal system has a network of 1,52,786 post offices-89 percent of them in villages, which means one post office for 23.12 sq. km of rural land and one for every 3.16 sq. km of urban stretch, or one for a village with 4,612 people or one for 12,924 people in a town or city.

PIN-code theory

The 6-digit PIN code introduced in August 1972, identifies and locates every departmental delivery office. The first digit represents the zone, the second the sub-zone, the third digit shows the postal sorting district, the fourth digit indicates the mail route and the last two digits indicate the specific post office of destination in that zone. For this purpose the country has been divided into eight zones and each region in each zone has been assigned a particular postal circle in the first two digits of a PIN code. The Delhi circle, for instance, is 11. The digits 45 to 49 represent the Madhya Pradesh circle and 60 to 64 are for the Tamil Nadu circle.

This neat division of India through the postal codes is seen as a boon for strategising missionary work, coding the data emerging from the field and flowing it back to missionaries on the job. Given below are a few way in which pincodes have helped evangelical work:

There is no easier way of locating workers than attaching pincodes to them Media contacts can be linked easily with workers Sorting “harvest forces” and mailing lists is easyThe codes make distribution of gospel literature faster and easier Urban areas have more postal codes than rural areas. This helps in planning effectively to plant churches in each area.

To really come to grips with the implications of IMA’s PIN-code theory one has to understand the ‘Joshua Project II Data Background’. The report of the Joshua Project II is self-explanatory: “Joshua Project II provides a “blue-print” of the unfinished task of world evangelisation. It came out of the process of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement focusing on a list of approximately 2000 people groups that most need a church planting movement. The peoples listed here are over 10,000 in population and less than two percent Evangelical and less than five percent Christian adherent. Data has been compiled from many sources including: Southern Baptist Convention, Operation World, Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse, US Center for World Mission and the AD2000 movement.

“The mission of Joshua Project II is to highlight the peoples of the world who have the least exposure to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Joshua Project II seeks to accomplish this through information sharing and networking… the mission of the Joshua Project is threefold.

First, to gather, manage and distribute strategic population, progress indicator and ministry activity information to maximise the visibility of the least-reached peoples to the Church. The goal is a comprehensive, accurate, validated, public ally available list of all the ethno-cultural people groups of the world.

Second, to be a least-reached peoples networking resource to the Christian mission community.

Third, to enhance the flow of information between Great Commission organisations by using standardised data coding.”

In India’s case this “standardised data coding” has been married to IMA’s survey. This has been used to such a degree that even the diverse language groups of India have been divided into PIN codes. The ability to send evangelists that are familiar to language and culture greatly facilitates the speed at which conversion can happen. It is also cost effective since tactics can be formed at home base. This also enables any Christian missionary organisation anywhere in the world to source any ethno-cultural or ethno-linguistic data on India at the click of the mouse. So let’s say if one of Bush’s Christian evangelical cronies wants to check out which missionary organisation is working with the Banjaras in Nalgonda, Khammam and Krishna districts in Andhra Pradesh, all he has to do is plug into this highly guarded database. It will tell him how many Banjaras were converted to Christianity over a specified period, the names of Indian Christian researchers working in community and which evangelical ministry coordinating the exercise of “saving souls”. Just about any detail he wants is available on demand. Obviously, it flows the other way as well. So assuming that somebody at the CIA headquarters wants information on a particular district or region all that needs to be done is to call up Bush’s mentor Rev Billy Graham. Graham will in turn log into databases maintained by a network of American Evangelical Missions. All this can happen in seconds and this is how technology has made evangelical activities so potentially dangerous.

Laptop evangelists

Latest cutting-edge web technologies are used to keep in touch with various “unreached people groups” through key local interlocutors. They also track on a regular basis status indicators like number of evangelists working within a people group, the number of Christian adherents, church growth and mission agency progress indicators. All this information is then used to “promote networking and partnerships focusing on least-reached peoples in order to promote the flow of strategic ministry activity information between individuals, churches, denominations and mission agencies.

Tehelka’s undercover operation managed to set up networking contacts with the Joshua II project. Evidence of the meticulous nature of this data is available with Tehelka. The amazing network that has been established can be illustrated with the following anecdote. B Shreeprakash and B Jayaprakash from Kayamkulam, Kerala, came across the December 1998 issue of the National Missionary Intelligencer published by The National Missionary Society of India, Royappettah, Chennai, while waiting for an appointment with a doctor. That sparked off an amateur investigation exercise, the contents of which were put down in their report titled ‘Conversions in India’. Here’s an extract:

 

“As part of this work, an address namely, ‘Workers Together’ in US was contacted. To my surprise, a pastor of the Brethren Church, contacted me from my own town, his residence was only 1km away from that of mine. He called me over telephone and invited me for a personal meeting. On visiting his house, he handed over to me an oxford Edition of the Bible, printed in New York, and a few booklets and pamphlets. What astonished me was, that the pastor had with him, a copy of letter which I had sent to US. On enquiring about how the nearness of my residence with that of the Pastor was understood by the party at Bangalore, he showed me an official directory of the list of the evangelicals working in India, with their family photographs and complete details arranged in order of PIN codes. Another directory of their worldwide network was also shown to me.”

There cannot, perhaps, be a better example to understand the effects of marrying the IMA’s survey with Joshua Project’s database. The message is this-an American missionary agency will go to any length even if it means converting just one person. A letter written to an agency in the US is re-directed immediately to Bangalore and the agency in Bangalore in turn tracks down the nearest evangelist and directs him to take upon the task of ministering the gospel to the newest seeker. In fact, the mission goal of IMA, according to its general secretary, Ebenezer Sunder Raj, is: “We need a church within cycling distance, then within walking distance and finally within hearing distance.” The Church growth figures that are with Tehelka clearly indicate that this mission mandate is on in full swing.

Data on India: the CIA connection

The “spying out” missions that generated the vast ethnographic data of the Indian people also involved detailed study of Dr KS Singh’s ‘People of India Project’ that was launched in 1985 by the Anthropological Society of India (ASI). Under Singh’s leadership, the ASI undertook an ambitious project to chart one of the most far-reaching ethnographic studies in the 20th century. Five hundred scholars spent over 26,000 field days to compile information for these volumes. This gigantic research work came handy for American and Indian strategists to draft their evangelical plans for India. According to Luis Bush, “Never before has this kind of information on India been so carefully surveyed, prepared, well published and distributed…We do not believe it is accidental. God is allowing us to “spy out the land” that we might go in and claim both it and its inhabitants for Him.”

The data collected by experts from Wycliffe/Summer Institute of Linguistics, World Vision (WV) and the International Mission Board/Southern Baptists to compile the Joshua Project Peoples list included a detailed and comprehensive list of the people groups in India as well. Though this may appear normal international research activity – generating ethnographic profiles of non-Christian people groups in the 10/40 window – there are unseen dangers inherent in the compilation of such accurate people-group profiles.

The CIA has publicly admitted to having used Wycliffe/SIL and the Southern Baptists for covert intelligence operations in many parts of the world. The cosy relationship between the Wycliffe and CIA is documented exhaustively in a book Thy Will Be Done written in the 1990s by Gerald Colby and Charlotte Dennett. The book documents joint CIA-Wycliffe missions to source anthropological data from Latin America. Here’s a quote from the book: “SIL had helped gather anthropological information on the Tarascan Indians that ended up in Nelson Rockefeller’s intelligence files. The files contained cross-references to reveal behavioural patterns among Indian peoples in everything from socialisation (including aggressive tendencies) and personality traits, drives, emotions, and language structure, to political intrigue, kinship ties, traditional authority, mineral resources, exploitation, and labor relations. Rockefeller called these data the Strategic Index of Latin America.” The question that will rattle not only the Indian government, but also outrage the Indian citizens is whether the American-funded “spying missions” carried out by Indian and foreign missionary agencies through more than a decade has resulted in the preparation of a ‘Strategic Index of India’ at the CIA headquarters?

Wycliffe, the Southern Baptists and World Vision have all been active in India as well. Could it be mere coincidence that Southern Baptists who are amongst President Bush’s most loyal supporters, played an active role in the “spying out” missions? In fact, Colby and Dennett’s book features a missionary of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, William Carlsen, who admits that he gave an eight-hour briefing to the CIA on Thailand’s tribal areas. In the mid-1970s when the CIA’s penetration of American missionary agencies made international headlines, the agency passed a self-limiting executive order to refrain from using foreign missionaries for intelligence gathering operations. Incidentally, it was George Bush Sr who in his first action as the new CIA director declared on February 11, 1976, that he would ban the practice of enlisting “clergymen and newsmen as intelligence agents.” But this was just public grandstanding, doublespeak to save the CIA not only from embarrassment, but protect its operations in Latin American countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. As soon as this announcement was made the CIA granted itself a private waiver. This was confirmed in April 1996 when the then CIA director, John Deutch, testifying before a Senate intelligence committee, said that the agency could waive the ban in cases “unique and special threats to national security.”

Faith-based policies of White House

Surprisingly, Bush’s supporters like the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), made laborious protests then to condemn the collaboration between missionaries and the intelligence agency. “Any foreigner living in a foreign culture already comes under a natural suspicion. If this policy is reversed, it would totally erode the ministry of missionaries,” said Jerry Rankin, the then president of the Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board. In effect, this amounted to a plea to the CIA to keep their most well publicized (and hardly noticed) secret guarded!! The very fact that CIA has been courting religious missionaries in India and elsewhere is testimony to the fact that US funded evangelical missions have an unparalleled reach to the remotest corners of the country. Christianity Today in its issue of April 29, 1996, carried the following comment by the NAE President Don Argue: “For intelligence agencies to seek any relationship whatsoever with our religious workers must be unequivocally prohibited.”

Yet, as recently as January 15, on a visit to the Union Bethel AME Church in New Orleans (this is a predominantly African-American congregation) Bush touted his faith-based initiatives. These initiatives are designed to break the constitutional sanctity of the separation of the State and the Church. Bush is desperate to entangle and enmesh faith-based organization as providers of various services. The Americans United For Separation of Church and State and some other inter-faith organisations have challenged the Bush plan for religious conversions. Americans United, founded in 1947, is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, DC. But, the Bush administration has relentlessly pushed its religious agenda. It has now become inextricably linked with not only its social services policies domestically, but also with US foreign policy and the disbursal of aid to US-based TMOs. “President Bush shows little appreciation or understanding of the separation of church and state. Bush is closely aligned with ultra-conservative Christian groups that have opposed church-state separation for years. It is obvious they have great influence over his domestic and foreign policy agendas,” Rob Boston, assistant director of communications, Americans United, told Tehelka.

These TMOs, themselves have been instrumental in influencing the faith-based policies of the Bush administration in the first place. Therefore, they in turn, by virtue of being Bush loyalists have carried the ‘Bush Religious Agenda’ to other countries, including India. While within the US this agenda “strikes at the heart of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment” of the US constitution, in the rest of the world, specially, India, it has vitally subverted its security and integrity. “The Religious Right organisations and fundamentalist Protestants groups have way too much influence over the Bush administration. Sadly, many Americans do not follow foreign policy decisions (with the exception of the war in Iraq) and are either not aware of what is happening or, more often, simply do not care. As a result, we are on the verge of dismantling the wall of separation of church and state in America-a policy that, if enacted, is bound to have negative repercussions around the world as fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity increasingly become the basis for foreign policy,” said Boston.

Crusade in India

India is key to the Bush religious agenda. His government has given grants to Christian charities that are involved in conversion activities in India. On October 3, 2002, the US department of health and human services announced that television evangelist, Pat Robertson’s charity, Operation Blessing, would be given demonstration grants through the so-called Compassion Capital Fund. Robertson’s organisation and the other “intermediaries” were free to distribute this federal grant (essentially American tax payers’ money) to religious groups and community groups of their choice to provide social services. In other words, there was no restriction on how the federal grants were to be used. In an interview to Newsweek three years ago Robertson said, “I’ve got 10 good years left,” and “my heart is on missions, and on getting people into the kingdom of God. That’s the main thrust of my life.” In the same interview, Robertson recalled fondly a recent crusade in India: “I spoke to a crowd of 500,000 people!” he said. “Eighty-two acres of people! The response was overwhelming.” Robertson’s Operation Blessing is very active in India through CBN India headquartered at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad.

Incidentally, Robertson deftly defrauded the Indian government because Indian laws do not permit issuance of visas to Christian missionaries. In response to an unstirred question (NO. 969) in the Lok Sabha on February 27, 2001 the minister of state for home , Vidyasagar Rao, responded that “no new missionaries are allowed after 1984. However, short term visas are being issued to the foreigners who are coming only in administrative capacity, to review working of their organisations etc.” Certainly, Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition in the US and head of the multi-million Christian Broadcasting Network, might have had “administrative” reasons to travel to India. But he, surely, did not have either the permission or the right to evangelise.

The Indian government has been caught napping. Rev Bush, head of a decade-long global evangelisation programme, visited India in January 2003. He was a guest of the Evangelical Fellowship of India and presumably traveled to India on a tourist visa. In the early years of 2000, many evangelists entered India fraudulently. Amongst them were extremist Christians like Don Noble, president of Maranatha Volunteers International affiliated to a fundamentalist Christian group, the Seventh Day Adventists and Pastor Michael Ryan, director of Global Mission, the Seventh Day Adventist church’s international outreach department which co-ordinates India evangelistic initiative. The US state department website makes no bones about the fact that American evangelists enter India by employing fraudulent means.

In the context of the fact that Robertson is one of America’s most rabid Christian fundamentalists, Bush’s largesse to him certainly has implications for India. In an interview broadcast on his own TV channel this is what Robertson had to say on one of the religions followed in India: “Hinduism and many of the occult activities that come out of the Orient are inspired by demons and demon worship…There’s this concept that all religions are the same and all are good. That is not true. The worship of the Devil is not good.” Robertson’s friend and fellow evangelist, Jerry Falwell, also a TV preacher, ignited anti-American violence across many countries in November 2002 when he called the Prophet Mohammad a “terrorist” on American television. In Jammu and Kashmir, Falwell’s emarks were published in local newspaper. As word spread protestors spilled out into the street pelting stones and shouting anti-American slogans.

The Oval Office centre

According to Americans United, “Robertson’s Operation Blessing, a $66 million-a-year agency, also has a controversial history…The controversy over Operation Blessing stretches back to 1994, when Robertson used his ‘700 Club’ daily cable television programme to raise funds for the charity. Robertson told viewers Operation Blessing was using cargo planes to aid refugees from Rwanda who had fled into the neighbouring nation of Zaire (now known as Congo) to escape a violent civil war…In fact, Robertson was using his planes to haul mining equipment in and out of Zaire for African Development Corporation, his for-profit diamond mining company.”

Incidentally, Robertson sought the Republican nomination for president in 1988 and later founded the Christian Coalition, a political group that has worked tirelessly to elect Republicans to public offices nationwide. Bush’s presidential election victory has been, by far, the coalition’s biggest success till date. After having installed a Christian fundamentalist as the President of America, Robertson stepped down as the president of the Christian Coalition in December 2001. The Washington Post, in a dispatch on December 24, 2001 noted that the religious right had found its “center in Oval office”. The writer of this dispatch, Diana Milbank wrote, “A procession of religious leaders who have met with him testify to his faith, while Websites encourage people to fast and pray for the president.”

For American evangelicals, Bush is “God’s man at this hour”. The Bush administration’s faith based initiatives-‘charitable choice’ as it is often calle-was one of his key campaign planks during the 2000 presidential campaign. In fact, as Texas governor, Bush had become a fervent advocate of this policy that enabled Christian religious organisations to evangelise while providing publicly financed service.

As president, Bush has expanded the ‘charitable choice’ approach to virtually all aspects of government aid-national and foreign. “In every instance when my administration sees a responsibility to help people, we will look first to faith-based institutions, to charities and to community groups that have shown their ability to save and change lives,” Bush told a rally in Indianapolis on July 22, 1999. Evangelists all over the world were and still continue to be happy with the language used by Bush, full of Biblical references and metaphors, as it is. “Saving Souls” is a common and often-used expression by evangelists all over the world to refer to religious conversion.

Exploiting the AIDS victims

On September 21, 2000, Bush wrote in USA Today that he would allocate $80 billion over 10 years in tax incentives to help churches (in America) provide social services. The US government has established an unparalleled partnership with Christian religious organisations. In the last week of September 2003, the US administration announced new rules enabling Christian religious institutions to access $20 billion worth of federal grants. Faith-based organisations can access and use this fund to deliver services from drug/alcohol de-addiction to prison reform to HIV/AIDS related care and support activities. The idea, of course, is to give opportunities to those who suffer to be “reborn”, just as Bush was after years of alcohol addiction.

Even though the Bush administration has denied that its initiatives support evangelical activities, the fact is that faith-based organisation use prayer and proselytising as an integral part of its provision of social services. After all, Bush has often cited his own “reborn” status to justify the interventions of faith based organisation in the social sector. In his autobiography, A Charge To Keep, itself a twist on a well-known hymn, Bush wrote that evangelist Billy Graham had “planted a mustard seed in my heart, and I started to change… It was the beginning of a new walk where I would recommit my heart to Jesus Christ.”

Bush has repeatedly singled out and praised faith-based organisations whose core philosophy is conversion while dispensing social services. During last year’s State of the Union speech his invited guests were Tonja Myles of the ‘Set Free Indeed Program’ at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Henry Lozano of Teen Challenge, California. Both programmes use religious conversion as treatment. Within the US, Bush’s praise for religious conversion programmes has raised concerns as well. Early into the Bush presidency, the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the US, made it plain that the president’s faith-based initiatives were essentially about conversion. In a press release on June 14, 2001, a representative of the Methodist Church, Rev. Eliezer Valentin Castanon, said: “No one can honestly believe that a program funded with tax dollars, which requires as a major component of treatment the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, will not advance religion.”

One faith-based programme that Bush goes gaga about is the prison-based InnerChange Freedom Initiative started by Charles Colson. Incidentally, Colson was one of the characters from the Watergate episode; he spent seven months in prison for obstructing justice in a one of the Watergate cases. “InnerChange is an intensive Bible-centered program, ostensibly open to inmates of all religious persuasions, but every month inmates are evaluated on whether they “demonstrate a belief in Jesus Christ,” wrote Robyn E Blumner, perspective columnist of the St Petersburg Times, on September 28, 2003. “Those inmates who fail to show the proper level of piety are removed and lose the special freedoms and privileges dangled before inmates as incentives to participate,” he added. Bush introduced InnerChange into the Texas prison system when he was governor. At present it operates in four states and the Bush government subsidises its conversion activities with the American tax-payers’ money.

What underlies all this is that the Bush administration’s conservative evangelical worldview has proliferated to countries like India. Here the Church and Christian NGOs have been involved for a long time in the provision of voluntary social service. But churches and Christian NGOs in India and the trans-national (read American) faith-based NGOs who have a large presence in India have gleefully responded to the message emanating from the White House. Bush’s support for religious conversion has happened on the persuasive power of the dollar. It is safe to say that almost all evangelical organisations in India and non-Catholic churches and the Christian NGOs get their funding from their American patrons or from USAID. These groups, like CARE or World Vision tend to Christian social workers and consciously infuse Christian religiosity as part of the help they provide to socially and economically marginalised communities.

Holistic development tactics

World Vision, the world’s largest Christian church mission agency, has traditionally been closely linked with successive American governments. The former US Ambassador for International Religious Freedoms, Dr Robert Seiple, was WV chief for 11 years till 1998 when he was picked by former president, Bill Clinton, to head the office of International Religious Freedoms. Around the period when Seiple was the president of WV, its vice-president from 1993 to 1998 was Andrew S. Natsios. He is now the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). For more than 40 years, USAID has been the leading government agency providing economic and humanitarian assistance to developing countries.

WV’s focus is children and community development. It is involved in more than 162 projects in 25 states. It projects its community development programmes as “holistic development”. This is implemented through Area Development Programmes (ADP). Each ADP works in an area that is contiguous geographically, economically or ethnically. These programmes provide access to clean drinking water, healthcare, education and setting up of income generating projects. But infused with such development works is the spiritual component-Bible classes.

In India, WV projects itself as a “Christian relief and development agency with more than 40 years experience in working with the poorest of the poor in India without respect to race, region, religion, gender or caste.” However, Tehelka has in its possession US-based WV Inc.’s financial statement filed before the Internal Revenue Service, wherein, it is classified as a Church ministry. In any case, its mission statement is self-explanatory: “World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in working with the poor and oppressed, to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the Good News of the Kingdom of God.”

Though, WV, has consultative status with UNESCO and partnerships with UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and ILO, the fact is that its financial records reveal that it has funded evangelical activities all over the world, including India. WV uses its international clout and its close links with the US government through USAID to network with governments and corporate entities in the developing world.

WV has an ongoing channel of interaction with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII); its 2003 financial report it states that “the Rural Development Department of the Government of Assam recognised WV India as a leading development agency in the state and has recommended that WV be the choice for receiving bilateral funds. The government has also sought WV’s assistance in creating a proposal for US$ 80 million for development work in the state.”

The income and expenditure account for the year ended September 30, 2002 shows that its total income was Rs 95.5 crores, which included foreign contribution of Rs 87.8 crores. For an organisation that claims to be only involved in development and relief work, it is quite stealthy about its positioning and exact nature of activities. When approached by Tehelka as part of its undercover operation for an interview, WV India’s national director, Dr Jayakumar Christian, after having agreed to the interview backed out because he wanted copies of the fictitious Christian magazine that Tehelka claimed to be representing.

However, what goes unnoticed by the governments and the corporate world is WV India’s evangelical missions as part of its development agenda. Proselytisation is an integral part of its provision of development services under its much-touted ADP programmes. Though none of the literature published by WV India even mentions its evangelisation missions, foreign publications of WV India proudly proclaim its “spiritual” component.

Take for instance, WV New Zealand’s report (4 September 2002) on the funding of ADP in Dahod, Gujarat. Under the head, ‘spiritual development’ the report states: “Held a vacation Bible school for 150 children from different villages. The children participated in games, Bible quizzes, drama and other activities. Organised a one-day spiritual retreat for 40 young people and a children’s Christmas party. Each of Dahod’s 45 villages chose five needy children to attend the party.” In Dumaria, Banka district, eastern Bihar, “the ADP supports local churches by running leadership-training courses for pastors and church leaders.”

What has an ADP got to do with running leadership-training courses for pastors and church leaders? Incidentally, WV New Zealand funds ADP programmes in the tribal pockets of India. The New Zealand Government’s Voluntary Agencies Support Scheme (VASS) jointly fund the two-year project, the NZ government matching WV contributions on a 2:1 basis. There are many other instances of evangelical programmes run by WV India.

In the Gajapati ADP, situated in Gumma Block of Orissa’s Gajapati district, a WV report admits that “Canadian missionaries have worked in the area for just over 50 years and today 85-90 percent of the community is Christian. However, local church leaders had little understanding of the importance of their role in community development. ADP staff build relationships with these leaders to improve church co-operation and participation in development initiatives.” Here WV organised two training camps for local church leaders in holistic development.

Targeting the tribals

In Mayurbhanj, again in Orissa, WV regularly organises spiritual development programmes as part of its ADP package. The WV report says: “Opposition to Christian workers and organisations flares up occasionally in this area, generally from those with vested interests in tribal people remaining illiterate and powerless. WV supports local churches by organising leadership courses for pastors and church leaders.” 

WV India is active in Bhil tribal areas and openly admits its evangelical intentions: “The Bhil people worship ancestral spirits but also celebrate all the Hindu festivals. Their superstitions about evil spirits make them suspicious of change, which hinders community development. ADP staff live among the Bhil people they work with, gaining the villagers’ trust and showing their Christian love for the people by their actions and commitment.”

This being the case it is not suprising that WV India was honoured with the 2003 Mahatma Gandhi Award for Social Justice. This award is hosted by the All India Christian Council. Incidentally, Joseph D’Souza who was AICC’s President during that year also heads an evangelical network, Operation Mobilisation, in India. OM, again, is an American TMO. It was founded by Georg Verwer and today is a global ministry “committed to working in partnership with churches and other Christian organisations for the purpose of World mission.”

Essentially, Bush has sparked off a theological fight between those Christian organisations who believe that their expression of faith is serving the marginalised, dispossessed and hungry in a non-sectarian way and the others who believe that the only way to bring change and reform is by Bible thumping. Unfortunately, the Bible thumpers are winning and they are being underwritten by the American tax payers.

What they are probably not aware is that missionaries in India’s back of the beyond villages, like Karala, (see box) have been pulled into Bush’s missionary zeal. Sadly, while Pastor Prabhat Nayak is deeply committed to bring the villagers of Karala to Christ, he is unaware that Christian evangelical theology and money doled out by the White House threatens to rip apart the social fabric of India.

The US administration headed by Bush is the most overtly religious in memory. Numerous press reports in America and Europe have highlighted instances where “cabinet meetings start with prayers and where no presidential speech is complete without some statement of Christian faith.” His foreign policy often seems rooted in biblical theology. The world has already seen Christianity vs Islam being played out in the war debate over Iraq. The Christian Right is solidly behind Bush’s Christianity First policy. Richard Land, a key leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, has strongly supported Bush’s faith-based foreign policy. By the way, Land, is a key member of US government’s Committee on International Religious Freedoms.

The Southern Baptists fiercely believe in conversion. Not many would know that people like Land oversee the US International Religious Freedoms report. The 2003 report is a no-nonsense document that conveys the official US policy supporting evangelisation. It openly admits that “US officials have continued to engage state officials on the implementation and reversal of anti-conversion laws.” Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“This act (Foreigners Act) strictly prohibits visitors who are in the country on tourist visas from engaging in religious preaching without first obtaining permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Given this context, the Government discourages foreign missionaries from entering the country and has a policy of expelling foreigners who perform missionary work without the correct visa…New missionaries currently enter as tourists on short-term visas. U.S. citizens accused of religious preaching while visiting India as tourists have faced difficulties obtaining permission to return to the country for up to a decade after the event.”

Christian NGOs in India

The Bush administration’s prescription of religiosity as social policy has gratified the religious Right in the US. The proponents of faith-based initiatives want US government funds to go to those churches and Christian NGOs that consider conversion as part of rehabilitation activities. Since the USAID funds Christian NGOs in India and also since US trans-national Chrisitian NGOs like World Vision and CARE are heavily involved in development initiatives in India, their role in evangelical activities is not a matter of conjecture.

It is, of course, another matter that USAID plays a vital role in intelligence gathering operations for the CIA. President John F Kennedy had established USAID, along with the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress, “all three designed in part to stem the spread of communism.” The link between the CIA and Christian missionary groups is USAID. This is written in great detail in Thy Will Be Done. Here’s a quote again: “…That June, President Nixon’s director of (US) AID, John Hannah, had admitted publicly that AID had funded CIA operations in Laos, and subsequent revelations pointed to CIA-AID collaboration in Ecuador, Uruguay, Thailand and the Phillippines.” In fact, CIA-supported missionaries were embroiled in counter-insurgency operations, civil wars and were more often than not conduits for arms and armaments for Christian insurgent groups all over the world.

Under President Bush’s fundamentalist Christian government, the era of CIA-USAID-Evangelicals partnership has come back with a roar. And a world caught up in “War on Terror” and the search for elusive weapons of mass destruction, has had no time to notice.

In any case, aid dispensed by USAID was hardly meant to spur development. During the Cold War, it was meant to keep the former Soviet Union at bay and to keep afloat, bloated, venal and corrupt regimes all over the world. 
Including Saddam’s.

In a research paper titled ‘Bush and Foreign Aid’, for the journal Foreign Affairs (September/October 2003), Steven Radelet, who was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from January 2000 to June 2002 and is now a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, wrote: “One of the greatest surprises of George W Bush’s presidency so far has been his call to dramatically increase U.S. foreign aid…(in September 2002) Bush released his National Security Strategy, which gave prominence to development and aid alongside defense and diplomacy. Then came his State of the Union address, in which he called for $10 billion in new funding ($ 15 billion total) over the next five years to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.”

Radelet went on to reveal that US foreign aid increase from $11 billion in 2002 to $18 billion in 2006 is the largest increase in decades. This from a Republican president whose party has traditionally demonstrated antagonism toward foreign aid. USAID’s change of fortune is nothing short of miraculous. In the 1990s it almost disappeared into oblivion because US assistance to poor countries declined by 25 percent. September 11 brought the issue of foreign aid back into limelight.

Nothing can illustrate this better than the example of Sudan. This oil rich country has for years been caught in a debilitating and destructive civil war that has pitted a Muslim government centred in the north against the southern Christians. But the recent discovery of oil in Sudan has changed the dynamics of the conflict and, as luck would have it, the oil was struck in the Islamic, northern Sudan. So human rights groups and Christian missionary organisations have been crying themselves hoarse over the “brutal anti-Christian campaign of the Muslim government” and the “persecution of the non-Muslims.” In the same breath Christian fundamentalists like Rev Franklin Graham and Senator Sam Brownback have pressured Bush to assist the rebels. Pressure is also suddenly being mounted internationally and within the US for “diplomatic intervention” to “end the conflict and prevent a disastrous famine” in the country.

And guess who is making the loudest noises about Sudan? Christian Solidarity International. It is working overtime to influence the US Congress and British parliament. Over the last decade, USAID has spent $1.2 billion, most of it to support the SPLA, the Christian rebel group in Southern Sudan. The CIA-USAID-Missionary partnership story in Sudan is completed when the last block of the jigsaw puzzle is put in place-Andrew S Natsios.

Natsios was appointed administrator of USAID on May 1, 2001. But President Bush gave him two other hats to wear as well-special coordinator for international disaster assistance and special humanitarian coordinator for Sudan. Ostensibly, Bush wants to ensure that aid reaches the people of Sudan as opposed to being stolen and misappropriated by the Sudanese government.

The fact that aid deliveries have for so long been stolen by the Christian rebel groups, of course, did not even merit a mention.

Natsios has earlier served in USAID from 1989 to 1993 heading two of its vital departments. It’s a strange co-incidence that during the time when CIA backed American missionary agencies were receiving ethnographic data from “spying missions” set up by American evangelical organisations in India, Natsios was associated with World Vision, which, in turn, was involved in analysing the ethnographic data along with Wycliffe and the Southern Baptists.

Post-9/11 strategy

Under the Bush Presidency, the post-9/11 period has been marked by two key initiatives: support to “frontline countries” that are helping US in its “war on terror” and appear committed to development and humanitarian issues like HIV/AIDS, poverty, and economic inequality. What is striking, however, is that the Bush administration, in its efforts to project US as a “soft power” as opposed to a marauding military superpower, has relied and been influenced disproportionately by faith-based groups and 
institutions.

And given the fact that Bush administration officials regularly hold consultations with Church groups and leaders, it is not surprising that American evangelical missions have found a deep reservoir of support with the US government for their activities in India and elsewhere. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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