On December 25th when the whole world was celebrating the birth of the Jesus Christ, churches were burning in Orissa. As per confirmed estimates 11 churches had been burnt. On December 27th Religious leaders in the national capital expressed their anguish over the continuing attacks on the churches in Orissa, saying violence in any form is unacceptable. But something that which really bothered me was one of the statements, by Swami Shantatmanand – Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission in New Delhi – published in Indian Express, that which read ‘Hinduism teaches us to respect and acknowledge the validity of all other religion.’ I am yet to understand as to why was he saying so? Or what made him to make that statement? Is he trying to portray that some Hindus had did those deeds? But how can you say without investigation is complete and report is out?
Reports do say that the attacks on Churches had begun on Christmas after assault on a VHP leader and until today 11 Churches and Prayer houses were ransacked and torched by ‘suspected saffron activists’ in several areas of Kandhamal districts in Orissa. But who attacked the VHP leader? It isn’t clear. Overall for many people the situation may just look, as if, ‘VHP people had attacked in response to the assault on their leader’. That’s simply not it. But, there is more to it.
Recently I happened to read Edward Gibbons ‘Decline and Fall of Roman Empire’. In the book he makes observation on early Christians and their tactics for conversion. Here he quotes a Roman proconsul who wrote that Christians have a very effective method of getting noticed and portraying themselves as ‘Victims’ in order to advance their cause. Whenever, a minute transgression or even an attempt is made to implement law against them they make such a fuss and in such a rowdy manner that one would think that a ‘great injustice’ had been committed to them.
Christianity does not have a notable reputation for tolerance and respect for other religions. ‘The Christian need to convert the entire world’ has been an historical obsession that continues in major Christian fundamentalist groups even today, both Protestant and Catholic. The Christian Missionary’s failure to honor other religions, particularly non-biblical traditions, is well known, with Christians still denigrating the sophisticated yogic traditions of Asia as mere superstition, idolatry and polytheism. Christian missionaries have had a reputation for using methods to promote conversion that are not always honest, including employing military and political force during the colonial era. Their targeting of the poor and illiterate for conversion shows that they don’t like open debates in the light of the day. Yet Christians like to ignore such inconvenient facts while posing as peaceful people concerned with human welfare, not with conversion. They are surprised if members of other religion are suspicious of them, even if they look at these religions and condemn them as works of the Devil. They feel easily hurt and insulted should anyone ‘question their motives’.
In the modern secular world, Christians along with Muslims, now demand conversion as a democratic right, even though their religion is authoritarian, and not democratic, accepting only one way, and not honoring pluralism in approaching the ‘Divine’. They offer no freedom of choice about the ‘Savior’ or the book or the creed that can bring salvation and there is little tolerance for those who choose another way outside their faith. Europe had to reject the church and Christian dogma in order to become democratic over the past several centuries, considering this; Christian churches are the last people on earth who should be talking about ‘democratic rights’. It is merely a smokescreen for promoting their own agendas, spreading their authoritarian and exclusivist beliefs, recklessly eliminating other cultures and religions along the way.
Years before there were serial church bombings in South India. It proved that the charges made by Christian leaders against Hindu organizations for the bombings were unfounded, if not malicious. However instead of admitting their mistake Christian leaders and organizations started a propaganda campaign, again blaming the Hindu organizations for ‘creating an atmosphere’ that led to these crimes! The arrests in this regard, in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, had shown that Deendal Anjuman, a Muslim organization led by a Pakistani National was behind most of the bomb blasts and attacks on Christian groups in South India. The Christian response has been to ignore or deny the report, though it is quite well documented and occurred in states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, not ruled by the so called ‘Hindu BJP’. For further details, I sincerely suggest you to, read ‘Church Blasts: Truth and Propaganda’ by S Y Seshagiri Rao.
Christians in India, who exaggerate such minor incidents into a National or International anti-Hindu propaganda, somehow never speak of the fact that ‘More churches have been burnt in America in recent years than in India. Several dozen Black American churches were burnt to the ground. Christian priests and ministers are also robbed, assaulted and sometimes killed in all Western countries in numbers unlike what occurs in India. We should note that many more priests in America have been arrested for sexual molestation of children than have priests been assaulted in India. Should we use that to make conclusions about the nature of Christianity?
Did you know the fact that many more pagans were killed by Christians, and thousands of pagan temples were destroyed throughout Europe? The great Greek (Neo Platonic) Academy in Alexandria was destroyed and its illustrious scholars like Hypatia killed by Cyril – ‘Saint Cyril’. The number of Native Americans killed or forcibly converted by Catholics was also in the many millions, and yet the Catholics emphasize a few priests martyred by Native Americans as being the ‘real victims’. Such and more are stories of ‘Christian Oppression’.
Hinduism is a religion of openness. We appreciate all gods and deities. We have never said that we are the ‘only way’ like many of the Semitic faiths. We have no problems acknowledging greatness of Allah, Jehovah or Jesus. We have done that many a times. Didn’t we? But Christian missionaries have, instead, used it as a pretext to promote Christian superiority, not to reciprocate with honoring Hinduism and its sages and yogis. They say Christ must be great because Hindus honor him. They don’t honor Hindu teachers in return. The hypocrisy of the whole thing is easy to see. It shows the condescending attitude towards Hindus, thinking that they can bully them or appeal to their tolerance by a feigned persecution. It wholly proves that Christians Missionaries are still promoting a medieval religion that will not honor other religions and is still seeking world domination by any means fair or foul. If we count the victims of Christian aggression on one side and the Christian themselves who have been victimized we will find that the victims of Christianity are overwhelming in the majority. While some Christians have apologized to African and Native American groups for such missionary misdeeds, the Hindus have so far not received any such apology, though they have suffered from the same methods. The reason is that the missionaries have not yet triumphed in India. The apology, like crocodile tears, comes only after the victim is dead.
I would trust those missionaries only if they say that Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and other Indian religions are as good as Christianity. Let Christians say clearly that members of other religions will not go to hell but will gain immortality in the presence of God by following what is good in their own teachings.
Writes David Frawley ‘As a former Catholic I know in what little esteem the Church holds Hinduism and Buddhism with all their great sages and yogis. Christianity, like Islam, sees tolerance not as a virtue to be emulated but as a weakness to be exploited. Were Christians really to honor Hinduism as a valid religion all Hindu-Christian hostility could easily come to an end. As long as Christians hold that their alone is the True Faith and are working to convert the members of other religion in one way or another, they should not be surprised if members of other religions do not welcome their presence.’ In his book ‘The Missionary Ploy.’
It is only a matter of time before Missionary Christianity is seen for what is imperialism in the name of God and Christ, the proverbial Wolf in the sheep’s clothing. It is a political, worldly movement with little spirituality in it. Unfortunately such Christians confuse the real Divine work, which is improving us through introspection, with the institutional work of imposing a single belief upon all humanity. This political view of religion has no place in global age of consciousness that is dawning in enlightened minds all over the world today. The quicker it comes to an end, the better it will be for all of humanity.
The author is Editor-In-Chief of Aseemaa: Journal for National Resurgence and can be contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org