Clever guide by Christians to circumvent anti-conversion law

via VSK-Chennai published on July 21, 2006

Minority Gospel Rights Protection Forum in Simmakkal, Madurai, Tamilnadu, have brought out a booklet in Tamil captioned “Approach to combat Anti Conversion Law”. This booklet of 56 pages outlines under 13 chapters the methods to be observed for this purpose by individual Christian members. It is mentioned in the booklet that this is being published with a view to educate the Christian Missionary involved in conversion on the Legal aspects of the Law. Some excerpts from this Booklet are given below.


In the article under the headline ‘Position of Indian Christians today’, the following are the facts accepted by them.


The position of the Indian Christians in the beginning of the 21st century is in contravention of the basic Christian Principles. It is a common practice nowadays for Christians to pass by another Christian even without wishing him. The reasons that can be attributed for this are, lack of unity, disrespect to others, lack of tolerance, economic disparity, casteism, greed for money, division of rich and poor, different churches for different castes, desire to capture power of clergy, exercising hired muscle power, talking ill of other Christian sects, churches engaged in amassing wealth, luxurious life, misbehaviour,  misconduct, etc.


By this Booklet, they have themselves demystified the common belief that Christianity is pure, lovable and service-minded.


Another chapter headlined “Today’s position of churches and Christian missionaries”, discloses the fact that instead of preaching the teachings of Christ, speeches degrading other churches are made, and more time is spent on minor rituals and functions.  This is advised to be avoided as this dampens the enthusiasm of the people to come to churches.


In Western countries, churches are being sold for the simple reason that they have lost the godliness and are turning into Recreation clubs and money-earning organizations. Disgusted by this, people have stopped attending the church.  It is felt that this position is spreading here also.


The following are a few of the tips given in the chapter with the headline “Methodology for rapid spread of Christianity”,:


1.      No church should act or encourage any caste.

2.      No caste rift should be there in clergy elections

3.      There should not be any caste segregation in cemetery.

4.      No church or missionary should collect any money either from its

own members or from new converts or from other religion members by coercion or threat, as this will antagonise the public and give an impression that churches are money-grabbers.


“Unlike in Hindu Faith, there is no caste difference in Christianity.  Equality and fraternity are keystones in this religion.”  These are the oft-repeated phrases of Tirumavalavan of Dalit Panther and Dr. Krishnaswamy of Puthiya Thamizhagam (Dalit political parties). Much to the chagrin of these two speakers campaigning vociferously for Christianity, the contents of the booklet admittedly reveal that these qualities do not exist nowadays.  God save these two Hindus campaigning for Christianity.


Following are the directions given in the chapter “Precautions to be taken  while effecting conversion”. No documents either for conversion or baptism should be given to the converts. 


No recording in any register is to be made. Visual testimonies like photographs, videos, etc. should be completely avoided.  On no account, the people converted should adopt new Christian names. Each church should get to know themselves voluntarily the personal details of the people being converted, to avert the possibility of RSS or VHP activists being converted. The reason for this is the fear that these RSS/VHP activists would, before conversion, pretend and say that  the  conversion is free from coercion, but subsequently after conversion will complain that they were converted by coercion and were tempted with cash.  This will lead to litigation.


An easy method to convert either an individual or a group or family, is to take them to the nearby State, like Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh and effect the conversion there.  Since there is no Anti-conversion Law in these States, no case can be booked against them in Tamilnad.


For marriages under the Christianity Act, both the bridegroom and the bride should be Christians.  If one of them is a non-Christian, conversion should not be made for purpose of marriage under the Christianity Act.  The marriage should be got registered under the Tamilnad Marriage Registration Act.   The fear here is that when a strife or misunderstanding erupts between them later, it is possible that the convert may allege that the conversion was effected by lure of cash or girl.


Another guideline that is given while converting SC/ST and Backward classes is that no written document  evidencing the conversion should be given to them.  Instead of telling them that they are being ‘converted’, they should be told that they are only ‘changing  their mind’ and are following the teachings of Jesus Christ. No changes are to be effected in their education or other certificates as this change will deprive them of the facilities they are getting from the Government.


When the Hindu organizations pointed out that SC/ST and Backward classes continue to enjoy the concession even after conversion, the churches were denying this:  but in this booklet, this fact has been inadvertently accepted.


In page 22, the chapter, “Religious congregations – Legal guidance”, advises not to mention the people of other religions as ‘sinners’. In public meetings or in private TV channels while canvassing for the religion, speakers should avoid addressing the people of other religions as sinners,  talking ill of their method of worship or beliefs,  tell them that hell awaits them, etc.


In fact, the demand of the Hindu organizations all these days was to tell them to refrain from such talks, but this went unheeded.  Due to the Anti-Conversion Law, through this booklet speakers have been bridled. Apart from all the above, guidelines have been given for Legal safeguards against various religious crimes.


To put it in the nutshell, the purpose of this booklet seems to educate all concerned in conversion, as to how to go about conversion without getting entangled under this Act, and to give all Legal procedures.  It is now the turn of the Hindus to be agile and alert to prevent the covert and overt actions of the Christians and defeat them. Only then, we can prevent their illegal actions and methods to over-ride the Anti-Conversions Act. It is foolish to think that by enacting the Law, conversion will not take place as this booklet gives possible ways to circumvent the provisions of the Law without getting caught.

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