Dirty Business of Conversion – An Anecdote

published on October 31, 2012

I had been to Kerala for Onam. I took the Garib Rath train from Yeswantpur to Kochuveli. When I woke up in the morning, the train was running between Thrissur and Ernakulam. I noticed this man only in the morning because he got in from some station in between. He was about 55 years old. Well dressed in full sleeve shirt, executive pants and shoes etc. He had a nice watch and was carrying a nice mobile phone. I thought he was a north Indian and he appeared like a senior executive of some company.

There was a girl sitting on the opposite seat. She appeared like one of the many a Malayali professionals working in IT companies in Bangalore. When I came to know that she is working for a company where I had worked previously, I started chatting with her. Slowly subjects like Thiruvannamalai, Ramana Maharshi, Yoga etc came in our conversion. I noticed that, off and on our conversation was attracting the other man’s attention. But he never joined in our conversation.

After some more time this man got a call on his mobile. This is what I heard… “I am in the train…now reaching Kottayam…three people have requested for prayers…this trip is for that… many are calling us…most of them Hindus and couple of others also…my target this year is to baptize atleast 30 people…later this year we have planned for a US trip. Planning to visit Texas, San Francisco, Denver and all…”

His phone conversation went on like that for some more time. I was shocked and couldn’t believe my ears. He was no executive or officer of any company. He was a high class preacher. This is the first time I came face to face with a preacher who openly said that he has a target number to achieve. His confidence, the money power which was evident from his accessories and appearance, his connections abroad, his image of a well educated polished and respectable man…and then his dirty business of hunting prey for his religion… all these things left me amazed. I felt that this guy was definitely a highly paid, and highly successful preacher. Soon the train reached the station and this man got down there.

I was curious to know what my co passenger girl thinks about this type of preaching. She said she also heard his conversation…and started telling her experience. What I heard from her was yet another shocking story. She has her younger sister studying for Engineering now. When that girl was preparing for the entrance test, she was under tremendous mental pressure. Though their parents tried to pacify her and advised her not to worry about the results, she said her sister was very worried. She had a hostel mate, a Christian friend who was also preparing for entrance test. Her sister used to visit her friend’s house for combine study. That friend’s parents were psychiatrists. Needless to say, this Christian parents used their counseling as a garb to induce Christian faith in her sister. Her family was not aware of these happenings. After some time when her sister came back home for short visits, they noticed some changes. No belief in temples which she used to visit frequently…unheard of questions about hell, sin, salvation etc etc. On one fine morning, this girl happened to get in to the room of her sister. She was welcomed by the sight of konthas, crosses, jesus photos and bible sayings stuck on the walls of her sister’s study room. She said, “I pulled out all those and immediately informed my daddy. Though my daddy was shocked hearing this, he didn’t loose his mind. Slowly we came to know how it all happened. He changed her stay from the hostel and immediately after the entrance, brought her back home”. Then it took some time for the family to get her sister back to her normal senses.

I couldn’t help congratulate this girl for her respect towards our culture and for her timely action to save her sister from the clutches of devilish evangelism. By this time the train had reached the station where she was supposed to get down. Actually she was so involved in the talk that she didn’t notice it. I had to remind her and see her off.

Dear friends, as we read this, and as we sleep and wake up, our people are being trapped and taken away. These two incidents show how vulnerable our youngsters are. Our culture and infact our everything is being grabbed slowly and steadily. We are loosing the sand from below our toes… This type of corporate style marketing of religion and aggressive conversions make people only psychic than making them spiritual. We need to work towards putting an end to this.

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