From the lessons learned, ‘Secular’ Nepal bans religious conversion, but ‘Secular’ India still hesitates


Nepal’s action over banning religious conversion is courageous and imparts a lesson to the largest democracy India.   

After declaring itself as a secular state and after witnessing strong protests from Hindu Nationalists, Nepal enacted a law that criminalizes religious conversions and evangelism. It Brought the government under some backlash by minority groups. The state of Nepal passed this mandate which deems religious conversion illegal. Nepal had seen Christian missionary and conversion activities when it was affected by an earthquake. From a statistical point of view, conversions and spiritual campaigns escalate in conflict/disaster affected areas. Nepal also saw these religious aid groups who were trying to convert earthquake victims behind the curtain of Relief and Aid.  The government declared conversions illegal as it found out that it will disturb the ethnicity and cultural foundation of the country.


Catholic Relief Services_Nepal
Nepal witnessed the thousands of bibles reached out during the earthquake relief work. (Photo: CRS)

Hindu natives groups have taken it to the streets to protest against the term of Secularism into the constitution. They started voicing their concerns and aggression at the government over adapting the western notion of secular state.

The already established Christian institutions and churches are opposing the concerns raised over secularism and illegal conversions. While Christians making it sound like an apocalyptic decision, people should realize that the evangelical community can never even be considered as a minority as there Christianity is the dominant religion in the world.

ETHNIC COMMUNITIES PERISHED UNDER FORCEFUL CONVERSION

History has witnessed forcible conversions and wiping out of ethnic communities by dominant dynasties with their religion. Forced conversions almost ran like a plague which claimed several lives under brutal torture and mental dogma. Forced religious conversions were rampant in every age in practically every part of the world.

  1. 392 Emperor

Theodosius of Roman Empire declared only Christianity as Legal.

It resulted in persecution of pagans and banning of pagan practices.

      2.    During Medieval age, Western Europe saw forcible conversions of Europeans who were not Christians into Christianity.

It resulted in perishing of Germanic Paganism,

Huge populations of Jews were also converted to Christianity during 11th and 13th century.

The massacre of Verden, Saxon wars, Rhineland Massacre and Worms massacre took place.

      3.Early modern Iberian Peninsula. , Muslims and Jews were forcefully converted, and many were expelled too.

It resulted in forming of Morisco and Morano communities. These were the converted Christians from the Muslim and Jewish communities.

Formed Spanish inquisition. This inquisition started imposing torture, suppressing heresies, detention, and accusation of other community, censorship of books and many such extreme measures to enforce the Christian rule.

      4. Eastern Europe too saw mass Christian conversions under the command of Vladimir the great, after he got baptized.

Resulted in the mass baptism of Kiev’s citizens, the pagan population of Baltics losing land and property and faced a campaign of forceful conversion

Muslims, Jews, and pagans faced torture, slaughter, expulsion, forced resettlement, and conversion.

      5. Portuguese carried out religious persecution in Goa which was called Goa Inquisition. Conversion and killings were executed in large numbers by foreign Portuguese rulers.

Resulted In deaths of thousands of Hindus and destruction of 100s of the temples. Hindu Literature and art also got abolished.

In Goa, most of them Hindus were tortured, raped and murdered for forceful conversions by Portuguese invaders and rulers. 300 Hindu temples were destroyed. Temples in Assolna and Candolim were also damaged. 15-16-Year-Olds were forcefully compelled to listen to Christian preaching. Konkani language was suppressed, and compulsory Portuguese was introduced. All non-christian symbols and books were banned too.

      6. Conversion of Native Americans to Christianity with sword, torture and brainwash by Christian rulers and missionaries is one of the blackest periods in America’s History.

It resulted in wiping down the culture of Native Americans/Indians. Indians were deemed as savages and often looked down upon the ‘superior lifestyle of European Christians.’ Propaganda against native American culture by re-education schemes forcefully converting Indians to Christians.

4 million native Americans were killed in 4 years by Christopher Colombus. It was just the beginning., Other millions of native Americans were killed in many following years. They went through cultural genocide, rape, torture, kidnapping of children and several brutalities.

Source: Wiki

The above events are just a few of the countless crimes and murders are done for Christianity and Christian gains. These are the historical references. Today’s conversion tactics are far more evolved to suited to evade today’s law and blindfold the people in the name of Religious freedom.

Now… religious freedom sounds all good and sweet.. But one can only anticipate the outcome of too much religious freedom in the coming decades. Considering the facts from the past and also from the modern time, it is sure that if Christians are allowed to execute their “Holy missions” then Nepal’s Cultural Identity and the foundation would die and in the coming years, Christianity will largely prevail in most parts of the country.

CASES OF CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS IN INDIA DURING NATURAL DISASTERS/CONFLICT

The attempts to convert victims of natural disaster is a never-missed-goal by missionaries. During the 2004 Tsunami in Chennai, Nagapattinam witnessed several efforts by Christian faith group such as Gospel for Asia (GFA) to try and convert the victims during a time of grief. They try to convince poor people that their idol worship is bringing them bad luck and only Christ is the ultimate way to salvation. GFA also mysteriously set up an orphanage in the southern coastal village of Akkaraipettai and 108 children, mostly Hindus were taken in and were forced to sing Christian hymns and prayers six times a day. Southern Baptists cashed in excellent opportunities to convert tsunami affected Hindus. They saw some success too! But who could anticipate that Christian groups denied them Aid when they refused to convert to Christianity.

Uttarakhand saw the indulgence of many ‘Spirits of Zion’ to achieve their zionist gains. Fanatic Christian emissaries came rushing to deliver their word of god to affected lives. People couldn’t see the veil of religious propaganda underlying in this ‘noble work.’ These groups were distributing Bibles and conducting Christian prayers. Interestingly, the government was doing nothing for the relief of the people and such organizations were given a free pass to perform their jobs. Since there was no help from the government, even the local government could do nothing but watch these godly NGOs going village by village and converting them. Again! These are just two examples of conversions! There are many to speak of!

Christian missionaries funded in billions by the Vatican and ‘charitable’ organizations from across the world is quick in spreading its tentacles to traumatized regions to lure the people into Christianity. It is a behavior observed globally!

Related: When Nepal was groaning in earthquake, Christian Missionaries were shamelessly selling Jesus

WHAT COULD GO WRONG IF CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS ARE ALLOWED?

If Christian groups are given a free ticket to their holy work then it’s just a matter of 1 or 2 decades, a majority of Indian states will be declared as Hindu minority regions. Some tactics played by them are blunt, and some are secretive. Because Nepal saw some missionary work during the disaster, it is wake up call that they are working their best to achieve their religious gains. Given some years, this will then add to the rise of Christianity in the land. India had Christian population of 2.3% in 2001. It has now escalated to 5.84% in 2011 according to a census. Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay put up a PIL in Supreme Court seeking minority status for Hindus in 8 states. Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, J&K, Lakshadweep, Manipur, and Punjab has Hindus as a minority in today’s date. Even though the advocate is fighting for some minority rights denied to Hindus, it is a sad fact that Hindus have gradually gone minority in these states. It’s not the case where our community was a minority since the beginning, but instead, it has slowly come down! Native Americans abolished from their lands, In the same manner, finally losing their identity and culture! So it puts up a more significant question whether religious freedom should be allowed or not after witnessing so much manipulation by Christian and other converting groups!

WHY CAN’T INDIA PASS SUCH A LAW?

With the facts and statistics out, what is stopping India to stop this excessive religious freedom? By observing the gradual decline of Hindus in 8 states of India, Religious conversions should have been already banned. But who could stop these missionaries from converting people when political leaders are affiliated with them for political as well as economic gains. Some eye-raising converts to Christianity from Hinduism show how powerful is the influence of missionary groups. Many Christian and Muslim leaders are in the political front of India which makes it more difficult to bring such a law in our secular country! It is interesting how Christian groups and Muslim groups get away after their conversion programmes and just a word of Hindutva in a Hindu majority country sparks off big debates and opposition from various organizations and leaders with different sentiments! The minority appeasement facet of the government is a heartbreak when they play the game of vote bank! Today, it is an open fact that religious communities are playing their politics with affiliation political parties! But what makes it so hard to take some action to protect the Hindu demographics of our country?

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