Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Snippets On Religious Conversion

Dear Friends,
In view of the ongoing debate and discussion over the activities of the Christian missionaries and conversion in India I

thought the attached article written sometime in March 2006 might interest you.

Best wishes

B.M.N.Murthy, 25th Sept 2008

--Snippets from Here and There

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: After Swami Vivekananda delivered his speech in the Parliament of Religions at Chicago in September 1893, he toured America extensively and delivered several lectures on different subjects. The subject for the fifth lecture delivered at Detroit on 21st February 1894 was “Hindus and Christians”. The Detroit Free Press, a newspaper from Detroit, which covered the function, reported as under. The following are a few selected paragraphs from the report: Relevant paragraphs are only reproduced:
“In the course of his address Swamiji told the audience about the Christian missionaries who came to India and indulged in abusing Hindus and Hindu Religion; “You train and educate and clothe and pay men to do what? To come over to my country, to curse and abuse
all my forefathers, my religion and everything. They walk near a temple and say, “You idolators, you will go to hell”. But they dare not do that to the Mohammedans of India; the sword would be out. But the Hindu is too mild; he smiles and passes on and says, “Let the fools talk”. That is the attitude. ---
Did we send one messenger to convert anybody in the world? We say to you ‘Welcome to your religion, but allow me to have mine’
Swamiji asserted that Christianity never succeeded except with the sword and he challenged his audience to show him at least one place, not even two, where it had been otherwise”

2. When Swamiji travelled for a second time to the West sometime in 1900, he came across a Christian missionary on board the ship. Without resorting to any formalities, Swamiji straightaway asked the gentleman whether he was an American. The gentleman said ‘yes’. Swamiji further asked him ‘Are you a Christian missionary?’. The gentleman again replied ‘Yes’ Swamiji asked him, without mincing words “ Why do you preach religion in my country?”. Coolly the missionary retorted ‘Why do YOU preach religion in my country?’. Swamiji suddenly blazed and burst forth “Let England teach us the fine art of government, for in that art England is the leader of the nations. Let America teach us agriculture and science and your wonderful knack of doing things, for that we sit at your feet and learn. But let no nation presume to teach India religion, for India shall teach religion to the world”

THE MOTHER, PONDICHERY: In 1914, the Mother [Turkish-Egyptian descent] travelled to India in a Japanese steamer with her husband Paul Richard to join the Aurobindo Ashram at Pondichery. A few Christian missionaries were also in the steamer on way to China. On Sunday a service was arranged in the saloon of the boat but the Mother did not participate. When the priest asked the Mother why she did not participate, she answered
“ I do not feel that you are sincere. You go there to China just to fulfill a social obligation but not at all because you really want to enter into communion with God. Listen, even before your religion was born- not even two thousand years ago- the Chinese had a very high philosophy and knew a path leading them to the Divine. And when they think of Westerners, they think of them as barbarians. And you are going there to convert those who know more about it than you? What are you going to teach them?”

JESUS JESUS EVERYWHERE : Early in the year 2000, several secret Christian Societies rose up in America and made a beeline stealthily to interior provinces of China to spread Christianity. The evangelists were specially trained for the missionary work. Lady evangelists were given a special haircut covered under a hat. They wore specially designed vests with large secret pockets, which were crammed with about 300 religious pamphlets. From midnight to the first glimmering of the dawn, they wandered down alleys in
Small-town China, stuffing mail boxes, bicycle baskets and window sills with their religious contraband. When the people woke up early in the morning there was Jesus Everywhere.

THEY GOT THE LAND, WE GOT THE BIBLE: Jomo Kenyatta [1889-1978] was an African freedom fighter and a highly respected leader of Kenya nationalists. Under his leadership, Kenya [Africa] got its freedom from the Britishers in 1963. Kenyatta was the First President of Independent Kenya from 1964 till his death in 1978. Though he was educated in a Scottish Mission, he remained skeptical of Christianity. During the course of a talk, dealing with the activities of Christian missionaries in Africa, he once said
“When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the missionaries had the Bible. They taught us to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible”.

TAILPIECE: The Archbishop of Canterbury refused to attend the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 because he said ‘There cannot be a Parliament of Religions when there was but one religion in the world--CHRISTIANITY’


Created: Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:11 AM


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