Use of Coercion for Proselytization is also Supremacism

 

It is time for us to realize that all humans are equal regardless of the God that they worship. Religion and faith are personal matters to connect with God and higher powers. Different people seek solace by different methods. Proselytization by missionaries has eliminated many civilizations, native religious and cultural practices and they are still doing the same in India.

Lavanya, a 17-year-old Hindu girl was a meritorious high school student but was constantly humiliated by her school authorities for not converting to Christianity at Ariyalur Pure Heart high school in the Tamil Nadu state of India. Her teachers told her in front of her parents to convert to Christianity. She refused to convert and wanted to practice her own faith. She was repeatedly made to clean all toilets and rooms and was also assaulted. She belonged to a poor farmer family, had scored 98% marks in her 10th-grade exams, and had a promising life ahead of her. The humiliation and constant abuse forced her to commit suicide by drinking pesticide leading to her death on January 19th, 2022.

In a separate incident on January 16th, 2022, young Hindu students were told to convert to Christianity if they want to receive gifts sent from the US. This was done by their mathematics teacher, K Ratnam in ZPHS Govt. school in Mailwar, Vikarabad region of Telangana state of India. He also used foul and derogatory language against Hindu students. This Christian teacher used his position to lure and intimidate students to convert even in a Govt. run school.

Around 18 Hindu temples were desecrated by dropping used condoms in the donation boxes in 2021 in the Mangaluru region of the Karnataka state of India. Police arrested Devadas Desai, an ardent Christian when he was seen on CCTV footage. He admitted his crimes and gave the justification that he did this to spread the message of Christianity and he firmly believes that there is no other God but Jesus.

Sikhs also expressed dismay at the conversion using coercion and money in the Punjab state of India in October 2021. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the top Sikh religious body came up with a plan to counter forced conversion by the missionaries in Punjab.

Reang/Bru tribes faced hate speech, burning of their homes, violence, and religious discrimination in the Christian-dominated Mizoram state of India in 1997. They used to live in peace, worshiping their own Gods, and celebrating indigenous culture for many centuries. However, missionaries converted a lot of them and instilled divisive propaganda against non-believers. This led to a mass exodus of nearly 30,000 Reang/bru tribal people who didn’t convert.

Rampant conversion also happened during the COVID pandemic and the missionaries focused more on conversion while performing charity work. An article on the website of mission kali shows that a large number of funds sent for charity by western countries are actually used for religious conversion.

Hundreds of unmarked graves of indigenous children were recently recovered near boarding schools in Canada. Articles in Scientific America, CNN, and NYT talk about the role of the boarding schools in cultural genocide and atrocities on the native people.

Reuters published a report when Pope sought forgiveness for the role of the church in the inhumane Rwanda genocide in 1994. The UN court jailed a former catholic priest for ordering bulldozering a church where 2000 Tutsi minority people were hiding. There were many more serious allegations of abetment of violence and denial of genocide by multiple senior catholic priests.

We need to teach pluralism for attaining peace and decreasing religious violence. Exclusivity of proselytizing religions has also led to huge violence within the people of the same religions as you see in Shia-Sunni conflicts or have seen in the past in Europe between protestants and Catholics. Different people can seek salvation/ moksha/ Nirvana by different methods, and we must embrace diversity.

Proselytization is an inherently racist and supremacist concept as it originates from hate and loath towards others and people who have different religious practices. Winston Churchill made many racist and derogatory remarks against Hindus while snatching away crops from India to stockpile for his troops, leading to starvation deaths of 3 million Indians during the Bengal famine in 1943. Studies have shown that his policies were the major cause of 3 million starvation deaths, rather than the drought.

It is alleged that up to 45 trillion dollars were snatched away from India during 200 years of colonization by Britishers. The exact amount is obviously debatable. Now, some money from the west is used for conversion and buying the souls.

When will Hindus be considered as equal human beings and English media start publishing reports on their plight and sufferings? Why are missionaries so hellbent on converting others and eliminating diversity from the planet?

You can give your voice to Lavanya and hundreds of indigenous kids of boarding schools of Canada by urging the missionaries to spread love and charity without a mission to convert others.

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