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Conversion Kills

A time to outlaw this practise

Since time immemorial perhaps since people were able to convey ideas to each other through the use of words or gestures, there has been a desire to convince others that one's original idea is right and should be followed. It may have been as simple as we will find better hunting by going this way.

Over time some ideas proved worthy and some individuals became more authoritative because their ideas were proven. Then people listened and took note, those with the best ideas became leaders which was all very well in matters to do with basic survival. But in the realm of more intangible knowledge like defining God, there can be no collective exact same understanding because we all perceive differently.

It has been said by many thinkers that every individual should create their own concept of God because then at least it is their own and this (God) is a concept that defies definition but not appreciation. God is appreciated in many ways yet know one can adequately describe their sense of God or godliness even though vast forests of trees to make paper and oceans of ink have gone into producing books sharing various opinions. But this is all they are, opinions.

Just a few thousand years ago God was seen as dualistic combining masculine and feminine principles within a concept of harmonious unity. Under the evolving patriarchal rule Asherah was divorced from El and the feminine principle was written out of Judaism. When Christianity was created as a tool of empire by the Romans, the Divine feminine element was almost non-existent and even today the Catholic Church are struggling to cope with the fact that there is increasingly more reverence for the Divine feminine as represented by the Virgin Mary than there is for the old fella, that white bearded character who is supposed to be something of magician in granting favour to those who are most worthy.

Some thinkers like myself consider that Christianity and its offshoot Islam are the greatest frauds in history and yet hundreds of millions of people are locked into this belief. Belief per se is not an impediment to living and it creates a sense of connection because everyone believes in this same idea. Essentially we can believe what we like and it's an interesting mental game. But when these believers begin insisting that everyone else adopt that belief, then this becomes an invasion of one's mind.

From a psychological standpoint, on one hand the Christians and Muslims are suffering from an insecurity complex because they need everyone else in the world to believe the same as they do in order to feel okay and see themselves as valid human beings. But on the other hand, these movements are more to do with politics, capitalism and wealth generation- all money flows to the church and the friends of the church control the business of the land.

Within India and other less well off countries there is a powerful drive by Christians to convert people from other faiths and with different beliefs to their point of view as in Christianity. Some say it is more to do with revenue gathering and political control because some Christian groups have been importing weapons, creating armed militias and massacring people who did not convert.

In Myanmar, the Moslems there were expanding and trying to take political control of the region they occupied slaughtering the indigenous people who refused to convert. The Burmese government's response of curbing the activities of some of the troublemakers who decided to flee the country's all the Burmese government condemned for restricting religious freedom when in fact they were defending their national interests and the people whose duty it was to protect from a cultural genocide.

A spiritual teacher responds to the following questions from facebook:

*Why do you say conversion is a form of violence?

When you physically hurt me, it is violence. If you hurt me emotionally, it is violence. And if you hurt me spiritually, that is the worst violence, rank violence. When you convert somebody, you have to criticize the person's religion, his worship, his culture. All these hurt. When he converts, there is more hurt. He has to disown his parents, their wisdom and their culture, his ancestors and entire community. You isolate, uproot and emotionally unsettle him.

The theologians have to change, but they will not, because of their indoctrination. But we should keep talking about it with them. They are waiting for a time when there is more freedom for them to do their conversion work. So let that conducive time for them to seek converts be kept away. Our people have to be made aware and proud of our religion. They should be able to say to the missionaries, "Enough is enough."

Any protest against religious conversion is always branded as persecution, because it is maintained that people are not allowed to practice their religion, that their religious freedom is curbed. The truth is entirely different. The other person also has the freedom to practice his or her religion without interference. That is his/her birthright. Religious freedom does not extend to having a planned program of conversion. Such a program is to be construed as aggression against the religious freedom of others.

But the naive fall for the lure of money and incentives?

It is not really the money that buys the conversion. The missionaries give small things, and tempt with larger. That makes a thumb space, a small opening, to enter the heart. Then the missionary says the fellow's daily puja is wrong, his altar of prayer is not right, and he has to change it. That is the unkindest cut you can get. It is a stab in the heart, his religious core, where this fellow has innocently allowed the missionary to enter. Missionaries do seemingly good things in order to commit this violence. After the conversion, he is told that his brethren and forefathers are devil worshipers!

Will the Hindu clergy allow them to reconvert?

Here in India all are Hindus until they call themselves something different. When I allow every form of worship, then where is the problem? We deem you another Hindu, only you are saying, "I am this or that." There is no reconversion. There is a prodigality and they come back like a prodigal son. We do not even need to baptize. We have to ask him to give up beef, that is all.

What is the US view of India's religious freedom?

The US government had appointed a Commission on International Religious Freedom. This Commission is an authentic body and funded by the government. The Commission gets information from all countries and then submits a periodical report to the government. Based on its report, the government of US may apply pressure on those countries where, according to the Commission, there is lack of religious freedom. You'll be surprised the Commission recommended India to be designated a Country of Particular
Concern [a designation given to Iran, North Korea, Burma and several other totalitarian states the US State Department rejected their recommendation to so designate India]. They cited the anti-conversion bills of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat and some Gujarat incidents as the basis of their action. They say there is no religious freedom in India. This is according to their own matrix of norms on the basis of which they decide "religious freedom." I question this matrix. The Commission's criterion appears to be that if
evangelization for conversions is allowed, then there is religious freedom. That means if missionaries are free enough to aggressively destroy my indigenous religious tradition, and if I don't question it, then there is religious freedom. If I stand up to that aggression, then it is considered an infringement upon human rights and religious freedom. Therefore, I am appealing to the government of India to appoint our own Commission on
Religious Freedom, and let them report on where there is religious freedom and where there is not.

But what about the good charity work of the missionaries?

Missionaries are using charity with the aim of conversion. They should do humanitarian work the same way Hindus do. We have charities all over the world. Look at Salem or Coimbatore. How many hospitals are there? Almost all of them are run by Hindu charities. And what do they do? They don't convert, they just run the charities. There is no priest or nun there because there is no conversion program. The charities remain charities.

But to run charities for another purpose is the most uncharitable thing to do. Let me make a comparison. Have you seen how those who supply cows to slaughterhouses treat those cows a week before the slaughter? They feed the cows a lot and don't allow them to move around in a bid to increase their weight. It is called "pounding." You could say, "Ah, love and feeding! How
humanitarian these people are, so human, etc." But those fellows have an eye on another goal. This is how I see all the missionaries' work it is like the love of the slaughterhouse people. Missionaries slaughter religions, slaughter traditions, slaughter cultures. Yes, they do humanitarian work, but slaughterhouse love it is.

If you really love people, just give charitably and forget about it. Don't talk about your religion. Keep your sacred religion in your heart. I find it is not a happy thing to talk about, the vulgarity of it. Even to talk about it is rather staining my tongue and leaves a distaste. " ~ Vedanta Study

Religious conversion has nothing to do with human well-being, it is a form of colonial expansionism whereby having people believe as dictated become compliant to the church in the case of Christianity and the Mullahs of Islam. About half the world's population find the propositions of Christianity and Islam as being philosophically and spiritually flawed or not for them.

And the United Nations declaration of human rights there is the implied guarantee of religious freedom but the tools of conversion be it the promise of a better life or the threat of losing one's head is taking away that freedom and represents a cultural genocide. Every country should have laws in place to protect the religious freedoms of their own population and banish the so-called missionaries along with Christian and Muslim migrants to countries not already predominantly Christian or Muslim.

The Hindus and Buddhists do not convert and in fact there is no way you can become a Hindu or Buddhist without arriving there through your own efforts to study and generate the desire to be recognised as one.

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