Sunitha (name changed) was a normal Hindu Brahmin girl studying in a reputed college in India. One sudden day, she changed her religious identity in to Christian – New Born. She says she changed her religion because she experienced Jesus Christ on a mud night. She preaches Bible and is in pursuit of converting her family too.

Annie, a pious Roman Catholic till a year back is happily married with two cute children. He was attending Sunday service alone and taking care of her family. She meets one of her friends, who frequents to prayer meetings of Jesus Calls. Due to her persuasion, she attends a Jesus Calls prayer meeting which ran for two days. Mesmerised by the teachings and experiences, she becomes a new born taking a second baptism. Now she has two birthdays.

These two stories are random picks from huge lot of people who have been converted by evangelists in India, Tamil Nadu and more particularly in Chennai. According to Pradip Ninan Thomas, the total pentacostal churches in Chennai alone are about 3600. The new life AG church in Saidapet has a attendance of more than 10000 people for every prayer meeting.

There are two main targets for these evangelists. One, the traditional christian communities,who are easy targets because of their religious inclinations. The other one are Lower caste Hindu communities (so called) and tribals, because of the strong caste divides inside the religion. But even sometimes the upper caste (so called) are highly vulnerable to these preachings.

My encounters with Pentecostal believers are comparatively lesser. My mom was a pious Christian, she used to go to church daily and she has strong affinity to mother Mary (which Pentecostal churches doesn’t approve of). One of my mom’s friends got converted and she was persuading mom to convert. That was the first time I encountered a new born or whatever.
She could not convince my mom ever..

What I hate the evangelists?

The way they waste time of the people. They have prayer meetings for 2 or 3 consecutive days affecting the productivity of these people. I found this a kind of drug addiction, shouting chants and hymns calling Jesus Christ, down to earth. I dunno how will god fly and come (if at all he is there).

The way they lure people to convert. None of the religions in the world approve of religious conversions. When it comes to Christianity, I dunno when Jesus asked people to start a religion. Money, food, caste respect and above all a false belief that they will be saved from the sins and be given salvation. I dunno who defines sins and morality.

The way they preach that Jesus Christ is the only true god forcing people towards religious intolerance. I have seeen people who doesn’t go along the path where a Ganesh temple is there. This is the worst form of religious terrorism one can think of.

And I could not assess the money spun inside these evangelists. The first Tehelka newspaper edition ran a cover story on how CIA is operating as the fund master for these evangelists. Even Pradip makes a similar observation. A income tax raids on these people will give a better exposure. One evangelist in Kerala by the name K.P.Yohanan was caught for unaccounted assets worth 900 crores.

A research on DGS Dinakaran gives a result that he was a bank officer before becoming evangelist. Now Jesus Calls, his evangelist group boasts a posh office in Greenways Road,Chennai, a few bungalows for the family, a engineering college in Coimbatore and consistent programming in leading TV channels. Is this real evangelism? If funds are received from foreign countries, from whom they are getting it?

The post and the research came due to the attacks on prayer halls (churches as portrayed by media). I am not defending the acts of Bajrang Dal, if evangelism is a form of terrorism, then Bajrang Dal and SIMI are other forms. But the attacks are the results of consistent resentment from Hindus to these evangelists. The Christian groups has come to terms that there is no right for anybody to convert people from one religion to the other. And please cut the crap of ‘voluntary conversion’.

Sometimes when people ask me what religion I belong to, I am happy to say that I am a atheist and I don’t follow any religion shunning of questions of my ‘are you catholic?’ ‘are you pentacoastal’ ‘why don’t you come for this prayer service?’

I like to end with a quote of Ayn Rand from The Romantic Manifesto

Religion is also the first enemy of the ability to think. That ability is not used by men to one tenth of its possibility, yet before they learn to think they are discouraged by being ordered to take things on faith.

On a personal note: My family is a catholic family and I don’t practice my religion for the past 10 years. Was a agnostic, now a staunch atheist.

Some links where you can find more about these people,

http://www.christianaggression.org/

The Tehelka’s Take

Beware of Dinakaran

Comment on Facebook

Last updated by at .

Sylvian

Posted by Sylvian

Marketing Analyst by profession, a quizzer by passion, a blogger by choice, a poet by chance, a non-conformist by gene and a rebel by birth

6 Comments

  1. Hi Patrick,
    wassup man…got fired up….these things happen time and again but nobody is ready to pick up the gauntlet and fire.I am really surprised that a guy with the name “SYLVIAN PATRICK” can speak up such things…I wish to say that we shud strongly comdemn the acts of both the evangelists and Bajrang dal.However both cannot be equated o single platform.Start is given by charistian missionaries and aftermath bajrang dal and other outfits react to it in a way which is totally illegal.If missionaries can function with “service’ as a sole point of objection then i dont see anybody disturbing them…

    between,i was educated in a popular christian missionary southern district school and they were more worried about me passing the exam than converting me to christianism…those were beautiful days of my life.i see so many such institutions that work for the betterment of the society and my best friends are hard core christians however i have never felt insecure when i am with them.Thats the beauty of our country,however i see clear trend that is cropping up these days in most of the tribal areas which are really disturbing.let Jesus save them…..

    btw,i heard that ur quiz in IQL was good …can u send me ur set Biz quiz that pepared…
    anbudan..
    Vishwa
    9962004405

    Reply

  2. hi patrick, i can agree with most of the things you have written though we dont have proof on any person mentioned by you by name.religion, god as you mentioned has become like a drug for nost of us thus wanting god when we want to be high on him and cursing him when we fall down.i would like to point out the catesism that exists in christianity in tamil nadu, andhrapradesh where so called uppercaste christians will not marry a lowercate one.luckily jesus was a jew imagine if he was in tamilnadu we would have put a tag on him.in kerala they will not marry between one christian group to another group.so called educated state.nagercoil where the education level is so high among the districts in tamilnadu. the two domibnant cates will not marry among each other in christianty.
    lets come to our priests who intercede for us in heaven, thanjavur district has a whole bunch of them who are casteist to the core.kannadiga chrsitian will not marry tamilian, keralite will not marry andhraite christian what so chritian about us. we are the worst bunch of hypocrites.

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  3. Malcaluffin October 4 at 2:52 am

    Dude, thought I would check your site before hitting the sack. Boy, after reading it, I’m wide awake!!

    I guess your post says it all. Patrick, I will always tell anyone that that religion is a “way of life” and not a sect or a group of people who ar different from the rest. It does not matter “per se” whether you go to a temple as a Hindu, do Namaaz as a Muslim or go pray in a Church as a Christian..etc. A Muslim is different from Hindu or a Christian, ONLY in the way of life he leads and not because he does not wear vermillion like the Hindu, nor a rosary like a Christian.

    What really matters is the “way of life” that each religion teaches you and how you get the essence from the best practices that emanate out of this “way of life”. One must find time to analyse one’s “Way of Life” and cast all fears aside and question it.

    Well, I did. I’m a Hindu Iyer. My elders asked me to do Sandhyavandanam 3 times a day. I questioned them like a rationalist. Then, one day a friend of my grandfather took me, the young “rebel” by his side and explained that the most important component of Sandhyavandanam is the Pranayama. You see what I mean, my forefathers albeit unknowingly have taught me the very thing that would help me this maddening world!! By habituating myself to do Pranayama as a way of life, I am able to cope up the pressures of daily life, official life and also take care of my mental health to a great extent. But, alas, people of my own group, unaware of all this spend thousands of rupees just for Pranayama classes!!

    The second thing is that the deeper this “way of life” gets embedded in you, the more your mind and soul get stronger. In my previous organisation, I have had the opportunity to share a flat for 2 years with a Pentacostal family, whom I should admit tried all tricks in the book to bring me and my other room-mate into their fold. But we were steady as a rock. We would hear their preaches and politely refuse whatever they offered. Why should I change my way of life, when I’m happy with it?

    See, these are the 2 things that a way of life would bring you. It strengthens your spirit and emboldens your individuality. This, in short is what religion is all about.

    Once people start wavering and start vacillating in their seek for this very “way of life”, they become easy prey to such characters you mentioned, be it the Bajrang Dal, SIMI or the Jesus Calls Group.

    Reply

  4. @ Vishwa

    Thanks for the comment. And apologies for the late reply. Vishwa I am not condemning all the christian missionaries in General. Like you there are lot of people who misunderstand the evangelists and the missionaries. Almost 99% of the schools and colleges run by christians are run by the traditional sects of Catholics, Protestants and CSI churches. They never get in to direct conversions. I know it better because I too have studied in a Christian School and I know how well they respect other religions, religious festivals etc. What I intended are those extremists who get in to mass conversions and fanaticism.

    Sylvian

    Reply

  5. Hey Bro

    Thanks for the comment. If we start talking about casteism prevailing in Christianity, I have to do a separate post for it (which I am likely to do as a follow up).

    And the wonderful part is the way the Christian priests slam the casteism prevailing in other religions. Pavam pa Jesus Christ.

    Sylvian

    Reply

  6. I am a student of a reputed christian college in Bangalore …the St Josephs.I was appalled at the audacious attempt of the management to create a christian majority class room for masters program by constituting 21 out of 30 seats as category or christian seats.Although the college is funded by tax payers money by the UGC it is free to reserve seats as it wishes.As a Hindu student who scraped through due to my luck and reasonable scores feel cheated by the institution who claim to work for social justice and equality.

    Reply

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