After years of failing to gain
substantial converts by degrading Hinduism and labeled it as “devil
worship” and “heathen idolatry”, Christian evangelists
have invented a new tactic: hijacking Hinduism.
Pamphlet Distribution: Southern Tamil
Evangelists use existing elements
of Hinduism to misguide followers into converting to Christianity.
Recently Christian zealots have begun claiming that various Vedic
Sanskrit slogans were in praise of Jesus and not Hindu Gods. Christian
propaganda pamphlets and booklets in circulation especially in
and around Madurai district in Tamil Nadu also make the ludicrous
suggestion that the revered Swami Vivekananda had asked the people
to worship Jesus. The pamphlets, which have been put in circulation
by the Madurai-based Infant Jesus Hospital (headed by Rev Fr.
Caleb), also fraudulently invoke verses from the holiest Hindu
scripture, the Bhagawad Gita, saying that they preach against
idol worship. In fact, the pamphlets go as far as to decree that
'people should not follow any other faith other than Christianity'.
The highly inflammatory pamphlets, delivered by Christian converts
(primarily women), have been appearing at nearly in Southern districts
of Tamil Nadu in the hopes of misleading a few gullible souls.
Above: A Tamil advertisement posted by a Church claiming
that Hinduism is been derived from 'Thomasian' Dravida Christianity.
The poster also makes the outrageous claim that the sacred ash
is the true symbol of Christianity and not the Cross.
Examples of the verses that have been deliberately
Om Sri Brahma Puthraya Nama reads as
'I worship Jesus, who came to the world as God's son (Yowan 3:16.17)'.
Om Shri Dakshina Murthaya Nama reads
'I worship Jesus who is sitting on the thigh of his father (Yowan
Taking specific mantras from
Sama Veda, the Christian marketers say 'Om Sri Panchakaya
Nama refers to Jesus, the one with five wounds (panchakaya)
Yowan 20:25.27. Om Sri Ummathiya Nama is translated as
'I hail one born to the holy spirit' (Mathew 1:18).
The mantra from Brihat Aranyako
Upanishad (Asathoma sadhgamaya, Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya...)
is laboriously expanded and explained to mean that Jesus is leading
as the light of the world. And the 'explanation' goes on to add:
'there is a word-to-word answer in the Bible to every prayer in
In a seeming translation of
a verse from Neethicharam, the pamphlet says that 'those fools
who worship statues made up of stone, wood and metal would beget
nothing other than misery and would not be pardoned'.
The pamphlets invoke Swami Vivekananda
and say that he wanted hundreds and thousands of Christian religious
workers to come to India so that the preaching of Jesus could
go to the hearts of all Hindu people.
Pongal Disruption: Southern Tamil
Nadu & Singapore
Another method of “hijacking”
is to schedule massive conversion drives during prominent Hindu
festivals. For example in 2003, 'Jesus Calls' scheduled its 'Good
News Prayer Meeting' at Tuticorin from 14 to 18 January, knowing
full well that the period coincided with the Hindu festivals of
Boghi, Pongal, Mattu Pongal and other important functions like
Tiruvalluvar Day and Uzhavar Thirunal.
Understandably, the locals were
upset over the timing of the meeting organized by 'Jesus Calls'.
In addition, the locals were further angered by the fact that
the evangelist “miracle” drive was to be held at the
VOC College Ground in Tuticorin, which was donated by the government
to promote educational activities only educational activities.
The locals, rallying around
Hindu organizations, went on a hunger strike at Tuticorin to peacefully
demonstrate against the deliberate disruption of Pongal by the
‘Jesus Calls’ and to criticize the authorities for
permitting this aggressive action by the Church.
Meanwhile in Singapore, the
clergy attempted to cast aside the clear Hindu of significance
of Pongal and to attempt to turn it into a Christian one instead.
Church coordinator S. Vythilingam was quoted as saying "Pongal
is not a religious festival but a traditional festival celebrated
by the Tamils." In Singapore, several churches celebrated
the function, but not out of mutual respect for Hinduism but rather
to gain converts. This tactic is known as "inculturation"
where various aspects of the local religion are adopted in the
hopes of getting Christianity to appear less foreign.
Kumbh Mela Disruption: Madhya Pradesh
For the upcoming Kumbh Mela
2004, where an estimated 15-25 million Hindu pilgrims descend
on the city of Ujjain in April, a Christian group known as “Gateway”
has been released a handout to its members instructing them to
“mobilize a intercessory team to pray on the venue and during
the Mela”. The other side gives an elaborate "prayer"
calendar with derogatory marks abou Hinduism. The group is relying
on direct access to the millions of devotees to disrupt the sacred
festival with prayers and miracle shows in strategic location
to gain converts.
Click on each of the flier pages below
to view/download an enlarged version: