Conversions in India – Myth or Fact
Two Christians including a pastor and a young lady (computer teacher) were burned alive in the orphanage that they were running in Orissa, India. Many churches have been burned down and Christians have been attacked and brutalized in the same state. These barbaric deeds were carried out by Hindu activists who were protesting the so called forcible conversions of Hindus to Christianity.
This has become a burning issue not just in Orissa but across all the states in India.
When you look at the history of Christianity in India, it is amazing to know that Christianity was brought to India in 52 AD by the apostle of Christ, Saint Thomas. Since his life was fairly well documented, we know that Saint Thomas established six communities in the southern state of India, Kerala, before moving to neighbouring Tamil Nadu (Madras) where he was killed by natives. All the communities started by St. Thomas revolved around helping the poor in the form of providing medical help and studying the Christian scriptures.
This has always been the pattern of Christian mission work in India. Christians strive to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ who said his followers must spread the good Word of Love, Joy and Peace. Spreading the Word is to live among the needy, provide help in the form of education, health care, creating livelihood for the downtrodden, distributing the Bible and tracts containing scriptural passages and speak about the Love of Jesus.
Considering that nearly two thousand years later, Christians in India form between 2 – 2.5% of the population is fact enough to show that forcible conversions have never taken place. True, a few overzealous Christians may have antagonized their Hindu brethren by aggressive preaching but by and large Christians do not believe that they can convert anyone.
Conversion to or from any faith is a conscious choice that individuals make and Christians believe that God alone can change a persons belief.
So why are some Hindu Organizations targeting Christians?