Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Ban on Conversion - Is it suppression?

This is in response to an article on TomPaine.com by Andrew Korfhage. I suggest that you read the article first, and then my response.

Dear Mr.Korfhage

I am not going to comment on the specific law in Sri Lanka, because I have no knowledge abt it. But in a broader context, while criticizing Sri Lanka's law as oppression of religion, you are making a generalization that fails to appreciate the reality that exists in many third world nations.

I am an Indian. Despite all the allegations that are bandied about here in the US, India is generally a tolerant society, and the state does give the citizens the right to propagate one's religion.

I myself have had to suffer so-called evangelical pastors blaring over loudspeakers, calling us sinners into the fold. Fine... call us what you want. But, it is a truth that in the villages - especially backward tribal ones - so-called evangelists pay to gain converts. This has become a cheap business. They show numbers to gain donations and grants from overseas. And a part of it used as allurement.

Tell me, how is this fair, or Christian, for that matter?

Most eastern religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism are not evangelical. Hence, these communities lack the propaganda infrastructure that evangelical Christians have.

Due to the employment of underhand means such as these, Evangelism has come to be seen as a project of changing demography. The emergence of this view is not a healthy trend. Checking illicit ways of bringing about conversions is not oppression.


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