Politicising Prayer
         Date: 28-May-2018

- Robert Rosario 

The politics of church has been orchestrated to choke the lifeline of democratic governance in Bharat. It supports tyranny of the Congress status quo so that designs of conversion can function well

The controversial letter by the Archbishop of Delhi, Anil Couto, is making headlines in the media for a past few days. A few months ago, a similar letter by the Archbishop of Gandhinagar had also surfaced.

 

BJP’s position on nationalism and its commitment to protect the Sanatan Dharma is the major hurdle which church is facing on their way of proselytisationThe Gandhinagar Archbishop had appealed for the “defeat of the nationalistic forces”, while the Delhi bishop has given a call to “defeat evil forces, pray for upholding democracy”. What is the real intention behind this? Being a Christian having studied the entire system of church and its hierarchy I am of the opinion that it cannot and should not be brushed aside on a lighter note. We need to take cognisance with all due seriousness as these are the issues affecting the larger interest of the nation.


 
Letter of Delhi Archbishop

Love for Congress

The ulterior motive behind this move is to have the Congress party in power permanently and no other party should form a government in this country. Non-Congress parties other than Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) may come and go occasionally to showcase functioning democracy but a party like BJP with strong nationalistic approach should never be allowed to form the Government. Even by chance if they gain power it should not be allowed to be re-elected, by any hook or crook. This is the real agenda behind this move of Archbishop. His letter clearly shows this intent.

The Congress party lost power for the first time in 1977. That was the occasion on which the church had unleashed such weapons of fear mongering for the first time. When the entire masses in Bharat were agitating against Emergency, we Christians never felt threatened. On the contrary, when the same Indira Gandhi led- Government lost the election, we the Christians were made to come to streets claiming that dark days on the Christians are looming large. And then, on every occasion whenever the Congress lost power at the Centre, we Christians were made to come to the street for marching in protest.

In 1989, the VP Singh came to power and then in 1997, so on and so forth, we were made to protest. We were made to protest against Mulayam Singh alleging nuns are being raped under his regime. Also, in 1997, a priest in Dhumka of Bihar (now Jharkhand) was allegedly beaten by locals and handed over to police who in turn arrested him and locked up, even the court denied bail. Claiming the padre to be the symbol of Christianity we the Christians were made to protest in Mangalore. All these are few examples where Church dictated and manufactured the political dissent.


Delhi Archbishop Anili Couto (L) is rallying as an anti-democratic political force
 
Therefore, the letters issued by the two Archbishops at different points of time should be seen in the same context as a part of the larger conspiracy. Not only these two but even the honouring of Rahul Gandhi in the main and oldest church of Mangalore just before the Karnataka Assembly election was also a part of the same game plan. On one hand, they project BJP as the ‘evil force’ while on the other hand they project Mr Gandhi as the ‘messiah’ of peace and democracy.

 

 
A fraud on humanity
Mahatma Gandhi called religious conversions a fraud on humanity. He said, “This proselytisation will mean no peace in the world. Conversions are harmful to India. If I had the power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytising.” The Niyogi Committee Report on Christian Missionary Activities, a report published by the Government of Madhya Pradesh, in 1956, made various recommendations on the same line—
• Those missionaries whose primary object is proselytisation should be asked to withdraw and the large influx of foreign missionaries should be checked;
• The use of medical and other professional services as a direct means of making conversions should be prohibited by law;
• Attempts to convert by force or fraud or material inducements, or by taking advantage of a person’s inexperience or confidence or spiritual weakness or thoughtlessness, or by penetrating into the religious conscience of persons for the purpose of consciously altering their faith, should be absolutely prohibited;
• The Constitution of India should be amended in order to rule out propagation by foreigners and conversions by force, fraud and other illicit means;
• Legislative measures should be enacted for controlling conversion by illegal means;
• Rules relating to registration of doctors, nurses and other personnel employed in hospitals should be suitably amended to provide a condition against evangelistic activities during professional service; and
• Circulation of literature meant for religious propaganda without approval of the State Government should be prohibited

Church Execrates BJP

Why has Church a relationship of hatred with BJP? The answer to this can be explained through a lesson of “the sheep and the wolf” we learnt as infants in the school. The wolf wanted to attack and kill the sheep for food but needed an excuse to do so. So the wolf first objected the sheep from drinking water from the pond, and then complained about sheep having abused it once upon a time. When the sheep pleaded not guilty the wolf complained that sheep’s father had abused him once upon a time so it is proper to kill the sheep and eat.

Similar is the case here. The BJP has done no damages to the church; neither has it ever intended to do so. Yet, its positions on nationalism and its commitment to protect the Sanatan Dharma is the major block which church is facing on their way of proselytisation. The Congress has always provided a conducive atmosphere to the church for religious conversion with impunity. Therefore, the church has manufactured a fake narrative of ‘communal forces’ ‘intolerance’ etc. quite successfully to bracket BJP as such, and categorised Congress as ‘secular’ and ‘tolerant’.

Having tasted success in efforts of popularising these false narratives and characteristics, the Church has been always up for propagating fear psychosis among the laity (common Christians). Once the fear mongering is infused successfully among laity Christians, then it can be easily passed to other citizens as hysteria, through their contacts of institutions. This is the dangerous game plan one needs to take note and think about the ways and means to counter and nullify this virus.

Now, the real target is Modi and the BJP. Church wants to make every possible move, legitimate or delegitimate, and create an atmosphere which would make any re-election troublesome.

This letter of Delhi Archbishop is just the beginning. It will be repeated elsewhere throughout the country by all the bishops and clergy. The prayer is the biggest and most powerful tool which is used to eliminate and sideline those whom the Church considers as political adversaries.

Whether God listens to this prayer or not is immaterial but it can successfully poison the minds of innocent people. So, prayer becomes the effective tool of psychological manipulation used by the church over a period of time successfully. So it is a time-tested weapon and they are quite confident of its effect.


For Protection of Church Properties
All Kerala Church Act Action Council staged a march and dharna in front of the state secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram, demanding the Church Properties & Institutions Bill for the protection of the Church properties. What they want is the implementation of the proposals carried in the report submitted before the State Government by the Kerala Law Reforms Commission headed by late Justice (Retd) V.R. Krishna Iyer. The report had asked for the formulation of a Church Act and to bring all Church properties under Bharatiya civil rules. The protest programme was jointly carried out by the Malankara Action Council for Church Act Bill Implementation, Maccabees and Joint Christian Council.

Leaders speaking on the occasion stated that they are blamed as anti-Church in the wake of their demand for the implementation of the bill. They said that their agitation was against some priests. Action Council leaders demand the proper and democratic administration of the Church properties as per the Constitution of Bharat; the properties of the believers should not be grabbed by others; they should not go to the pockets of the Bishops.

The latest scandal concerning a land deal is alleged to have the personal involvement of not less a person than Cardinal George Alencherry. When the issue came in the court, the Church’s counsel stated that they act under Canon Law; the local civil rules are not applicable for them. According to the Canon Law, the Church properties come under the proprietorship and control of Vatican.

Despite living in Bharat, living and operating as per the rules and laws of a foreign land is really amazing. That a different voice originates from within is really significant. —T Satisan, Kerala

 

Authoritarian Motif

The present controversy of the bishop is being viewed by the media as an advice by a citizen to his followers. How far is this correct? How much allegiance does the bishop have to the Constitution of Bharat? Who appoints him? Who is he answerable to?

Though the Bishop is a citizen of Bharat by birth, by the time he is ordained as a padre, his allegiance to the Constitution becomes minimal and his real allegiance goes to the Roman pontiff, the ruler of the Vatican, known as Pope. It is astonishing to know that the so-called champions of democracy never practice it inside the church organisation rather condemn it saying democracy is horse trading!

Bishops are appointed by the Pope and we Indians have no say in it. Neither can we make any recommendations nor objections to these appointments. Whoever is imposed upon us as a Bishop we have to accept and obey him. A padre once nominated as Bishop by the Pope, his (Vatican’s) ambassador in India nuncio ordains him as Bishop and installs him in the position of power. He (newly ordained Bishop) takes oath during ordination to obey the nuncio, in turn, the Pope. The nuncio who is the official ambassador of Vatican in India is the boss to the Bishops in India! These bishops, in turn, ordain the padre with a due oath of obedience.

A youth who joins the seminary for training as a padre has no guarantee that after the training period of 9 to 11 years he be ordained. The sole condition is obedience to the hierarchy. Those found not in line with this condition of obedience are sent home without ordination even after completing the due training.

The irony is that the Bishops so appointed claim before the Indian Government that they are the representatives of Christians in India and the Governments grants! So, an unelected and unelectable individual becomes the representative of Christians.

The laity has no say in any of the matters related to church administration. Neither can they demand it! Laity’s duty is only to pray, pay and obey! Pay as much they ask for and whenever asked for. Have no right to ask for accounts since they are committed to giving account to God alone!

Though a handful of persons decide everything including the conspiracy of the protest march, on behalf of Christians, a large number of laity gathers in the protest rallies called by the bishop. This is because they are made to believe it as part of the religious duty to do so.

Laity never realise that it is their right to decide such political matters, instead follow like a bunch of sheep. This is because of the successful indoctrination has done by misusing the altar of holy mass. The sermon time during the mass is misused for this purpose to brainwash gullible and make them follow like sheep without questioning. This is how the freedom of religion is misused and abused.

Religious conversion is the real motto of the church. It increases the number of members of the church through conversion with an ultimate aim of capturing political power.

This is in a way, the new face of colonisation. For their narrow political gains, many political leaders in Bharat support such divisive moves of the church which is extremely unfortunate. Such letters for prayer saga would only increase in the coming days with all Bishops throughout the country will be resorting to such methods. Therefore, there is a big challenge before the people with nationalistic outlook in the coming days.

(Robert Rosario is a social and political activist from Mangalore)