Post On:January 2, 2015
Congratulations on inviting Mr. Barak Obama, as the chief guest for Republic day celebrations of India. It was magnanimous on your part to extend a hand of welcome, friendship and good will. You invitation was in the true Democratic and Dharmic Indian spirit where the guest is considered as an avatar of God. However his statements after his return to US did not go well with many. As we are involved in Hindu – Christian dialogue, we thought we should write to you on this.
Why is President Obama wrong?
- The President statement meant that life is tough for religious minorities in India. We know that the fact is the opposite. As a Hindu who has lived and walked on the streets of India, I like millions of fellow Indians am a witness to aggressive approach of evangelical Christians. (kindly refer to sections of this website for examples)
- The president may not be aware that the evangelical methods in India are outright offensive. Looks like they are designed to invite retaliatory response. (Such retaliation is obviously good for their fund raising activities),
- The president may not be aware that 5000 new churches have come up in India in the last 5 years. (This speaks of the absolute freedom of the Church*),
- The president’s reference to Mahatma Gandhi is fundamentally flawed because this is what the great Mahatma said on conversion, “I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ’s Christianity. I cannot conceive Jesus, if he was living in flesh in our midst, approving of modern Christian organizations, public worship, or ministry.”
- The president talks about the splinter of India!? That was offensive! Splinter of India can happen due to two factors, 1- External influence (read colored revolutions) & 2- The hostility that is planted on the streets of India by new age business minded Evangelicals.
When India is providing absolute freedom to evangelicals, it is quite difficult to comprehend the reasons as to why they are repaying hospitality with hostility? Statesman to Statesman you may have to face it head on.
These are the risks involved in not addressing it head on,
- Unethical evangelicals will assume that you are endorsing their practices,
- It can open doors to more aggressive evangelism on the streets.
Our request to you:
We need a simple but direct response to Mr. Obama’s statement. These are the burning issues in India,
- Proselytizing on the door steps of Hindu religious places,
- Cultural plagiarism of Hindu motifs, symbols & practices,
- Bad mouthing Hinduism & its practices,
- Turning Hindus against each other in the name of religious freedom.
You have delivered many powerful messages in the run up to your election. Your one right message of now has the power and potential to communicate peace, harmony and mutual respect to all parties to this issue, – The Hindu voters of India -The Hindu NRI’s – The Christians of India – The Christians of the west -The Evangelicals of India and abroad – and the liberal left press both in India and abroad.