3. THE CHRISTIANS: A MINORITY IN MORAL MAJORITY
3. THE CHRISTIANS : A MINORITY IN MORAL MAJORITY
Many of us in the West � at least those born in the forties and early fifties � grew-up hearing of the wonderful and �saintly� work done by the "White" missionaries in far away and dangerous (that is jungle and snake-infested) countries, where lived "Savages", waiting to be converted to the civilizing influence of Christianity. The reality which I discovered in India was totally different: while there is no doubt that Christian missionaries have done a remarkable work in the fields of education and health, their prime purpose remains - even today - to convert the �heathen� Hindus to the True God � by any means. Christians constitute only 3% of the population of India, but they weld an enormous moral power, thanks in greater part to many of India�s intelligentsia who are educated in Christian schools and taught to look at their own culture in a derogatory manner. Nothing illustrates this better than the way the Indian Press went berserk after the Staines murder, while ignoring the crimes committed against the Hindus for centuries.
THE CHRISTIAN STORY : A WARPED INDIAN MEDIA
While there is no doubt that the ghastly murder of Graham Stewart Staines, the Australian missionary and his two innocent sons, should be universally condemned and that the culprits should be severely punished, the massive outcry it has evoked in the Indian Press, raises several important questions, which can only be answered by a Westerner, as any Indian who would dare utter the below statements would immediately be assimilated with the Sangh Parivar :
- Is the life of a White Man infinitely more important and dear to the Indian Media than the lives of a hundred Indians ? Or to put it differently : is the life of a Christian more sacred than the lives of many Hindus ?
It would seem so. Because we all remember not so long ago, whether in Punjab or in Kashmir, how militants would stop buses and kill all the Hindus - men, women and children. It even happened recently, when a few of the last courageous Hindus to dare remain in Kashmir, were savagely slaughtered in a village, as were the labourers in Himachal Pradesh. Yet, very few voices were raised in the Indian Press condemning it - at least there never was such an outrage as provoked by the murder of Staines. When Hindus are killed in pogroms in Pakistan or Bangladesh (please read Taslima Nasreen�s book "Lajja"), we never witness in the Indian Media the like of the tear-jerking, posthumous "interview" of Mr Staines in Star News. Does this really mean, as many of the early colonialists and missionaries thought, that the life of a hundred Hindus is not worth a tear ?
- This massive outcry on the "atrocities against the minorities" raises also doubts about the quality and integrity of Indian journalism. Take for instance the rape of the four nuns in Jhabua. Today the Indian Press (and the foreign correspondents - witness Tony Clifton�s piece in Newseek) are still reporting that it was a "religious" rape. Yet I went to Jhabua and met the four adorable nuns, who themselves admitted, along with their bishop George Anatil, that it had nothing to do with religion - it was the doing of a gang of Bhil tribals, known to perpetrate this kind of hateful acts on their own women. Yet today, the Indian Press, the Christian hierarchy and the politicians, continue to include the Jhabua rape in the list of the atrocities against the Christians. Take the Wayanad incident in Northern Kerala. It was reported that a priest and four women were beaten up and a Bible stolen by "fanatical" Hindus. A FIR was lodged, the communists took out processions all over Kerala to protest against the "atrocities" and the Press went gaga. Yet as an intrepid reporter from the Calicut office of the Indian Express found out, nobody was beaten up and the Bible was safe. Too late : the damage was done and it still is being made use of by the enemies of India. Finally, even if Dara Singh does belong to the Bajrang Dal, it is doubtful if the 100 others accused do. What is more probable, is that like in Wayanad, it is a case of converted tribals versus non-converted tribals, of pent-up jealousies, of old village feuds and land disputes. It is also an outcome of what - it should be said - are the aggressive methods of the Pentecost and seventh Adventists missionaries, known for their muscular ways of converting.
3) And this raises the most important question : why does the Indian press always reflect a westernised point of view ? Why does India�s intellectual "elite", the majority of which happens to be Hindu, always come down so hard on their own culture, their own religion, their own brothers and sisters ? Is it because of an eternal feeling of inferiority, which itself is a legacy of British colonisation ? Is it because they considers Hindus to be inferior beings - remember the words of Claudius Buccchanan, a chaplain attached to the East India Company : "...Neither truth, nor honesty, honour, gratitude, nor charity, is to be found in the breast of a Hindoo"! Is it because the Indian Press is still deeply influenced by Marxist and communist thoughts planted by Nehruvianism, like it is in Kerala, where the communists have shamelessly and dangerously exploited the Christians issue for their own selfish purpose ?
Whatever it is, the harm is done. Because even though it is not the truth which has been reported from Jhabua, from Wayanad or from the Keonjhar district in Orissa, it has been passed-off as the truth and it has been believed to be so by the masses. And the result is that it has split India a little more along religious and castes lines, as the communist and those who want to see India divided, diminished, humiliated, have always wished. How sad that such a beautiful country, with such a wonderful tradition of tolerance, spirituality and greatness, is slowly sinking into self-destruction� And the best is that the Hindus - they who were colonised, beaten-up, converted by force or guile, their temples destroyed, their women raped, are blamed - and not those who raped, converted, destroyed, colonised�
And finally, Christianity has always striven on martyrdom, on being persecuted. It was so in Rome, it was so in Africa, it is so in India. Before the murder of Mr Staines, the Christian story was slowly dying; the culprits of the Jhabua rape would have been condemned and the Wayanad fraud exposed. In one stroke the burning of Graham Stewart Staines has revived the controversy and insured that it does not die for a long time.
THE RIGHT WAY TO WELCOME THE POPE
Numerous religious leaders have pointed out that it will be counterproductive for Hindus to protest the Pope�s coming to India - and that rather he should be welcomed in the traditional manner, as all saints have always been greeted in India: with a �Purna Kumba�, a pot of water, topped with a coconut, which symbolises the fullness of life. "We welcome him in the fullness and the confidence of a civilisation which is thousands of years old", says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Revered founder of the Bangalore-based Art of Living.
But at the same time, the Pope should help remove in the minds of Christians the idea that Hinduism is polytheism, because Hindus have always recognized the One from which all creation happened. Indeed, Hindus accept everything : many of them are even ready to put an altar for Jesus in every temple - but will the Church accommodate their Upanishads and Vedas ? It is very doubtful !Maybe then should the Pope publicly state that Hinduism is not satanic - as it is described in the latest pamphlet released by the US-based Southern Baptist Church - and acknowledge the fact that it has influenced many spiritual religions over the millenniums.
It is also hoped that the Pope will ask catholic missionaries to put a brake on conversions of tribals and low caste Hindus, because if you honour and respect all other religions - as the Hindus do - the culture of conversion is not needed. But unfortunately there is not yet been any sanction in Christianity to similarly respect opposite religions. If only the Pope could tell his missionaries just to do service in the remote areas and leave the tribals to their indigenous practises, there would not be any more problems ! It is also clear that the Christian community of India has overreacted in the past sixteen months, because Christianity has often alienated Indian Christians from the mainstream - it even sometimes gave Christians an unfortunate feeling of superiority over Hindus. They are afraid, or loath, for instance, to participate in anything that has a Hindu connotation; or they are made to change their names. And since they get alienated, a certain fear psychosis sets in.
The Pope might remind Indians that Christianity brought education to them. But did you know for instance that there were125.000 medical institutes in Madras before the Europeans came ? In fact, Indians never lacked education - the latest archaeological and linguistic discoveries point out that the Western world owes much of its sciences and philosophy to ancient India - the Christians only brought British education to India, which often caused more damage by westernising many of India�s upper classes. But it is also true on the positive side, that Christianity is often service-oriented to the people and to some extent no caste system affects Christianity. Also, it takes more into prayer people who were so caught-up in religion rituals. As for the Pope�s probable announcement that he is speeding-up the process of beatifying Mother Theresa, it�s all drama ! What is the point of conferring sainthood on someone who is dead ! She did good things, she symbolised Service, but sainthood is a concept of the past, often used to highlight the "martyrdom" of a single enlightened (catholic) individual, pitted against a whole "heathen", or "pagan" community or nation.
History books should in fact be rewritten to include the harsher consequences of Christianity in India. The Anglican missionaries, for instance, who arrived in India on the heels of the British, preyed on the Adivasis, the tribal people, whom they promptly proceeded to name as the "original" inhabitants of India, who were colonised by the � bad � Brahmins, during the mythical Aryan invasion. "Was it not right, they said, to free them from the grip of their masters, who had enslaved them both socially and religiously"? Thus, they set the low castes against the mainstream of Hindu society and sowed the seeds of an explosive conflict, which was later exploited by power hungry Indian politicians. And remember the words of Swami Vivekananda, who nearly a century ago had cried in anguish at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago : "if we Hindus dig out all the dirt from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and throw it in you faces, it will be but a speck compared to what the missionaries have done to our religion and culture �".
Should then Hindus demand an apology from the Pope, or should they �tolerate� his visit as they have tolerated the presence of Muslim and Europeans invaders so many times before ? "There is no question of �tolerating� the Pope, smiles mischievously Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : tolerance has a negative connotation, as it implies that we tolerate something we don�t like... In fact we like everybody"�
THE HINDU ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY
The Pope is arriving in India on the 5th of November. Does he know that he may be stepping on a land from which Christianity originated ? Indeed, over the centuries, numerous historians and Sages have pointed out that not only Hinduism has had a predominant influence on Christianity, but that many of the Christian rites could be directly borrowed from Buddhist and Hindu India !
French historian Alain Danielou had noticed as early as 1950 "that a great number of events which surround the birth of Christ - as it is related in the Gospels - strangely remind us of buddhists and krishnaites legends". Danielou quotes as examples the structure of the Christian Church, which resembles that of the buddhist Chaitya; the rigorous asceticism of certain early Christian sects, which reminds one of the asceticism of Jain and Buddhist saints; the veneration of relics, the usage of holy water, which is an Indian practice, or the word "Amen", which comes from Hindu OM. Another historian, Belgium Konraad Elst, also remarks "that many early Christian saints, such as Hippolytus of Rome, possessed an intimate knowledge of Brahmanism". Elst even quotes the famous Saint Augustin who wrote: � that we never cease to look towards India, where many things are proposed to our admiration�. Unfortunately, remarks American Indianist David Frawley, "from the 2d century onwards, Christians leaders decided to break away from the Hindu influence and show that Christianity ONLY started with the birth of Christ". Hence, many later saints began branding Brahmins as "heretics" and Saint Gregory set a future trend by publicly destroying the "pagan" idols of the Hindus.
Great Indian Sages, such as Sri Aurobindo, or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living, which is practised in more than 80 countries, have often remarked that the stories recounting how Jesus came to India to be initiated, are probably true. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar notes, for instance, that Jesus sometimes wore an orange robe, the Hindu symbol of renunciation in the world, which was not a usual practice in Judaism. "In the same way, he continues, the worshipping of the Virgin Mary in Catholicism is probably borrowed from the Hindu cult of Devi". Bells too, which cannot be found today in synagogues, the surviving form of Judaism, are used in Church - and we all know their importance in Buddhism and Hinduism for thousands of years. There are many other similarities between Hinduism and Christianity : incense, sacred bread (Prasadam), the different altars around churches (which recall the manifold deities in their niches inside Hindu temples); reciting the rosary (japamala), the Christian Trinity (the ancient Santana Dharma: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh), Christian processions, the sign of the cross (Anganyasa) etc�
In fact, Hinduism�s pervading influence seems to go much earlier than Christianity. American mathematician, A. Seindenberg, has for example shown that the Sulbasutras, the ancient Vedic science of mathematics, constitute the source of mathematics in the Antic world, from Babylon to Greece : � the arithmetic equations of the Sulbasutras he writes, were used in the observation of the triangle by the Babylonians, as well as in the edification of Egyptian pyramids, in particular the funeral altar in form of pyramid known in the vedic world as smasana-cit (Seindenberg 1978: 329). In astronomy too, the "Indus" (from the valley of the Indus) have left a universal legacy, determining for instance the dates of solstices, as noted by 18th century French astronomer Jean-Sylvain Bailly : � the movement of stars which was calculated by Hindus 4500 years ago, does not differ even by a minute from the tables which we are using today". And he concludes: "the Hindu systems of astronomy are much more ancient than those of the Egyptians - even the Jews derived from the Hindus their knowledge �. There is also no doubt that the Greeks heavily borrowed from the "Indus". Danielou notes that the Greek cult of Dionysos, which later became Bacchus with the Romans, is a branch of Shivaism : � Greeks spoke of India as the sacred territory of Dionysos and even historians of Alexander the Great identified the Indian Shiva with Dionysos and mention the dates and legends of the Puranas �. French philosopher and Le Monde journalist Jean-Paul Droit, recently wrote in his book "The Forgetfulness of India" that � the Greeks loved so much Indian philosophy, that Demetrios Galianos had even translated the Bhagavad Gita �.
Many western and Christian historians have tried to nullify this Indian influence on Christian and ancient Greece, by saying that it is the West, through the Aryan invasion, and later the onslaught of Alexander the Great on India, which influenced Indian astronomy, mathematics, architecture, philosophy - and not vice versa. But new archaeological and linguistic discoveries such as the mapping of the ancient Saraswati river by satellites, or the decipherment of the Indus script, have proved not only that there never was an Aryan invasion and that there is a continuity from ancient Vedic civilisation to the Saraswati culture, but also that Indian History has been considerably post-dated by British, or Birtish-related historians. The Vedas, for instance, which constitute the soul of present day Hinduism, have not been composed in 500 BC, as dear Max Mueller arbitrarily decided, but may go back to 7000 years Before Christ� giving Hinduism plenty of time to influence Christianity and older civilisations which preceded it. Thus, instead of protesting the Pope�s visit, the VHP and other Hindu organisations should rather point out to him the close links which exist between Christianity and ancient India, which bind them into a secret brotherhood.
CHRIST AND THE NORTH-EAST
Jesus Christ was a great avatar of Love in the history of humanity and his message of compassion, charity, of caring for one and another, is even more relevant today, in this fast and merciless civilization of ours, than it was 20 centuries ago, when people were more simple and living closer to Nature. Indeed, there are Christians who today try quietly and unobtrusively to put into practise Christ�s precepts - and you can find missionaries in India, such as Father Ceyrac, a Jesuit, who has lived for more than 60 years in Chennai, tending to the poorest sections of this society, while respecting their culture (Father Ceyrac, who speaks fluently Tamil, often quotes from the Upanishads).
Unfortunately, there has crept in the purity of the early Christianity an exclusiveness, a feeling of sole propriety over the Copyright of God. This exclusiveness, this feeling amongst Christians, that "we are the only true religion, all other gods are false gods", has had the most catastrophic and bloody consequences: millions have been killed in the name of Christ, entire civilizations, such as the Atzecs and Incas, have been wiped-out, in order "to bring them the word of Jesus" and Christians have even savagely murdered each other, whether in France or England. One would hope that this intolerance, this fanatical and militant drive to convert, forcibly or otherwise, pagans to the "true" God has ceased in this new millenium of "enlightenment". Unfortunately it is not so. For nearly three centuries, India has been the target of a massive conversion drive. It is even more so today, as Christianity is dwindling in the West � there are less and less people going to Church and very few youth willing to become priests and nuns. The Church is thus looking for new converts in the Third World, particularly in India, where people have such an innate aspiration to spirituality. Indeed, the Pope has earmarked this new millenium as "the Evangelization of Asia". And it is in the North-East that this evangelization is meeting with the most success, because it is peopled with simple, poor and uneducated tribals, who make an easy target.
In Tripura, for instance, there were no Christians at independence, the maharaja of the state was a Hindu and there were innumerable temples all over the State. But from 1950, Christian missionaries (with Nehru�s blessings) went into the deep forests of Tripura and started converting the Kukis. Today, according to official figures, there are 120.000 Christians in Tripura, a 90% increase since 1991. The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1710 Christians in 1961, but 115000 today, as well as 700 churches! What to say of Mizoram and Nagaland, where the entire local population is Christian! The amount of money being by poured by Christians into the North-East is staggering: The Saint Paul�s school of Tripura, for instance, gets an 80 lakhs endowment per semester. Which Hindu school can match this ? No country in the world would allow this. France, for instance, has a full-blown Minister who is in charge of hunting down "sects". And by sects, it is meant anything which does not belong to the great Christian family, particularly if it has Hindu "pagan" overtones�
Isn�t it also strange that many of the North-East separatist movements, such as the Mizo or the Bodos, are not only Christian dominated, but also sometimes function with the covert backing of the missionaries? The Don Bosco schools, for example, which are everywhere in the North-East, are known by the Tripura Intelligence Bureau to sometimes harbor extremists at night. But the Tripura Marxist Government chooses to close its eyes, because in India, Communists are often walking � for their own selfish purpose - hand in hand with Christians. Does the common man in India know that the nexus between the separatists and the Church is so strong in Tripura and Assam that temples are being demolished, that people are scared to practise poujas, except in strongholds such as Agartala, that Hindu social workers do not dare go in the interior ? On the other hand, every other day a new church springs-up in the North-East, every week a new Christian school is opened without facing the threat of any extremist attack. Is it the way of treating a country, which from early times, gave hospitality to Christians � indeed, the first Christian community in the world, that of the Christian Syrians, was established in Kerala in the first century AD?
It�s not only that conversion is an unethical custom, but also that it threatens a whole way of life, erasing centuries of tradition, customs, wisdom, teaching people to despise their own religion and look westwards to a culture which is alien to them, with disastrous results. Look how the biggest drug problems in India are found in the North East, or how Third World countries which have been totally christianized have lost all moorings and bearing and are drifting away without nationalism and self-pride. It is time that Indians awoke to the threat of Christian conversions here. The argument (mostly put forward by "secular" thinkers) that Christians are only 3% in India and therefore cannot be a threat, is totally fallacious: the influence that Christians exercise in this country through their schools, hospitals and the enormous amount of money being poured in by western countries for the purpose of converting Hindus, is totally disproportionate.
The message of Christ is one of Love, of respecting other�s cultures and creed - not of utilizing devious and unethical means for converting people. It is false that Jesus is the only true God. The Divine has manifested Himself throughout the ages under different names and identities, whether it is Christ, Buddha, Krishna or Mohamed. Let this be the motto of the 21st century. Then only will true spirituality emerge, beyond all religions and intolerances.
THE "PERSECUTION" OF CHRISTIANS IN INDIA
When Prime Minister Vajpayee was in the US in September, the National Association of Asian Christians in the US (whom nobody had heard about before), paid 50.000 $ to the New York Times to publish "an Open Letter to the Hon� Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India". While "warmly welcoming the PM", the Naaic expressed deep concern about the "persecution" of Christians in India by "extremist" (meaning Hindu) groups, mentioning as examples "the priest, missionaries and church workers who have been murdered", the nuns "raped", and the potential enacting of conversion laws, which would "make "genuine" conversions illegal. The letter concluded by saying "that Christians in India today live in fear". The whole affair was an embarrassment (as it was intended to be) to Mr Vajpayee and the accompanying Indian delegation, which had come to prod American businessmen to invest in India, a peaceful, pro-Western and democratic country.
I am born a Christian and I have had a strong Catholic education. I do believe that Christ was an incarnation of Pure Love and that His Presence still radiates in the world. But I have also lived for more than 30 years in India, I am married to an Indian, I have traveled the length and breath of this country and I have evolved a love and an understanding of India, which few other foreign correspondents have, because they are never posted long enough to start getting a real feeling of this vast and often baffling country (nobody can claim to fully understand India). And this is what I have to say about the "persecution" of Christians in India.
Firstly, it is necessary to bring about a little bit of a historical flashback, which very few foreign correspondents (and unfortunately also Indian journalists) care to do, which would make for a more balanced view of the problem� If ever there was persecution, it was of the Hindus at the hands of Christians, who were actually welcomed in this country, as they have been welcomed in no other place in this Planet. Indeed, the first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians, was established in Kerala in the first century; they were able to live in peace and practice their religion freely, even imbibing some of the local Hindu customs, until the Jesuits came in the 16th century and told them it was "heathen" to have anything to do with the Hindus, thereby breaking the Syrian Church in two. When Vasco de Gama, landed in Kerala in 1498, he was generously received by Zamorin, the Hindu king of Calicut, who granted him the right to establish warehouses for commerce. But once again, Hindu tolerance was exploited and the Portuguese wanted more and more: in 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque seized Goa, where he started a reign of terror, burning "heretics", crucifying Brahmins, using false theories to forcibly convert the lower castes, razing temples to build churches upon them and encouraging his soldiers to take Indian mistresses. Indeed, the Portuguese perpetrated here some of the worst atrocities ever committed in Asia by Christianity upon another religion. Ultimately, the Portuguese had to be kicked out of India, when all other colonisers had already left.
Secondly, Christianity has always striven on the myth of persecution, which in turn bred "martyrs" and saints, indispensable to the propagation of Christianity. But it is little known, for instance, that the first "saints" of Christianity, "martyred" in Rome, a highly refined civilization, which had evolved a remarkable system of Gods and Goddesses, some of whom were derived from Hindu mythology via the Greeks, were actually killed (a normal practice in those days), while bullying peaceful Romans to embrace the "true" religion, in the same way that later Christian missionaries will browbeat "heathen" Hindus, adoring many Gods, into believing that Jesus was the only "true" God.
Now to come to the recent cases of persecution of Christians in India at the hands of Hindu groups. Ttake the burning of churches in Andhra Pradesh a few months ago, for instance, which was supposed to have been committed by the "fanatic" RSS. It was proved later that it was actually the handiwork of Indian Muslims, at the behest of the ISI to foment hatred between Christians and Hindus. Yet the Indian Press which went wild at the time of the burnings, mostly kept quiet when the true nature of the perpetrators was revealed. Now that Dara Singh has been caught, it has been shown that even if he does belong to the Bajrang Dal, it is doubtful if the 100 others accused do. What is more probable, is that like in many other "backward" places, it is a case of converted tribals versus non-converted tribals, of pent-up jealousies, of old village feuds and land disputes. It is also an outcome of what - it should be said - are the aggressive methods of the Pentecost and seventh Adventists missionaries, known for their muscular ways of converting.
Thirdly, conversions in India by Christian missionaries of low caste Hindus and tribals are sometimes nothing short of fraudulent and shameful. American missionaries are investing huge amounts of money in India, which come from donation drives in the United States where gullible Americans think the dollars they are giving go towards uplifting "poor and uneducated Indians". It is common in Kerala, for instance, particularly in the poor coastal districts, to have "miracle boxes" put in local churches: the gullible villager writes out a paper mentioning his wish: a fishing boat, a loan for a pukka house, fees for the son�s schooling� And lo, a few weeks later, the miracle happens ! And of course the whole family converts, making others in the village follow suit�
American missionaries (and their Government) would like us to believe that democracy includes the freedom to convert by any means. But France for example, a traditionally Christian country, has a Minister who is in charge of hunting down "sects". And by sects, it is meant anything that does not fall within the recognised family of Christianity � even the Church of Scientology, favoured by some Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise or John Travolta, is ruthlessly hounded. And look at what the Americans did to the Osho movement in Arizona, or how innocent children and women were burnt down by the FBI (with the assistance of the US army) in Waco Texas, because they belonged to a dangerous sect�
Did you know that the Christianity is dying in the West ? Not only church attendance is falling dramatically because spirituality has deserted it, but less and less youth find the vocation to become priests or nuns. And as a result, say in the rural parts of France, you will find only one priest for six or seven villages, whereas till the late seventies the smallest hamlet had its own parish priest. And where is Christianity finding new priests today ? In the Third World, of course ! And India, because of the innate impulsion of its people towards God, is a very fertile recruiting ground for the Church, particularly in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Hence the huge attention that India is getting from the United States, Australia, or England and the massive conversion drive going on today.
It is sad that Indians, once converted, specially the priests and nuns, tend to turn against their own country and help in the conversion drive. There are very few "White" missionaries left in India and most of the conversions are done today by Indian priests. Last month, during the Bishop�s conference in Bangalore, it was restated by bishops and priests from all over India, that conversion is the FIRST priority of the Church here. But are the priests and Bishops aware that they would never find in any western country the same freedom to convert that they take for granted in India ? Do they know that in China they would be expelled, if not put into jail ? Do they realize that they have been honoured guests in this country for nearly two thousand years and that they are betraying those that gave them peace and freedom ?
Hinduism, the religion of tolerance, the coming spirituality of this new millennium, has survived the unspeakable barbarism of wave after wave of Muslim invasions, the insidious onslaught of Western colonialism which has killed the spirit of so many Third World countries and the soul-stifling assault of Nehruvianism. But will it survive the present Christian offensive ? Many Hindu religious leaders feel that Christianity is a real threat today, as in numerous ways it is similar to Hinduism, from which Christ borrowed so many concepts (see Sri Siri Ravi Shankar�s book: " Hinduism and Christianity").. It is thus necessary that Indian themselves become more aware of the danger their culture and unique civilisation is facing at the hands of missionaries sponsored by foreign money. It is also necessary that they stop listening to the Marxist- influenced English newspapers� defense of the right of Christian missionaries to convert innocent Hindus. Conversion belongs to the times of colonialism. We have entered in the era of Unity, of coming together, of tolerance and accepting each other as we are � not of converting in the name of one elusive "true" God.