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Part IV



On consideration of the material before us we arrive at the following conclusions of fact:-

1. Since the Constitution of India came into force there has been an appreciable increase in the American personnel of the Missionary organisations operating in India. This increase is obviously due to the deliberate policy of the International Missionary Council to send evangelistic teams to areas of special opportunities opened to the Gospel by the Constitutional provision of religions freedom in some of the newly independent nations, equipped with new resources for mass evangelism through the press, film, radio and television. (Pages 27 and 31 of the Missionary Obligation of the Church, 1952).

2. Enormous sums of foreign money flow into the country for Missionary work, comprising educational, medical and evangelist activities. It was out of such funds received from abroad that in Surguja the Lutherans and other proselytizing agencies were able to secure nearly 4,000 converts.

3. Conversions are mostly brought about by undue influence, misrepresentation, etc., or in other words not by conviction but by various inducements offered for proselytization in various forms.  Educational facilities such as free gifts of books and education are offered to secure the conversion of minors in the primary and secondary schools under the control of the Missions.  Moneylending is one of the various forms adopted as a mild form of pressure to induce proselytization.  This is found very prominently in the case of Roman Catholic Missions operating in the hill tracts of Surguja, Raigarh, Mandla, etc. Cases where coercion was reported to have been used are generally of those converts who wish other members of the family to join their Christian parents or to secure girls in marriage.

4. Missions are in some places used to serve extra religious ends.  In spite of assurances given by foreign and national Missionaries to authorities, instances of indirect political activities were brought to the notice of the Committee.

5. As conversion muddles the converts sense of unity and solidarity with his society, there is a danger of his loyalty to his country and State being undermined.

6. A vile propaganda against the religion of the majority community is being systematically and deliberately carried on so as to create an apprehension of breach of public peace.

7. Evangelization in India appears to be a part of the uniform world policy to revive Christendom for re-establishing Western supremacy and is not prompted by spiritual motives.  The objective is apparently to create Christian minority pockets with a view to disrupt the solidarity of the non-Christian societies, and the mass conversions of a considerable section of Adivasis with this ulterior motive is fraught with danger to the security of the State.

8. Schools, hospitals and orphanages are used as a means to facilitate proselytization.

9. Tribals and Harijans are the special targets of aggressive evangelization for the reason that there is no adequate provision of hospitals, schools, orphanages and other social welfare services in the scheduled or specified areas.

10. The Government of Madhya Pradesh, have throughout followed a policy of absolute neutrality and non-interference in matters concerning religion and allegations of discrimination against Christians and harassment of them by Government officials have not been established.  Such allegations have been part of the old established policy of the Missions to overawe local authority and to carry on propaganda in foreign countries.


On the conclusions of facts reached by us we now proceed to deal with certain important considerations which arise out of them �on a review of the question from historical and other points of view�, as a prelude to the framing of our recommendations.

2. At the outset we wish to guard ourselves against being understood as making any reflections upon the character, conduct or ability of any individual.  Our adverse comments, wherever they occur, are to be understood as referring to the Mission as an institution, national or international.  It has been suggested that the Missionaries, who have nothing to hide or cover, would like to be told frankly if there is anything wrong about their activities that can be put right.  We, therefore, wish to be as frank as possible so that when both parties are reasonable, there should be no cause for misunderstanding, but on the contrary, the way could be cleared for proper understanding, mutual confidence and common action.

Tribute to the Missionaries

3. The contribution of Christian Missionaries to the shaping of Indian life in modern times has, indeed, been very impressive.  Apart from the controversy on the point of proselytization, they merit high appreciation as pioneers in the fields of education and medical relief.  The names of Rev. Hislop, Rev. Whitton, Rev. Robertson, Dr. Henderson, Dr. Martin, Rev. Dr. McFadyen and a host of others who served in our State as also in the country at large commanded great respect in their times. They establishes schools, colleges, hospitals, dispensaries, orphanages and institutions for the maimed and the handicapped.  They elevated the neglected classes to high social position; and made them worthy of filling responsible posts in public services, and in all cases made them conscious of their dignity as men and inspired them with self-respect. They stimulated many religious and social reforms in the Hindu Society, and made it self-conscious. They have helped in the elevation of the status of women by giving the lead in female education. The Community Centres and Industrial Schools opened by them are, like their other institutions, the best of their kind.  India will ever be grateful for the services rendered by them, no less than for the policy of religious neutrality generally pursued by the British Government, and for the eminent oriental scholars of Europe and America who brought to light the hidden treasures of the ancient Indian wisdom.

Avenue of approach to the problem

4. Now that India is independent, the question is as to the point of view from which the problem before us should be examined. We think that the spirit which animated the representatives of the various communities in India, including the Christians who participated in the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly affords us the best guide.  Laying aside all their differences based upon the dogmas of their respective religions, they approached the national problems from a purely, rational point of view, and arrived at the unanimous conclusion that the national State of India should be a secular and a welfare State.  The basis of the Constitution of India is, thus, Reason, not Faith; and it is from the point of view of Reason that we propose to approach the problem for a satisfactory solution.

What is a Secular State?

5. What is a Secular State? In negative terms, we may say that it is one that is not a Theocratic State, viz., a state in which the Government is believed to be under the immediate direction of God and in which religion and politics are inextricably interwoven.  In a Secular State, one may broadly say that there is no recognition of Dogma, everything that comes before the Government concerning the temporal interests of the citizens is open to full and free discussion.  It does not mean, as is generally supposed, that the State is against any or all religions, or that it overlooks moral values.  The Articles in the Constitution of India, which relate to a Secular State, are 25 to 29.  According to Article 25, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of Conscience, and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion, subject to public order, morality and health.  There can be a dispute only on the point of the interpretation of the expression �propagate any religion�.

Suffice it to say here that the State will not allow its citizens to do whatever they please in the name and under the guise of religion.  Article 25 itself specifies the limits within which religious freedom can be exercised.

Past history of persecution in the name of religion

6. The idea of a secular State emerged after centuries of experience in human history.  While our Constitution was founded on the liberal principles evolved in Europe, it was not blind to the red signal of the history of Christian countries in which indescribable acts of cruelty were perpetrated in the name of religion.  It has been recently calculated that the number of men who lost their lives in the Papal persecutions of heretics, the Inquisition, the Christian religious wars, etc., is much more than 10,000,000 (page 293, The Riddle of the Universe, Sixth Impression, 1950, Thinkers� Library).  They could be justified only in the words of Shelley: �the word of God has fenced about all crimes with Holiness The American Constitution, which was the first in modern times to create a secular State, had to take into account the previous blood-stained history of the Christian Church. Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence of the U.S.A., set his face firmly against persecution and compulsion in the sphere of religion. �Is uniformity attainable?�, he asked, �Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.� (Page 19 The American Ideal by A. Bryant).  Jefferson was Vice-President once and President twice of the U.S.A. and declined that office the third time.  The principle which he followed in the matter of religion is the one which underlies the Constitution of India. �As to myself�, he said, �my religious reading has long been confined to the moral branch of religion which is the same in all religions; while in that branch which consists of dogmas all differ, all have a different set.  The former instructs us how to live well and worthily in society; the latter are made to interest our mind in the support of the teacher who inculcates them. Hence for one sermon on a moral subject, you hear ten on the dogmas of the sect.� (Pages 88, 89, Jefferson, Living Thoughts Library presented by John Dewey).

Secular State does not imply Abandonment of Religion

7. Thus, our Constitution has, in principle, followed the American model.  In America, although the national policy affecting religion involved a separation of State from Church, she did not cease to be Christian.  The American principle of religious liberty expressed very tersely is this: That the State should not forbid its citizens to do what their religion requires, not require them to do what their religion forbids. The principle assumes of course that what a citizen�s religion forbids or requires does not involve the violation of the fundamental human rights of those who hold different convictions from his own (Religious Liberty by M. Searle Bates, pages 90-91).  It is clear that neither Hindus nor Muslims nor Christians nor Parsis cease to be Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Parsis because the State is secular.  It only means that a secular State will not interfere with the articles of faith of any religion, is modes of worship and such other matters of a strictly spiritual nature unless the religious activities come in conflict with the fundamental rights of the citizen or the authority of the State founded on the Constitution.

Respect for Jesus in India

8. It may be mentioned that there was none among the non-Christians who appeared before us or sent written statements who showed any lack if reverence for Jesus.  A true copy of an article entitled �Christianity In India Under Fire� written by Donald F. Ebright, published in the Christian Century, Chicago, in its issue, dated 16th June, 1954, was produced before us.  While he tells of �a mounting antagonism to Christian Activity in India which cannot be discounted�, he emphasises the attitude of the Indian people towards Jesus in these words: �You are not in India long before you discover the great reverence for Jesus Christ�.

9. At this stage we come face to face with controversial problems. We are indebted to an esteemed Missionary gentleman of Berar for bringing to our notice the Report of the World Conference of missionaries held at Tambaram, Madras, in 1938, and to the representative of the Christian Council of India for favouring us with a copy of it.  We have carefully perused it and other relevant publications, and it is in the light of the thoughts and activities recorded in them that we approach the problem to find a solution.

The Church: Its Worldliness and Imperfections

10. As indicated above, India is in no way lacking in reverence for Jesus.  But this reverence for Jesus does not attract Indians to the Church for the reason that it appears to the Indian mind that the Church does not truly reflect the spirit of the teachings of Jesus.  This is admitted in the �Tambaram Report� itself, in these words:��� As a human attempt to realise God�s will it is incomplete and sinful; it shares in the limitations and imperfections of human nature; and because of its worldliness and divisions it is often a hindrance, sometimes even the greatest hindrance, to the coming of the Kingdom of God, i.e., the rule of God over all.  The worldliness of the Church and its failure to show Christian love as an actual fact, is its greatest weakness, and from it no Christian group is free ��� and we should doubt whether the churches as they are do truly express the mind of Christ� (pages 27 and 29). ���� �Often, especially in countries where there are �younger Churches� we hear Christianity and the Christian Church criticised as being importations from foreign lands or agents of Western Imperialism� (ibid., page 30).

11. This outright confession was presumably made in answer to what the Christian intellectuals in India said about the Church in a book entitled �Rethinking Christianity in India� at page 114, viz., �The Church is no longer what is called the Body of Christ; but it is the body of the national mind, i.e., of the politicians who guide national policies.� The same sentiment was expressed by Rev. R. D. Immanuel in 1950 in these words: �The Churches and Archbishops and Bishops have not been the custodians of the Lord�s Dharma; but camp followers of worldly statesmen�, (page 37, The Influence of Hinduism on Indian Christians, publisher by Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, India).  Even the writer in Life (Volume XX No. 3, February 6, 1956, the International Edition of the Special Issue Christianity, page 60) could not help admitting: �There is not yet any clear evidence of Christian revival.� He significantly poses the question: �Is there some inadequacy in the message of the Churches?�

12. Gandhiji expressed himself strongly against making people members of the Church. �If Jesus came to earth again� he said, �he would disown many things that are being done in the name of Christianity.  It is not he who says Lord, Lord that is a Christian but he that doeth the will of the Lord.� (page 165, Christian Missions : Navajivan Press).  These words were spoken in 1935.

Missionary Movement of Mass Conversion, 1930-1940

13. The profound significance of Gandhiji�s statement will not be clear without the knowledge of the political situation as it developed in the decade 1930-1940 since the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909 which followed the agitation over the partition of Bengal.  It was unfortunately discoloured by anarchical crimes.  Sir Andrew Fraser, the Lt. Governor of Bengal, wrote, in 1912 (3rd edition), a book entitled �Among Indian Rajahs and Ryots� in which he propounded the doctrine that the hope of India lay in the elevating and civilizing power of Christianity (p. 275), and that �She ought to receive of our best� (p. 276).  He said, �all parts of India, so far as education and association with the West have directly affected life, feel the unrest which comes from intellectual awakening and the revival of national spirit� (p. 278) and it seemed to him that �to give them civilization without Christianity is to withhold that to which our civilization owes all that is best in it and by which alone it can be kept pure and healthful� (p. 279)��� �to leave them without religion may make them a probable source of danger in the future history of the race� (page 279).  In 1920, Gandhiji began his non-violent movement, taking his stand on the Geeta and rallying round him the masses including the rural population.  The Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture in India was published in 1928.  In that report there was a very significant statement, viz., �Throughout our investigation we have constantly been impressed with the thought that mere material improvement alone will not bring lasting benefit to the agricultural population� (page 58),

14. After Gandhiji launched his movement for Indian Independence the contest was given a religious turn by the Muslims with their demand for a separate independent State.  The Missionaries were straining their nerve to break up the solidarity of the Hindu society as will be shown in the sequel.

15. The Report of the Simon Commission was published in 1929.  It recommended the exclusion of the aboriginal areas from the purview of the newly constituted Government, apparently for the purpose of according to them special protection so as to facilitate their advance as quickly as possible to the level of the population as a whole.  The Missionaries came forward to take advantage of the provision with a scheme for proselytization of the rural and aboriginal people.  In response to the initiative of the Jerusalem Meeting of the International Missionary Council and the invitation of the National Christian Council of India, Dr. Kenyan, L. Butterfield (appointed by the International Missionary Council), visited rural India and focussed attention �on the vast area of human need and limitless spiritual possibilities�, in the words of Dr. J. R. Mott, who wrote the preface to his report called �The Christian Mission in Rural India (1930)�.  That report. referred to Gandhiji�s statement made at the outset of the campaign of civil disobedience, viz., �the future of India will be decided not in her cities but in her villages� (p. 42, Report), and also to the aforesaid observation of the Royal Agricultural Commission made at page 58 of its report. (Butterfield�s Report, page 146).  Dr. Butterfield called for cooperative and united work among the Missions and Mission institutions to make clear that there was a powerful Christian enterprise in India which was to win the sixty million outcastes and an equal number of unprivileged masses to a more abundant personal and social life.  He suggested that the problem of the Indian villages should be laid before the American public and their co-operation enlisted.  He pointed out the forces which had to be faced in these words: �the urge of the Christian enterprise to permeate and lead the ethical and spiritual advance in India will hire to meet in India, as elsewhere, the forces of secularism, of an exaggerated nationalism, perhaps of Communism, certainly of a material industrialism.� As an offset he recommended that Christianity must present in an aggressive and effective fashion first Jesus Himself ��� the type of Christian individual embodying in some measure at least the spirit of Jesus and a Christian social order. (Butterfield Report, pages 126-127).

16. The Round Table Conferences came to be held in 1930, 1931 and 1932.  In that hectic period of excitement, the Laymen�s Foreign Missions Enquiry Committee was appointed in America.  It consisted of 15 distinguished citizens of America, presided over by Dr. Hocking.  In their report was adumbrated the vision of a worldwide Church and world unity in civilization as Christianity was not Western but universally human (Rethinking Missions, page 8).  It propounded that the original objective of the Mission was the conquest of the world by Christianity.  It was a world benevolence conceived in terms of a world campaign�� the universal claim of one historical fact : the Work of Christ. (Page 35, ibid).  It declared that for Christianity God is not far off but in all actions, in ploughing, sowing, reaping, etc., (page 52), and that Christianity was prepared with a polytheistic faith to see God in varied aspects (page 53).  In tones 6f imperialism it proclaimed �Missions must go on because concrete obligations have been assumed by our institutions to the peoples of the East which could not fairly be abandoned� (p. 5, ibid).

17. That report was presumably intended to supply the spiritual background to the Missionary adventure to present in an aggressive and effective fashion first Christ himself, etc., as had been recommended by Dr. Butterfield in his report.

Mass Conversion

18. The natural result of this united vigorous activity was that many mass conversions were effected.  Dr. Pickett, obtaining 25,000 dollars from the Rockefeller Foundation and 10,000 dollars from Dr. Mott, carried out a survey and published his report entitled Christian Mass Movement in India, in 1933. (Gharbandhu 1931, July, page 104).  Dr. Mott wrote a foreword to it.  In a conversation with Gandhiji in which he described his work of mass conversion as a work on behalf of the oppressed, Gandhiji said, �I could understand the Muslim organisations doing this but the Christian Mission claims to be a purely spiritual effort.  It hurt me to find the Christian bodies vying with the Muslims and the Sikhs in trying to add to the number of their fold.  It seemed to be an ugly performance and a travesty of religion� (P. 420, Christian Proselytism in India by Parekh).  The World Missionary Conference held at Tambaram in 1938 expressed itself deeply moved by �the cry of the multitudes for deliverance� and proclaimed �the great need for a true and living faith� (page 16, Tambaram Report).  Missionary bodies, like the Church Missionary Society and the Salvation Army, rushed forward to save the souls of �the underprivileged millions�, apparently with a view to make out a case for separate treatment of the Christian community.  As money began to pour into the country Gandhiji exclaimed: �Mammon has been sent to serve India and God has remained behind� and Dr. Mott said �money is stored up personality� (page 245, Christian Missions, Navajivan Press).

19. It is remarkable that in the Census of 1941, heads were counted communitywise, not on the basis of religion.  Mr. Yeats, the Census Commissioner of India in his short note on Community (Census of India, Volume I, Chapter IV, page 29, Part I, Table) tried to explain the mystery.  On the calculations made by Shri S. N. Parashar (in his article Published in Mahratta, February 16, 1946), in the light of that note, the actual increase in the Christian community was found to be 34,74,128 approximately, in the decade 1931-1941. (PP. 448-450, Christian Proselytism in India, by M. C. Parekh.)

In Hyderabad the increase in the Christian population was 141.6 per cent in the decade 1921-31, and 45.6 per cent in the decade 1931-41. (P. 103 the Directory of Churches and Missions in India and Pakistan, 1951.)

20. Another noteworthy feature was that in Burma the Karens like the Muslims set up a demand for a separate State and pressed their claim before the Round Table Conference.  This move was evidently inspired by the Missionaries, judging from the remark found in the Rethinking Missions at page 138 as follows:

�The Missionaries gave them education and through the translation of the Bible a written language.  This remarkable achievement, the giving of a nationality to the people��� has resulted in one embarrassment.  The Missionaries are held responsible for breaking apart an important minority group. The Karens have today a strong national society which has sent a delegation to London to plead for a Karen nation.� (Italics ours.)

21. Judging from the nature of the part taken by the Missionaries in the decade 1930-40 we are inclined to think that their activities were directed to segregate Christian Indians and to encourage them to demand special treatment.  Their activities were thus clearly political.

22. One may think that this is but a history of a bygone age which has disappeared with the attainment of Independence by India in 1947.  To think so is to misunderstand the situation.

23. Towards the end of the World War II the ecumenical movement designed to unify the Christians of the world under the aegis of a Universal Church became very vigorous.  In 1945 the Commission on a just and Durable Peace stressed as one of the four points of peace requiring Christian action the development of Christian unity on a world-wide basis and affirmed that the Christian forces of the world must �become a well organised and militant minority� (page 57, World Christian Handbook, 1952).  When we asked for an explanation of the phrase �militant minority� the representative of the National Christian Council replied that it was an unfortunate phrase, but that it meant only �energetic efforts�, (Italics ours).

24. It will be clear from what follows that the movement which was started in 1930, if not before, is now found flourishing in greater vigour, backed by much increased resources in men and money.  It is a continuation of the same process on a wider scale.  In Christian Missions in Rural India it was proposed to convert 600,000 villages to overcome the forces of secularism, of exaggerated nationalism, Communism and material industrialism (page 127).  The ecumenical movement follows the same line. Rev. McLeish, a trustee of the World Dominion Press which maintains a close liaison with the International Missionary Council (page 94, World Christian Hand Book, 1952), proposed the conversion of 600,000 villages in the course of 10 years (page 7, address at the Conference of the Fellowship of the International Missionary Council, June 1-3, 1948), and the objective of the ecumenical movement is to combat, besides Communism, �the Utopian expectations of the non-Christian religions� (page 28, Elements of Ecumenism), and discountenance the rapid development of modem technology and industry in Asia. (Pages 93-94, Christianity and Asian Revolution.).

25. It may be recalled that Dr. Mott, who was in the vanguard of the Missionary activity in the decade 1930-40 and contributed 10,000 dollars to the survey of the mass movement (Gharbandhu, July, 1931, page 104), carried out by Dr. Pickett and wrote prefaces to the �Christian Mass Movement in India� and �the Christian Mission in Rural India� and also had discussions with Gandhiji on the subjects of mass movement and the use of money (which he contended was stored up personality), had then been regarded as a highly practical Missionary statesman (page 8, Elements of Ecumenism).  When the World Council of Churches became a thoroughly organised structure in 1948 at Amsterdam be became its Honorary President. It may be recalled that Mr. Dulles and Rev. Lakra were also present at the Amsterdam Conference.

Attitude and Activities of the Ecumenical Movement

26. The attitude of the World Council of Churches was greatly influenced by the experience the Missionaries had m the struggle with the rising tide of Indian nationalism.  They found nationalism pervading, not only the Hindus as a community, but also the educated section of the Christian Indians.  The policy of the ecumenical movement in regard to both of them is made clear in the two paragraphs which follow:

�In spite of many efforts in many forms it cannot be pretended that Christianity has made any serious impact on Hindu learning or the Hindu upper and middle classes; its successes have been among the outcaste groups �� the capacity of Hindu culture for absorbing other elements appears once again in the recommendations on religious teachings of the Radhakrishnan University Commission.  The task of Christian Churches and Missions in Hindu India is�� to seek ways of communication with Hindu culture at its points of need. The time for this may be short in view of the possibility of Communist infiltration from within or pressure from without.� (italics ours).

�In the old Mission fields there are now Churches touched by new nationalisms, independent in temper and organisation and yet needing help from other Churches.  The act of giving and receiving, within the context of the Church and the Churches �� involves �� a new understanding of the nature of the Church �� the need of particular Churches to be rooted in the soil and yet supra-national in their witness and obedience� (page 14 and 29, World Christian Handbook,1952). (Italics ours.)

27. To come to grips with the adamant Hindu society, phrases such as �Hindu Nationalism�, �Utopian expectations of non-Christian religions� came to be coined. The Hindu belief that all religions truly practised lead to the divine is ridiculed as a dogma. (Page 136, Christianity and Asian Revolution).  Hinduism was quite free from the secular idea of nationalism until it had to face the aggressive attacks of the Christian religion which came armed. There were declarations as that of Archbishop of Canterbury that Christianity was an Imperial religion (page 234, Imperialism by Hobson).  To call the liberal attitude of the Hindu religion as a dogma is tantamount to intolerance of toleration itself.  The Hindu is denounced because like the Christians he does not believe that outside his own religion there is no salvation, but, as had been remarked by Rousseau, such a dogma is good only in a Theocratic Government (Chapter VIII, Social Contract).  The action he proposed was �whoever dares to say outside the Church there is no salvation ought to be driven from the State unless the State is the Church and the Prince, the Pontiff.  Such a dogma is good only in a Theocratic Government; in any other, it is fatal�.  Western Christianity unfortunately overlooks the fact that it seeks to foist upon the world the tribal God of Mount Sinai.  Hinduism, like other far-Eastern religions, is not a tribal nationalistic religion.  They are all international religions, except Shintoism for the reason that in none of them is the divine a God of the chosen people (page 402, The Meeting of East and West, Northrop).

28. Why should Christianity fight shy of the absorbing power of Hinduism? Christianity could hold its ground in India for centuries without any opposition.  It was only after Western Christianity came armed with the Portuguese that there sprang up resistance to it.  One fails to see why the introduction of St. John�s Gospel in University studies upsets the Universal Church. The Hindu has no objection to the Geeta or the Upanishads being read or studied by any one in the world.  Presumably the fear that may be haunting Western Christianity is that if St. John�s Gospel is studied in Indian Universities it will have to face the True Jesus that will be brought to light.

29. It is remarkable that the Missionary appeal is addressed to those who live �in conditions of abject. poverty and under oppressive system�, to exploit the economic distress to which the country was reduced as the result of colonialism.  Everett Cattell says: �Our point of contact, therefore, with any soul to whom we wish to give the Gospel, is first to find out what his particular sense of need may be and confront it with Christ.  It may not at first even be expressed in spiritual terms.  The late Paget Wilkes in his �Dynamic of Service� points out that in a very fruitful service in Japan he almost never saw anyone converted through a sense of sin.  That came later through gazing at the Saviour.  But most men come with a need, social, physical, economic, or the like and an awakened faith that Christ could meet that need.� (page 17, Ways of Evangelism).  The distress of the poor looms large in the evidence before us as well as in the reports of the Tambaram and Willingen Conferences.  This is a disruptive method followed by the Missionaries for the reason that Christianity was originally a religion of the proletariat and was in opposition to the favoured classes from the beginning and it, therefore, carries wherever it turns the seed of disruption (page 56, Travel Diary of a Philosopher by Count Keyserling). As a creed is a tool (in the words of Sir A Toynbee) it is used as a weapon to combat the creed of Communism as also to disrupt non-Christian societies.

30. Gandhiji resented this approach to these classes and asked the Missionary to influence the minds of the intelligentsia, but he was told that the uneducated and the unsophisticated classes were more responsive to religious appeal as they were in real need of it.  The real reason is to be found in the Census Report of 1881 (Bombay), where Mr. Baines stated as follows:-

�The greater receptivity of the member of the lower class is due to the emotional appeal which neither his intelligence nor his education disposes him to enlarge� (quoted at page 79, Census of India, 1891, Volume XI, Part I).

That places the converts entirely under the domination of the Missionary and wipes out his individuality altogether.

31. We have already described how money flowed into the Surguja district to effect mass conversions after it was opened to Missionary work, pursuant to the liberal provisions of the Constitution of India.  The mass conversions were made exactly in accordance with the instructions contained in the Missionary Obligation of the Church, 1952, published by the International Missionary Council.  At page 27 it says, �In wide regions of the world the major problem is hunger ��� in the present situation there are opportunities for the Church ��� Constitutional provisions of religious freedom within some of the newly independent nations ��� new resources for mass evangelism through the press, film, radio and television�.  There is evidence before us that the people are called by some kind of public advertisement, offering inducements of loans and they are regarded as enquirers when they appear in response to the call. What species of spiritual impulse prompted the crowds to embrace Christianity en masse can well be imagined from what follows:-

1st February 1952 � 10 families consisting of 69 members. 
3rd February 1952 � 28 families consisting of 144 members. 
5th February 1952 � 18 families consisting of 85 members. 
10th February 1952 � 16 families consisting of 65 members.

(Gharbandhu, May 1952, page 5.) This is but an illustrative case.

32. One wonders whether this is the way of diffusing spiritual illumination.

Ecumenical Attitude towards Christian India

33. As regards the Christian Indians, the question arose as to the meaning of �supra-national�, occurring in the passage cited above.  This word was explained to us as having a spiritual significance. Rev. Lakra, however, admitted that a Church, like the Church of England, could not be supra-national.

34. There was also some obscurity about the word �obedience�. Before us it was divergently interpreted as �obedience to God� or to �Christ� or to �Church�.  When funds were supplied to Rev. Lakra, the expression �partnership in obedience� was explained as implying obedience to Christ�s command to spread the Gospel (page 6, Gharbandhu, October 1951). The question, however, still remains, as to who would take proper action if the condition is broken. That necessarily assumes some authority to call the delinquent to account. The obedience would, therefore, be to that authority.

35. It appears clear that in view of the fact that �the Indian Church lacks economic maturity� and even �the most highly organised National Christian Council �� has to be largely paid from abroad� (page 13, World Christian Handbook, 1952), the control rests with the authority abroad.

Attempt to Alienate the Indian Christian Community from their Nation

36. There also arose the question as to the meaning of the phrase �rooted in the soil�.  This was interpreted by the International Missionary Conference, held at Willingen, in 1952, as meaning �related to the soil�.  The Church can only be �rooted in Christ� (page 9, The Missionary Obligation of the Church, 1952).  Upon this interpretation, it was emphasised that the task before the younger Churches was a formidable one, as they had to be �rooted in Christ�, first before they could be �related to the soil� (page 271, Christianity and Asian Revolution). As. one reads the Missionary literature one comes across phrases such as �colony of heaven�, �in the country but not of the country�, �historical community of the redeemed�. All these smack of extra-territoriality which figured so prominently in Chinese Treaties. It appears to us that the Missionary �strategy� (a word which recurs frequently) is to detach the Christian Indian from his nation.  It may well be a suspicion, but it is strengthened by certain views expressed by prominent persons. Dr. Pickett of North India speaking in the Assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1954, remarked that one of the reasons for the development of Church Unity was to obviate the danger of the growth of nationalism as the rational churches were apt to reflect the spirit of political nationalism (Page 544, National Christian Council Review, December 1954).

37. Rt. Rev. J. E. L. Newbigin, who is the Chairman of a group of thinkers within the World Council of Churches (page 26, Elements of Ecumenism), laid stress on the fact that Christians were the chosen race in these words : �We cannot understand the New Testament without the Old ��� the central theme of that book is God choosing (election) a people to be His Own People �� now (and this is the next great point) we, who read it today in the Church read it as members of that People.� (page 75, National Christian Council Review, February 1954).

38. In an article �Christian Awake�, it is propounded that �when there is a conflict of loyalty between Christ and country, the true Christian has necessarily to choose obedience to Christ�. (page 158, National Christian Council Review, April 1955).  We have before us a pamphlet entitled: �For Christ and Country�, issued in America.  We wonder whether the Americans would accept this interpretation of the duty of a Christian in America.

39. In India, there is the danger of such a conflict arising for the reason that in the report of the Commission on Christian Social Action, �competition� is preferred to �co-existence� (page 114, 1955 Blue Book Annual Reports of Officers and Boards of the Evangelical and Reformed Church).  Here there is room for disagreement.  Co-existence implies �live and let live�, as also �let us live together�, i.e., it may include co-operation, but it cannot include competition which means �either you live or I live�.  In co-operation, rewards are shared, in competition they are monopolised.

40. The information which has come before us regarding the Abundant Life Movement started with the aid of the funds received from America, presumably in terms of �the strategy of the Christian enterprise to win these great under-privileged masses to a more abundant personal and social life� (page 126, Christian Mission in Rural India) shows that it is confined to the converted Christians and intended to encounter Communism. The Jeevan Tara Movement in Damoh and the farm purchased by Dr. Clines in the Yeotmal district are also meant to benefit the Christian converts.  Nowhere did we find Christians taking part in the nation-building activities.  At page 158, National Christian Council Review, April 1955, even a Christian writer admits that Indian Christians, as a whole, have not identified themselves with nation-building activities.

Danger of Foreign Control during Crisis

41. The tendency to keep the Christians, separate from the mass of the people and under Missionary control engenders the suspicion that they might be used in critical times to promote foreign interests, as was attempted to be done by the Missionaries of Chhota Nagpur, by offer the offer of 10,000 armed Kols and by Dr. Mason in Burma, of a battalion of Karens, in the critical year of 1857 (page 206, History of Missions in India, by Richter). The recent hostile attitude of the Karens. Nagas and Ambonese points in the same direction (p. 215, Christianity and Asian Revolution). It is, therefore, necessary to have a strict watch on the activities of Missionaries in the hill tribes areas.

42. The idea underlying the Christian Mission in Rural India (Dr. Butterfield�s report) was to facilitate mass proselytization.  The work was conceived either to forestall the national effort to rehabilitate the villages or to show that without Christianising the villages the rehabilitation of the villages was not possible. But what do the Missions now think about the work of the Government? In the Blue Book Annual Report of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, for the year 1954, it is said, �India is changing so rapidly that even those who are closely connected with the country through our Missionary endeavours find it difficult to keep up with every phase of our political, economic, social and religions development. Within seven years after gaining Independence, India has moved into a place of world leadership.  In spite of adverse circumstances intensified by drought, floods, and other calamities, Communism and resurgent Hinduism have been held in check.  India�s progress in social and economic welfare leaves one astounded.  Two and a half million additional acres have been brought under irrigation during the past year. Some 5,000 wells were dug to provide a more adequate water-supply.  Foodgrains were increased by eleven million tons last year in spite of devastating floods.  New fertilizer plants, research centres, laboratories, schools and colleges are the order of the day. Recently, divorce laws were enacted which prove how quickly India is forgetting her old religions teachings and social customs.  To what extent can Christ be regarded �the Hope of the World� in such a situation?  Is man after all �the architect of his own salvation?� What relevance have Christian Missions in a country like India? Perhaps the remarks of a leading Hindu gentleman in Raipur indicated the answer when he said, �These plans will succeed if character is built up� and an honoured leader of our Evangelical and Reformed Church said, �we must provide the leaven�.  Jesus announced �I am the Way, the Truth and the Life�. (page 61).

43. It is not easy to understand why the Missions should be surprised if man becomes the architect of his own salvation. Perhaps it is because the Missions look askance at �material industrialism� and �the Utopian expectations� of non-Christian religions.

44. The Hindu gentleman must have known that centuries before Christ the, Indian Rishis proclaimed �Truth wins ever, not falsehood; with truth is paved the way to the divine (Mundaka Upanishad quoted at page 67, Discovery of India by Shri Nehru).  To the Hindu, �character� has ethical implications; but one usually finds that in the Missionary literature and speeches character is stressed as �Christian character�.  What is the kind of Christian character liased on truth that the Missionary wants to build up?  Is it to create men of Christian character that the mass movements in Formosa have been initiated? (page 49, World Christian Handbook 1952).  Perhaps, it is necessary to do so for the reason that Chiang-Kai-Shek proclaimed himself as a �follower of Jesus Christ� and added that the success of his revolution depended upon men of faith and of character and that the best of his officers were Christians and the large number of his Generals were the members of the Church! (pages 424-425, The Meeting of East and West by Northrop).

44-A. On many occasions Gandhiji expressed his suspicion about the ulterior motives of Missionary enterprise. Dr. Asirvatham points out that such a suspicion springs from the manifestation of the American foreign policy in such aggressive forms as in the slogan : �Let Asians fight Asians� (page 35, Christianity in the Indian Crucible).

45. As the United States has no territory abroad she tries to compensate for this by establishing military bases and military alliances (page 22, Christianity and Asian Revolution).  It appears that by this drive of proselytization in India she desires to create psychological bases. The persons who came before us expressed such suspicions about American aims very strongly, and this is also pointed out at page 23 of the aforesaid book in these words : �The West is using the threat of Communism as an excuse to regain political mastery over the liberated peoples�.  The American Missionary activity in some of its aspects, is too tinged with the anti-communist world strategy to elude notice (p. 29, World Christian Handbook).  Morrison in his report on the subject of �Religious Liberty in the Near East, 1948�, also notes in more places than one that there is a suspicion of the foreign Mission being the agents of foreign political power.  His conclusion is remarkably frank in these words : �No doubt in the past Missions have been used to promote political ends� (page 49).

46. In a lecture which the Director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, Dr. O. Frederick Nolde, delivered in 1954, he declared that the effectiveness of the United Nations would be dependent upon the extent to which real world community existed recognising no national frontiers.  He accordingly asked the Christians who are party to the ecumenical fellowship which recognises no national frontiers to view the problem in three aspects, viz. (i) the standpoint of faith and life within the churches, (ii) the need to promote world community, (iii) the United States �potential contribution to world peace and justice� (National Christian Council Review April 1954, page 195).

47. As one reads the Christian literature one comes across phrases like �colony of heaven� �historical community of the redeemed�, a Christian being �in but not of the country� suggesting that a Christian does not belong to the country of which he is a citizen and on this basis he is expected to view the problems from the point of view of the United States idea of peace and justice.

48. It must not be understood here that we cast any reflection on the United States� desire for peace and justice.  Our object is only to point out that while in Christian countries the loyalty between Christ and country is riot divided it comes to be divided in non-Christian countries like India.  The �World Christian community� suggests the idea of Christendom under he domination of the West for the achievement of world peace through Western unity and supremacy in armed strength.  The drive for proselytization appears to stem from the conception of denationalising the Christians in India in the way expressed by Lord Bryce �community of religion, in carrying the educated native christians far away from the native Hindu or Muslim, brings him comparatively near to the European� (page 57, Volume I, Studies in History and Jurisprudence).

49. Unfortunately, some of the features conspicuous in the history of the Missionary enterprise in Asia betray its political character.

Historical Missions and Politics

50. When Carpini was sent to China in the 13th century apparently to expound to the heathen the truth of Christianity, he went in reality on a Mission of Espionage, an instance of religion being used for political purposes (pages 376-77, Asia and Western Dominance-Panikkar).  Writing about Missionary activities in China even the Missionary historian Latourette had to point out that �the church had become a partner in Western Imperialism� (page 425 ibid).

51. In Japan also it was discovered in 1596 that the Christian Missions were being used for political purposes.  A Spanish Captain of a ship admitted that the object of converting the people to Christianity was to secure allies in conquering their Mother country (page 843, Story of Civilization by Durant).  It is with reference to Japan that Sir A. Toynbee observes that an aggressive foreign religion will in fact her an immediate menace to a society that it is assailing on account of �the danger of the converts being used as a fifth column� (p. 58, The World and the West B.B.C, Reith Lecture-1952).

52. In India, St. Xavier enlisted the support of the Portuguese King in putting political pressure upon people to become Christians (page 44, History of Christian Missions, Richter).  That was because �the Portuguese were confronted with a civilization older than that of Europe, with men more highly educated and more deeply learned than their own priests and men of letters, and with religions and customs and institutions whose wisdom equalled their antiquity (page 16, Albuquerque, by Morse Stephens: Rulers of India Series).  It was from this time that Christian theology has been carrying on a severe struggle with the Indian religious philosophy.

53. The Protestants did not enter the field until the beginning of the 19th century. Missions to foreign fields had not always been regarded as the immediate duty of the Church. Melancthon thought that Christ�s injunction which had been given to the Apostles had already been fulfilled (Rethinking Missions, page 7). Even as late as 1796, Dr. Hamilton, declared in the general Assembly of the Church of Scotland that to spread abroad the knowledge of the Gospel among the heathen nations was highly romantic and visionary (page 18. Missionary Principles and Practice by Speer).  But what is n

VINDICATED BY TIME - The Niyogi Committee Report On Christian Missionary Activities

Sita Ram Goel
The Sunshine of �Secularism�
Rift in the Lute
Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee, Madhya Pradesh
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Tour Programmes of the Committee
District Raigarh
District Surguja
District Raipur
District Bilaspur
District Amravati
District Nimar
District Yeotmal
District Akola
District Buldana
District Mandla
District Jabalpur
District Chhindwara
Replies submitted by Shri J. Lakra
Replies to Questionnaire concerning the area covered by Jashpur, Khuria and Udaipur of the Raigarh district
Replies submitted by the Catholic Sabha of the Raigarh district Replies
Replies submitted by Shri Gurubachan Sing, Raipur
Replies submitted by Chairman and Secretary of the General Conference, Mennonite Mission in India, Saraipali, Raipur district
Replies submitted by Rev. Canon, R. A. Kurian, Nagpur
Replies submitted by Rev. E. Raman, President, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh, Gopalganj, Sagar
Replies submitted by Miss M. L. Merry, Khirkia R. S., Hoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh
Replies submitted by Shri L. E. Hartman, Amravati Camp, Berar, Mission Bungalow, Amravati Camp, Berar
Replies submitted by Umri Mission Hospital, Umri, via Yeotmal, Madhya Pradesh
Replies submitted by Shri F. B. Lucas, President, Independent Christian Association, Yeotmal
Replies submitted by Shri R. W. Scott, Secretary, National Christian Council
Replies submitted by Dr. E. Asirvatham, Nagpur
Replies submitted by Shri P. S. Shekdar, Khamgaon, district Buldana
Replies submitted by Shri Sohanlal Aggarwal, Secretary, Vedic Sanskriti Raksha Samiti.
Replies submitted by Shri T. Y. Dehankar, President, Bar Association, and six others of Bilaspur
Replies submitted by Shri M.N. Ghatate, Nagpur Sangh Chalak.
Replies submitted by Shri R. K. Deshpande, Pleader, Jashpurnagar
Correspondence of Roman Catholics with the Committee, the state government and the Central Government
Extracts from Catholic Dharma ka Pracharak and other pamphlets showing the methods of propaganda
Short History of Chhattisgarh Evangelical Mission
Camp: Raipur (22-7-1955)
Camp Bilaspur (25-7-1955)
Raigarh (28-7-1955)
Jashpur (22-11-1955)
Jabalpur (8-8-1955)
Sagar (11-8-1955)
Mandla (15-8-55)
Khandwa (17-8-55)
Yeotmal (10-8-55)
Camp Amravati (13-8-1955)
Washim (16-8-1955)
Buldana 18-8-1955
Malkapur (20-8-1955)
Nagpur (20-9-1955)
Camp Ambikapur (19-11-1955)
Activities of Christian Missions in the Eastern States and proselytism in the Udaipur State by the Jesuit Mission