Replies submitted by Shri L. E. Hartman, Amravati Camp, Berar, Mission Bungalow, Amravati Camp, Berar
To - Committee appointed to inquire into activities of missionaries.
I, the. undersigned, have drawn up the following answers to your Questionnaire in conjunction with the following: Rev. A. S. Zadhav, local priest of the Church of England in Amravati and Badnera, Rev. A. V. Bhambal, pastor of the local church of the Church of North India here in Chaprasipur, Amravati Camp, and Rev. S. J. Kokane, pastor of the local church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance of U. S. A. in Ambapeth, Amravati. This may, therefore, be considered the work of a committee consisting of the four of us. We are answering for the Protestant Christians only in Arvi, Amravati and Chandur talukas. At the time I drew up these answers in the rough, Rev. T. A. Amstutz of Chandur-Railway, had not returned from the furlough, but now he has returned and I think he also is sending in answers. If so, the figures he gives should be deducted from the ones I am giving rather than added to them as I am giving the totals for the three talukas and he will probably give the figures for Arvi and Chandur. I have not seen him for some days. That is why I don�t know for certain what he is doing, but he told me he had received one of the Questionnaires.
1. I don�t have the figures for the scheduled castes, etc. They can be obtained from the Government, but I am giving a careful estimate of the number of Christians including their children. I say, estimate, as the number fluctuates and it is quite impossible to give the exact number for any given year:-
1941-704; 1947-742; 1951-795; 1954-825;
2. Increase is due partly to the natural increase within the Christian community and partly due to converts from non-Christian religions,
3. I take �born Christians� to mean, those born in Christian homes and in order to answer this accurately we would have to have accurate records of the last fifty or sixty years. Probably, about ninety per cent of the city Christians would come under this head, but only fifteen or twenty per cent of the village groups. In the Biblical sense we hope they are all �born Christians�, that is �born again� according to John 3:1 to 7. No one becomes a Christian by natural birth but only by the second or spiritual birth. Even those born to Christian parents need to have this experience.
4. 1947-Nil; 1948-21; 1949-17; 1950-17; 1951-10; 1952-14; 1953-36; 1954-31. All from Mahar caste.
5. Individually. Unless there is a special reason for doing so we do not baptise a man without his wife or a wife without her husband.
6. I take this question to refer to both Christian and non-Christian organizations. The Church and Mission are working to win men and women to Christ and the Arya Samaj, Hindu Maha Sabha and a new one called �The Bharatiya Isai Mahar Shudhikaran Savnstha� are trying to persuade Christians to return to Hinduism. All of these approach individuals for these purposes besides holding public meetings and giving lectures.
7. I don�t know so much about the non-Christian organizations. As for the Christian ones, those who believe God has called them to full-time service for Him come forward and ask for training. If, after training, they are considered satisfactory they are put to work teaching and shepherding Christians and trying to win others to Christ. There is a set scale of pay depending upon their qualifications and the number of children they have. No rewards are offered for successful work.
8. Here again, we speak for Christians only. (a) to (h) and (k) and (m) Definitely �No�. Regarding (i), we extoll only Jesus Christ and ignore so called non-Christian deities. To us, �there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ�. I. Tim. 2:5. Regarding (j), Jesus in Jno. 14:6, �I am the way, the truth and the life; no man come in the Father but by me�. In Acts. 4:12. we read. �Neither is there salvation in any other; for, there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved�. This is the plain teaching of the New Testament and we believe it to be true and, therefore, preach and teach accordingly, but don�t think it is fair to call it a threat, as is suggested in this question. See also Mark, 16:16.
9. As far as I can remember none of those converted since 1947 were matrics, but a few probably have an annual income of Rs. 1,000 and above.
10. Regardless of their social and financial standing, we do not baptise any one unless we are convinced it is a case of religious conviction with him. Therefore, as far as we know, all non-Christians baptised were because of religious conviction on their part.
11. Emphatically �No�. In the New Testament, we are taught to obey the authorities, to honour them and be loyal citizens and we teach the Converts accordingly. The better Christian a person is the, better citizen of his country he will be. It is impossible to be a good Christian without being a good and loyal citizen. See Rom. 13:1-7, I. Pet. 2:13-17. In I. Tim. 2:1, 2 we are commanded to pray for kings and all in authority.
12. There are no Christian hospitals, etc., in these three talukas, but (a), (c) to (h) apply as we try to take advantage of all opportunities to carry out the command of our Lord as given in Mat. 28:19, 20, Mk. 16:15, etc.
13 and 14. We try not to be offensive, but to preach the truth in love.
15. This depends upon the person, but in most cases they are honoured and respected in the places in which they work and live. Some are working in the locality where they were born, while others come from other talukas, perhaps, fifty miles or more distant. They preach and teach and try to be helpful members of society.
16. Their educational qualifications vary. Their emoluments are according to their qualifications, educational and otherwise and no rewards are offered for successful propagation of the faith.
17. They get Bible School training. None from the area under consideration has been trained in a foreign country.
18. Most of them are assigned to a circle of quite a large number of villages. His work is supervised by a panch elected annually by delegates from the various churches and circles. That is, we have an annual business meeting to which the churches and circles send delegates and the panch is elected there from among the delegates. At present, it consists of two missionaries and three nationals. There is no set criterion of success in his work, but in judging him, naturally the spiritual condition of those whom he shepherds and the tone of his work, etc., is taken into consideration.
19. Primarily Bibles, New Testaments and Bible portions, but we also use books, booklets and tracts, samples of which I am sending under separate cover.
20. Magic lanterns, films, loud-speakers, etc., are used when available, but at present no one in this area happens to own any of them.
21. This is against Christian principles and is not done. Such converts would be worse than useless. Not being Christians in heart, they would be weights upon us and hinder our work.
22. We hold sabhas here and there, mostly on a small scale for the teaching and edifying of Christians and inquirers.
23. On principle, we missionaries refuse to take any part in political affairs. Besides, we are forbidden by the U. S. Government to take any part in the politics of the countries where we work.
24. Arya Samaj, Hindu Maha Sabha arid the Bharatiya Isai Mahar Shudhikaran Savnstha. They give lectures, distribute literature, etc. I don�t know about their offering of inducements. Not much success.
25. This is very little, if any, different from what it was before 1947.
26. Naturally, being the minority community, the Christians could not boycott non-Christians even it they wanted to and I don�t think they have any just reason to complain of any such treatment of them by non-Christians.
27. Not that I know of.
28 and 29. No.
30. Government officers, on the whole, are cultured gentlemen and try to be impartial. We have no complaints to make against them.
31. I do not have this information.
32. In some cases, yes, and in others, no.
33. Decidedly, yes.
34. Never even heard a hint that missionaries did such things, but the condition of the Christian cemetery in Badnera bears abundant testimony to the fact that somebody does such acts. I earnestly request you to come and have a look at it.
35. This question does not arise.
36. Missionaries are always glad for anything which benefits the people.
37. Missionaries and National Christians have contributed towards flood relief funds.
39. They learn their languages, live and move among them, etc.
40. No. Conversion to Christianity does not make them any the less Indian.
41. We only ask them to give up those things which are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
43. Christian and Missionary Alliance, strictly speaking, is the only one doing what we usually think of as �Mission work�. The United Church of North India has a Church in Amravati Camp and the Church of England has Churches in Amravati Camp and Badnera, but they don�t work in the villages.
44. In 1947 there were five and now there are seven, but one is being transferred and another two are rather temporary.
45. I don�t have this information.
46. Seven Americans as already mentioned. There are no Nationals who are called missionaries.
47. Their educational qualifications, as also their station in life before joining the mission vary. As a rule missionaries, after coming to India, receive only a fraction of what they were earning in America.
49. The question does not arise in this area.
50. Democratic. No man has supreme authority over them, but they work under committees and chairmen elected from among themselves by ballot.
51. By free will contributions and offerings from Christians in the lands from which they came. They have regular budgets and statements of accounts which can be obtained from their headquarters.
52. Yes; by a mission appointed auditor and also by a Government man.
53. This information can be obtained from headquarters.
54. Amounts are received only for religious, social and educational work and are spent for the same. Naturally only Christians are associated in the expenditure of mission funds.
55. I do not have on hand samples of all pamphlets, etc., which have been used in our work, but will send samples of what I have.
56. Yes. These can be obtained from headquarters.
57. Religious propaganda, Bible teaching, adult education and some medical work involving the use of only the very simplest remedies.
58. No mission courts; never beard of any.
59. We work all over the area as time and personnel permit.
60. Since sixty years or more there have been main stations in Amravati and Chandur. There are out-stations in Arvi, Mhaispur, Wathoda, Badnera and Nandgaon Kaji, some of which are of thirty or more years' standing and some have been opened in the last few years and three others were closed. Communications to some of these places in the rains are difficult, but not impossible.
61. There are Government officials stationed in Amravati, Chandur and Arvi. I do not know how often they visit our other out-stations.
62. Yes. The proceedings are not kept secret, neither are they publicised.
63. Yes. And Protestant missions work in harmony one with the other.
64 and 65. No.
66. None that I know of.
67 and 68. No.
69. There is no mission hospital in the area under report and therefore questions 70 to 76 do not arise.
77. No missionary in this area has anything worthy of being called even a small dispensary.
78. There are no mission schools in this area. Therefore, questions 79 to 92 do not arise.
93 and 94. No.
95 to 98. Any answer given to any one of these could easily lead to a lengthy discussion so I choose not to answer them.
99. I am quite willing as are also the other members of this committee to appear before the committee if they so desire.
Sincerely yours on behalf of these collaborating in the preparation of the answers.
L. E. HARTMAN.
P. S. - Since beginning typing this I have heard that Rev. Amstutz was not sending in any answers.