Monday, April 25, 2016

Is Christianity A Threat To India?

            An article published by, “Why Christianity poses a clear threat to India,” accuses Christianity of being a threat to India, so much so that the writer proposes implementing “Ghar Wapsi” (converting Christians to Hinduism).1 

            Why this hatred against Christianity? Are the foundations for such accusations against Christianity legitimate?

Christianity’s Western Connection

            The accuser of Christianity posits America as the chief instigator, as a Christian nation, to impede Hinduism, “Just like the Syrian Christians backed their western co-religionists over the local Hindu and Muslim communities, with whom they had co-existed – and from whose help they had thrived, prospered, and gentrified – modern Indian Christians look up to the West, especially the United States. In their view, America, being the most Christian nation, should help them in keeping India – and thereby Hindus – in line.”(Emphasis Mine). 2 Thus the article presents Christianity as a threat to India.

            Make no mistake; the United States of America was constructed upon the Judeo-Christian foundations. However, any unbiased observer of the present-day USA would concede to the progressive deterioration and the sustained abandonment of the Judeo-Christian foundations. Those who deem USA as a Christian nation have misplaced their facts.

            Christianity is the largest religious group in the USA. But this does not make America a Christian nation. Only a minority of 19% Americans identified America as a Christian nation, whereas 69% Americans identify America as a “Nation of many Religions.”3 Since America is not a Christian nation, the accusation that Christian-America impedes or destabilizes Hinduism is invalid. Therefore, Christianity is not the reason for America to impede Hinduism.

Christianity’s Role in India’s Partition

            The accuser of Christianity posits Christians' alignment with the Muslims during the partition as a destabilizing factor to India’s unity. This is far from being true. Why?

            The Bible – the Word of God – governs Historic Christianity and its adherents. Christianity should be questioned only if the decisions of the Christians are bible-based. If the decisions of the Christians are not based on the Bible, then these decisions are independent of Christianity. Hence, Christianity should not be questioned in these scenarios.  

            The Bible does not make any specific assertions to help the Christian decide whether to align with India or Pakistan. Hence, the decision made by the Christians to align with Pakistan – provided that the narrative of Christians aligning with Muslims during partition was factual – has nothing to do with Christianity. This was not a Christian decision, but a political decision.

Christianity a Fifth Column?

            The accuser of Christianity accuses Christians of being a fifth column in India. defines “Fifth Column” as a group of people who act traitorously and subversively out of a secret sympathy with an enemy of their country.

            This accusation exposes the extreme hatred of the accuser towards Christianity. Hence, it would be worth one’s while to examine the reasons behind this rather unsympathetic accusation.

            Some Christians Suffer from Foot in the Mouth Disease: To blindly attribute a natural disaster as God’s act against those who persecute the Christians is to speak firmly with both our feet in the mouth.

            While I examined this theme in 2013, I pondered, “On 22nd September 2013, militants killed many Christians at a Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. On 25th September 2013, a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit the Baluchistan region of Pakistan killing more…Was this earthquake God’s response to the killing of HIS people?”4 Finally, I arrived at this conclusion, “…deficiency of evidences of God’s wrath upon Pakistan should motivate Christians towards a godly and a legitimate reaction. First, pray for those affected whose lives are changed rather irreparably. Second, if we are able, we should offer material assistance, for we are mandated to love our neighbor. Third, if we cannot corroborate our inner convictions with objective evidences, we should refrain from uttering derogatory statements that adds more pain to a burning wound. Many lives need our moral and physical support, so let us be agents of love and comfort in this situation.”5

            Indian Christians are not Stooges of the West: The accuser of Christianity says, “today’s Indian Christians are a means for the West to penetrate the higher echelons of power in New Delhi.”6 The premise for this accusation is predicated on the hypothesis that the Indian NGOs funded by the Americans act against the Indian interests.

            It is a known fact that Americans fund both the Christian and the non-Christian NGOs. A study undertaken in 2010-2011 reveals that Christian NGOs receive 40% of the total American funding to the Indian NGOs.7 So who benefits from the remaining 60% of American funds? Hindu religious organizations such as Mata Amritanandamayi Math could be the beneficiaries of these foreign fundings.

            There is another interesting aspect to this theme. India’s single largest temple trust had a revenue of Rs. 2262 crore (Rs. 22.62 billion) in 2014, which apparently is twice the foreign donations received by 10 biggest Christian and Christian affiliated organizations in India!8 This statistic trivializes the foreign funds Indian Christian NGOs receive.

            Could it be a fact that only Indian Christians are used as a means for the West to destabilize India? No, not by any stretch of imagination!

            Consider the Indian nationals arrested by India for spying for foreign countries, Diplomat Madhuri Gupta, Navy officer Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, Manmohan Sharma, a senior Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer, 1975 batch Research and Analysis Service (RAS) officer Ravi Nair, Rabinder Singh , Ashok Sathe, RAW officer K V Unnikrishnan and the likes.9 There are more names here.10 I will let you decide who in these lists were Christians and who is not. To the best of my knowledge, none of these were Christians.

            Therefore, it is very unfair to blame Christians of being the stooges of the West.

Christianity’s Proselytization Efforts

            Wasn’t it the renowned atheist and magician Penn Jillette (from Penn & Teller) who said that he respects Christians only if they proselytize (evangelize)? Christianity is an actively evangelizing religion. But Christianity is NOT the only actively evangelizing religion. Hinduism (Asaram Bapu, Murari Bapu, Swami Ramdev, Amma, Satya Sai Baba, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar etc.), Islam (Zakir Naik, Shabbir Ally etc.), Atheism (Dawkins, Harris, Dennett etc.), and Buddhism are actively evangelizing religions as well. Significantly, Indian constitution does not prohibit evangelization.

            Evangelization is not to lure people into Christianity for material benefits. This is not the biblical mode of evangelization.

            Has Christian evangelization been so successful that Hindus or those from other religions ought to be cognizant of Christian evangelization? Christian evangelization, as per the Indian census statistic of 2011, has yielded a mere 2.3% of Indian Christians,11 which is a decline from 2.6% in 1971.

            So much for Christianity’s proselytization efforts!

Christianity Breaking India?

            The accuser of Christianity quotes authors Rajiv Malhotra, Aravindan Neelakandan and Koenraad Elst to accuse Christianity of attempting to delegitimize Hinduism as India’s native religion.12 This seems to be a thought process inhabiting the theoretical realms without actualizing in the existential.

            How so?

            Despite Christianity’s presence in India for almost 2000 years, Christianity has neither established itself as a majority religion, nor has Hinduism tumbled down to a meager state of a minority status. Therefore, the accusation that Christianity is a divisive force fails against this existential reality.

            Has Christianity served India? Yes, absolutely! A cursory glance at the number and the age of Christian orphanages, old age homes, homes for the destitutes, schools, colleges and hospitals reveals the prolonged existence and the magnitude of Christianity’s selfless service to India. Apart from this, Christians and Christian churches serve the poor and the needy in their community.


            The Bible mandates Christians to serve and submit to governing authorities, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong…Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13: 1-7, NIV).

            Moreover, none of the accusations leveled against Christianity is valid. Therefore, Christianity is not a threat to India.



2 Ibid.  



5 Ibid.



8 Ibid.





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