North-East India is a term that usually refers to the seven states of
State 1901 1951 1991
Arunachal Pradesh NA NA 10.29
Assam 0.4 2.00 3.32
Manipur 0.016 11.84 34.12
Meghalaya 6.16 24.66 64.58
Mizoram 0.05 90.52 85.73
Nagaland 0.59 46.05 87.47
Tripura 0.08 0.82 1.69
It is true that Christian missionaries have brought education and civic amenities into this region. However, as in many parts of the world, Christianity has wiped out a whole way of life, erasing centuries of tradition, customs and wisdom. It has caused people to hold their own religion in contempt and look westwards to an alien culture. It has disrupted society by pitting the Christian converts against mainstream �Hindu�
1) British connivance: It was not the Church that entered North East India first. Rather the British administration entered first. The American Baptist Mission remained confined to the Brahmaputra valley and entered the
2) Theological deceit: Missionaries have spread the belief that the tribals of North East India had no religion. In fact, for most people of this region, belief in Supreme Being is a distinctive feature. He is the Creator and Sustainer of humans and the whole universe and is believed to be loving and benevolent (as against the jealous Christian God). They also believe in many secondary deities. The tribals also believe in the existence of malevolent spirits. They believe in the immortality of the soul and life after death. All religious rites are performed by functionaries like the Lyngdoh (Khasis), Putir (Ao), Puitham (Mizo), Kamal nokma (Garo) and so on. Pioneer Christian missionaries like JH Lorrain adopted the term �Pathian� used by the Mizos for their supreme Spirit to indicate the Christian God. Jesus was presented as �Christus Victor� or Jesus Christ the Conqueror (of all evil spirits).The belief of the Ao Naga people in life after death was linked to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. To this day, missionaries use theological deceit for conversion. They have been guilty of substituting the names of Ram and
3) Deceit by other means: �Economic conversions� are carried out by placing �miracle boxes� in local churches. The gullible villager writes out a request � a loan, a pucca house, fees for the son�s schooling. A few weeks later, the miracle happens. And the whole family converts, making others in the village follow suit.
4) Education: The introduction of Western education was the main missionary approach to convert the Naga into Christianity. After independence, the Roman Catholics also gained entry into Nagaland hitherto denied by the Protestant British. The key to their success was their educational policy. Father Thomas Menamparambil writes: �The boarding houses in Shillong, Gauhati and Dibrugarh have played an important role in the evangelization of the region. They formed lay leaders and well-instructed religious teachers. Every year, a good number from among the senior students were baptized. It was precisely these youngsters that helped plant the church in the Garo Hills, in Nagaland, Manipur and to some extent in Mizoram. The experience of the Baptists in the Orphan school in Nowgong was to repeat itself again and again in dozens of our institutions to our own day �
5) Imposition of Roman script: The first thing that missionaries did when beginning work among a new tribe was to reduce its language to writing. This the missionaries did to enable people to read the Bible. At first, for the Khasi and Garo languages, the Bengali / Assamese script was used but was later given up in favor of Roman. From 1970, the Church openly championed the use of the Roman script for the language of the tribals of Tripura and Boros of Assam. This even prompted two Marxist ministers in the Tripura government, Dashrath Deb ad Ranjit Deb Burman to characterize the demand of Roman script for the Kokroboak region of Tripura as �communal politics�. The imposition of the Roman script has on occasion been at gunpoint. On august 21, 2000, terrorists of the Church backed National Democratic Front of Bodoland gunned down Shri Bineshwar Brahma, president of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha. His only crime was that he favored the use of Devanagari script for the Bodo language. It is significant that English is an official language in
6) Self�alienation: The tribals after conversion to Christianity start abstaining from their indigenous festivals because now these festivals and rituals are not his. Hence we see the Christian Khasis of Meghalaya do not take part in the Sad�Suk�Mynstem festival or the Nongkrem festival. Those converted to Christianity in Arunachal Pradesh have stated distancing themselves or are made to do so, from festivals like the Solung or Mopin. The Christian Garos remain cut off from the Wangla festival dance. The phenomenon continues throughout the tribal population. They remain aloof from their traditional dances, accept western names for their children, start wearing western clothes, sing western music and so on.
7) Circumventing laws: Missionary activities were very marginal, or almost nil, till 1962 in Arunachal Pradesh. However, these anti-national and divisive forces, in different names and forms, have been working through various agencies in Assam�Arunachal Pradesh border. Gradually and stealthily, they gained entry into Arunachal Pradesh with the help of the few local Arunachali students who had studied in Christian Missionary schools is
8) Harassment and ostracism: Many reports have come of how Church congregations use harassment, ostracism and other forms of force to increase their flock. Non-converted portions of a family land into disputes with neo-Christian portions over funeral customs, ownership of land and other matters and this result in clashes between groups which newspapers promptly label as anti�Christian acts, whereas these are often clashes between converted and non-converted tribals.
9) Extortion: The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), a terrorist organization has two main factions. Both the factions are headed by Christians and get financial support from World Council of Churches, a missionary organization.
10) Conversion at gun�point: The Baptist Church in Tripura was set up by missionaries from New Zealand 60 years ago .It won only a few thousand converts until 1980 when a mass scale ethnic riot was engineered by the Church in which systematic ethnic cleansing of Hindu and Buddhist tribals was initiated. Thousands of women were raped and kidnapped and forced to convert to Christianity. The terrorists receive military aid from extremist Christian groups in
In Tripura, the tribals constitute 30 percent of the State population, and 10 percent of this group had been converted to Christianity by 1991. These Christianized tribals are trying to convert the Hindu tribals forcibly to Christianity often getting the help of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), a Christian terror group founded in December 1989. About 90 percent of the top ranking NLFT cadres are Christians. NLFT has further links with the Inter Services Intelligences Agency (ISI), Pakistan�s external intelligence agency and its counter part in
During 1997-98, NLFT leaders are reported to have visited
The backing of the Baptist church right from the beginning has enabled this organization to spread its base. Due to its terrorist activities, the organization was banned by the government in 1997 but it continued its operations from across the
Nagmanlal Halam, the secretary of the
Another church official, Jatna Koloi, who was also arrested, admitted that he received training in guerrilla warfare at an NLFT base (8). It is now apparent that the pattern of forced conversions at gunpoint are irrefutably linked to the
For decades Tripura�s indigenous tribal population has been dragged out of their homes and forced to convert to Christianity under threat of violence. Whenever any of the tribals organize Hindu festivals or rituals, the terrorist groups attack to desecrate and kill the participants. There have been incidents of issuing a ban on the Hindu festivals of Durga Pooja and Saraswati Pooja. The NLFT manifesto says that they want to expand what they describe as the
Hundreds of the RSS volunteers were attacked, threatened and blackmailed. Several of them were murdered and a number of them were kidnapped and held hostage by the Christian terrorists. In August 2000, Swami Shantikali Maharaj, the famous Hindu sage known for his social services was killed by the terrorists. In December 2000, Lavkumar Jamatiya, the priest of the �Jamatiya� tribe was killed, two Hindu temples and one Buddhist temple were destroyed and order was issued to end all non�Christian methods of praying. In the year 2001, there were 826 terrorist attacks in Tripura in which 405 persons were killed and 481 cases of kidnapping by the rebels. The case of Jamatiya tribals provides a telling example. These tribals have strong spiritual leaders and a network of social service organizations headed by their religious leaders. These indigenous sects are neither exclusive nor expansionist. The
Hence, it is no wonder that the NLFT has made Jamatiya institutions and their religious leaders the targets of their attacks. In the August of 2000, religious leaders of the Jamatiya community like Jaulushmoni Jamatiya and Shanit Kumar Tripura were killed by the NLFT, and Jamatiya families were uprooted from their homelands and made refugees. The death threats issued by the NLFT to the inmates of these institutions have already forced the closure of 11 Jamatiya institutions like schools and orphanages, set up by the slain religious leaders in various parts of Tripura.
Shorn of its mask of love and compassion, the true color of Christianity is evident in all its nakedness in the North East. Fortunately, the tribals are realizing that their Christianization has led to loss of identity and self-alienation. They are slowly reviving their ancient traditions and customs. Our tribal brethren need our active support to overthrow the yoke of Christianity. Are we going to respond to their call?
शनिवार, 26 मार्च 2011
Christian Conversions and Terrorism in North-East India
North-East India is a term that usually refers to the seven states of