In Modi’s Varanasi, Christianity is growing fast, though stealthily

How Christian missionaries befool Hindus to become Christians 

Father Anil Dev, member of Indian Missionary Society

Thousands of gullible Hindus are being converted to Christianity clandestinely by Christian missionaries in Uttar Pradesh, especially in Varanasi, Mathura and other important centres of Hindu faith. The Krista-Bhakta Movement, started by the Catholic Church in 1992, has been able to reap rich harvest of souls in Varanasi, as it has its operations in more than 25 districts in the region.  Catholic Church sources say that its growth has been phenomenal and are spreading to new areas. According to a Christian blogger, Varanasi is important because it is the spiritual capital of the Hindus.

Worship places are modelled in the shape of temples to fool gullible Hindus

A majority of Hindus who participate in the programmes of this movement are unaware of its Christian connection. They use rituals and words similar to that of Hindus. It is a method of inculturation and people are fooled to believe that it is nothing but Hinduism. The modus operandi is that they are not asked to get baptized or become Christian. But Christian ideals and gospels are administrated on small dosages to illiterate and semi-literate villagers. They are taught Bible. This group also provides medical support and educational support and financial assistance to the needy.

According to a source, the Catholic Church is targeting illiterate and semi-literate people in the villages and has been successful in creating an army of youths to take its message far and wide. In some places, they have invited BJP leaders also to participate in their events.

Rudolf C Heredia, editor of Social Action, the journal of the Indian Social Institute, writes: “The early Christian churches had an adult catechumenate, an instruction programme for would-be converts and well-wishers, which did not always end with baptismal initiation. Most recently in India the Krista-bhakta movement initiated by some Catholic priests in 1992 from Matridham Ashram in Varanasi is gaining momentum and has spread to six districts in the region. This is basically an inculturated movement of satsangs, or prayer meetings, and bhajans, or devotional singing, centred on the ashram community, where all are welcome and the Ishtadevta , the personal deity, is Jesus Christ, though the devotees are not converted to Christianity, and there is no formal dharmantar initiative with sacramental baptism.”

Father Anil Dev of Indian Missionary Society, which is spearheading the movement, states: “The movement is the result of the Satsangs (prayer meetings) held at the Ashram in 1993-1994. At present, at least 4,000 people come every Sunday to attend such meetings out of about 30,000 members of this devotional movement, more than the total number of Catholics in the diocese. Most Khrist Bhakta members come from a reality of spiritual and social bondage; many suffer enslavement in a patriarchal society. Ours is primarily a movement of spiritual liberation. Encountering the Gospel is a life-changing experience; it gives a new identity, a culture of prayer and brotherhood that transforms people and the society in which they live.”

Why the missionaries are not insisting on baptism? If people convert, they “may face ostracism from society and family”. This movement helps them to “live out their Christian beliefs as fully as possible”, states a Christian blogger.

Photo courtesy: