Thursday, 11 December 2014

'Conversions' by Christian missionaries: targeting children and treating them with 'love'

As the issue of "religious conversions" "rocked" parliament on Thursday, according to media reports, I looked through the reportage for stuff that might have transcended the silly 'communal-secular' binary many a journalists use to convey their ignorance.

And I did find some nuggets of bon sense, such as the following.

"Conversion activities directed towards children would, therefore, not survive scrutiny even by a liberal who accepts the right to choose one’s religion. The state can certainly intervene in well-documented cases of “child evangelism”: an orphaned or vulnerable child converted to Christianity through social services cannot be said to be making a free choice in any meaningful sense," writes Rupa Subramanya in Firstpost in an article headlined, 'Ghar vapasi in Agra: The unlevel field in Muslim, Christian, Hindu conversion'.

I posted the following comment to Rupa Subramanya's article, but don't think Firstpost has carried it.

(Wonder why. My comment juxtaposes targeting of children by Christian missionaries with the abuse of children by Christian clergy, and so does provide an insight into the issue flagged by Subramanya in the excerpt cited above.)

"If our obedience to Jesus includes making ‘disciples of all nations’, then how do our current attitudes and actions towards children and youth propel us towards this great task? This question is critical for global mission, especially given that almost half of the population of the world is less than 25 years of age and a third of the population is children under 15 years," says an article titled 'Evangelism Among Children' on the website of the 'Lausanne Movement'.

'Lausanne Movement' is a global movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization; the stated vision is "the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world", according to the Wikipedia.

"The Lausanne Evangelism among Children issue network seeks to serve the church with open source resources for discipleship and mission thinking, while spreading the values of kingdom partnerships, and finding new and innovative strategies of evangelism and discipleship among children," adds the article on the 'Lausanne Movement' site.

Isn't it open and worldwide child abuse and criminality to be targeting children with "strategies of evangelism and discipleship" - even by the standards of hard-core criminality, fraud, gangsterism, imperialism, and ethnocide practised by the Christian churches and missions???

Of course not.

It's because it's Christianity. No crime, however evil, is a crime as long as it's committed in the name of Christianity.

Christianity, we must try hard to understand, actually treats children with so much 'love', it's almost 'touching', as excerpts of some of the reportage cited below bear out. (Even Mother Teresa lent a helping hand in this very Christian 'loving' and 'touching'.)

(a) "The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of allegations, investigations, trials and convictions of child sexual abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests, nuns and members of Roman Catholic orders against children as young as three years old with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14."

(b) Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse (Hardcover), by Thomas P. Doyle, A. W. R. Sipe, Patrick J. Wall, (Bonus Books, 2006) ISBN: 1566252652.

"Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years."

(c) "Marcial Maciel Degollado (Mar 1920 – Jan 2008) was a Mexican-born Roman Catholic priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement. Late in his life, he was revealed to have abused boys and maintained relationships with at least two women, fathering up to six children, two of whom he allegedly abused as well."

(d) Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican
(National Catholic Reporter)

(e) UN child rights group demands Vatican detail its response to abuse scandals
(The Telegraph, 13 July 2013)

(f) Tainted Saint: Mother Teresa Defended Pedophile Priest
(SF Weekly; by Peter Jamison; 11 Jan 2012)

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