A lot has been written about ‘conversions’ in India.
Christian evangelists, missionaries have over the years intensified their acts in spreading the message of ‘Jesus Saves’.
I see nothing wrong in sharing the good of your religious life and experiences with friends or people within your community and social circle.
The wrong I see is in the messaging that ‘Jesus’ is the only God and all other Gods are false.
Does ‘Jesus Saves’ only Christians. If he does, then I am sorry to say, Jesus is not God.
The beauty of God cannot be capsulated in a thought, dogma, structure or even a religious personality. God is the spirit of every existence in this universe.
Our understanding of God comes from our social connects and communities.
A Christian learns about Christianity, a Hindu about Hinduism, a Muslim about Islam, a Sikh about Sikhism, a Buddhist about Buddhism.
Imagine this, if today as a Hindu you were born in a Christian family, your religious ideology will be based on the religious thoughts of Christianity around you.
Today, when a Christian evangelists preaches that Hindus worship the devil. He is not insulting Hinduism as a religion. He is insulting the religious faith and immense belief of the Hindus in their understanding of God.
What does it mean to follow the teachings of Jesus?
What does it mean to follow the teachings of Krishna?
What does it mean to follow the teachings of Buddha?
A devout Hindu man, is a good son to his parents, a good husband to his wife, a good father to his children, a dutiful man in his work and service to mankind; do you want me to believe that because he does not believe in ‘Jesus’ means he is cursed to go to hell.
A philandering Christian man, who forgets his duties to his parents, wife, children and community; do you want me to believe that because he believes in ‘Jesus’ he is blessed to go to heaven.
In fact Jesus himself clearly states in the Holy Bible in Mathew 7:21, “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of God. But the one that does the will of God.”
So what is the ‘will of God’.
The ‘will of God’ is certainly not telling another devout person of another religion that his God is false and your God is the true God.
To my understanding the ‘will of God’ is best described in the two commandments that Jesus left his followers with, it captures the very essence of life and our relationship with God – Mark 12: 30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.”
I see the conversion brigade of Evangelists and self-claimed ‘miracle workers’ as the false prophets that Jesus himself spoke about in the Bible in Mathew 24:24 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive.”
However, let me also be honest, not every Evangelist or Missionary from the Christian faith is out to convert people from other religions especially Hinduism.
There are some touched by the teachings of Jesus, who dedicate their lives to spreading love and kindness amongst the downtrodden without spreading hate towards other religions or indulging in acts conversions.
The Christian preacher standing on a pulpit screaming that Hindu Gods are false Gods, has insulted the beauty of Christian teachings of seeing the God within each of us and around us.
As follower of Jesus’s teaching, I am against forced conversions.
It is also interesting to note that failure of Christian thoughts in the West and the gravitation of Westerners to Indian philosophies.
The decline Christian population is the West, means decline revenues to run the operations of the Churches across all denomination of Christian faiths – Catholic, Protestants, Baptists, Methodists, Jehovah Witnesses.
India because of its sheer population is a sizeable market for conversions.
The irony is that foreign Christians come to India to teach Indians about Jesus, when Indians have been living a life of oneness with God and God’s creation for centuries, through the teachings of the Vedas.
In the end, I would rather be a example of Jesus’s teachings of love and humility than enforce my religious views on anyone.
To be be honest I have learned a lot from the beliefs of my Hindu friends that has made my relationship with God more stronger.
Our religious beliefs will always have a common ground, that common ground is love and compassion which we humans have been blessed with.