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uppalapati Lakshmi Prasanthi

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by uppalapati Lakshmi Prasanthi   

Last edited: Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2002

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These are my frank opinion on religious conversions and christianity. I wish everyone read and share their opinion on this particular aspect and also your reaction to this article.

For long, there has been a debate on this topic in India. I write down my views here.

Christianity - a Good religion. The first thing I notice in them is the spirit of service. The attitude which I don't like at all is their saying that Christ is the only God and looking down upon the gods of other religion.

One of my Christian classmate's house is opposite to my house in my childhood. When I was studying 3rd class, I went along with them to their relatives house to take part in their Christmas Celebrations. Mainly to see
Christmas Grandfather. I went to church also. He used to say like that. Though I respect each and every religion, I didn't like his attitude.

Coming to conversions, the majority of the people whom they convert in India are tribals and backward castes. One thing I always admire is they
provide them education, medical help and financial help sometimes. But after doing all that they convert them to Christians. They say that people didn't get
much respect in chaturvarna system of Hinduism, so they are being converted.

My question is: Many Many Educationists also can't understand to the full extent what religion actually is. How come the uneducated tribals (even if they become literates) wishes to change their religion?
It is nothing but provocation. Being grateful of all the help they received, these ignorant and innocent people are converting without knowing what it actually means.

The Burning of the Australian Missionary Graham Stewart Stains along with his two kids,is a very brutal act. Everyone condemned it. Everyone in India felt sorry for it. But when any such barbaric acts were happened, we have to look at the other side also. When we pass any judgement or frame any idea, we must be impartial.

The way that particular Dara Singh used to oppose Mr. Stains is brutal but we also should think of the reasons: why he had done so? Why most of the villagers kept quite and silently supported Dara Singh though they oppose his act?

I personally firmly condemn the yearning to convert people, who ever it may be, of whatever communal background they may belong to. I personally pray Lord "Shirdi Sai Baba" who is the God of all religions. But I never say or force anyone to follow HIM only. Ofcourse, I may say about the qualities of HIM with much happiness and confidence. I don't say that HE will offer his help only if you follow HIM. I only say that you should believe HIM, if you want to question and get reply.

India being secular everyone has the right to follow the religion of their choice and can preach its principles but shouldn't convert.

One girl who is christian, who is my classmate and a friend of my best friend, who is muslim, invites everyone to church. But if we invite her to temple or mosque, she will refuse. My friend who is Muslim gets angry at these attitudes. If you are not willing to come to other holy places, where is the right to you to ask or expect others to do so. ( We do not oppose going to church. In fact, I went to church and my Muslim friend has visited many of the temples with me.We need not pray but we should respect other gods also. We shouldn't say that our God only is great. Others are not Gods at all. You pray HIM in one form and others in other form)

"Give Respect and Take Respect" - a quotation. Every one must first digest that.


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Reviewed by benifit all (Reader)
I appreciate your opinions and I would like to clarify each point one by one with illustrations
Christianity is definitely good, it is undisputed fact.
Jesus preached to the world love, peace, and service to humanity and equality and proclaimed that he is the way the truth and the life and the door for eternal life in the KINGDOM OF GOD.
Christianity gives Glory and Honor to GOD the Almighty the creator of the universe and never accepts to give that glory and honor to a piece of wood or stone which carved and colored by a man.
For your information even Vedas of Hinduism confirms GOD is one and God is Spirit and formless now it the idol worshipper to understand how a man can create image (Murthy, idol) of GOD and bow before it.
A Christians never shows interest in any other religion or in any other God because they found Jesus the Savior (moksha datha) a Messiah the redeemer and deliverer
it is like this when you need admission in a collage and the principal of that college is your close relative and has already confirmed your admission, but your friend does not know your relation with principal so your friend tells you that he will try to help you for admission through the clerk in that college, do you show any interest in your friends approach.
I think you got what I am trying to explain.
Christian missionaries gifted free education to the Hindu downtrodden and uplifted their status by providing equal opportunity for employment.
In the past Hindu religion restricted education only to certain casts that too with limitations. For the downtrodden there was no way to improve their life, and to justify this aspect the upper casts have developed a convenient philosophy stating that birth into a lower and untouchable casts was the result of the previous life.
Christian missionaries sacrificed their lives to show the love of Christ to the poor, sick and hungry people who were not considered as human by a Hindu society but the missionaries served them with compassion and never compelled any one for conversion but offered a choice and freedom to enter into church where as a Hindu society not allowed them to enter into temples.
Conversion to christianity was/is a choice for a person it is never a compulsion.
When the tribes’ and backward classes found better life for themselves and their next generations in Christian philosophy and opted for conversion, hence the conversion was the best option for the backward and tribal people.
After a period of time even the upper cast people too converted to Christianity understanding the salvation, savior Jesus, eternal life, and the Kingdom of God.
Ultimately all Hindus have converted to the Christian philosophy of equal rights from Hindu philosophy of rights according to casts.
And finally Hindus converted from Hindu tradition to Christian philosophy by adapting to democracy and free job opportunities for every body according to qualification instead of Hindu tradition as son of king is the next king, purohit’s son is next purohit, a potters son is potter, barber’s son is barber, washer man’s son is washer man they are not allowed to change their trade because the cast system does not permit the change.
So now whosoever changed the ancestral profession and taken up another profession is not a Hindu but a half Christian.
Hindu feels proud to speak in English language which Christian missionaries taught.
Can you find any Hindu in India who is not influenced or accepted Christian philosophy.
It is not exaggeration if I say Hindus are half Christians now due to their philosophical conversion

It is better now to convert completely to Christianity by accepting Christ as savior to enter into the Kingdom of God because Jesus is the Way the TRUTH and the LIFE.

Reviewed by Srinivas Surya (Reader)
Conversions or no conversions, God is one. Each individual will consider that religion fulfilling which gives him peace. Peace might be in form of economic or mental peace.

Its all a matter of individual perspective, and what they see for themselves. A.R.Rahman converted to Islam, but does it mean that Hindus' cannot find peace ? There are many Christians who converted to Hinduism, does it mean no christian cannot find peace in Christianity?

Recently I had been to Hampi, there I wanted to visit the Anjani Parvat. So I crossed the river alongwith one of my friends in a small boat, and the boatman dropped us on the opposite shore and said that we will be able to find our way to the hille asily. But waht actually happened was we almost got lost. We kept walking for a very long distance, but were unable to find a route to theg main road. All this while we could see the Anjani Parvat. I was even more worried because we needed to get back to Hospet before dark, and my friend was a girl. At this time, we came across a hut and I walked in and found a young boy there. I tried to ask him in telugu/hindi and tamil about the route when I heard lady's voice asking me in english"where do you want to go " I was surprised to see that the lady was a foreigner. She was wearing ablack dress and there were many photographs of Hindu Gods in her house. She was a Foreigner. She wore very long hair coiled around her head. She came out and told me the route to the hill. As we were talking she took out a cigarette and started curiosity aroused, I asked her where she was from. She told me that she hailed from Belgium and had settled down in this place since abt 20 years. When I asked her what she found here...she said" I found peace, And I find this place very energizing"

Does it mean that on no other place one can find peace ? Of course one would find more peace in places that make one feel close to nature than industry. But what this lady said set me thinking. It is a matter of one's perception and what they seek and find in their lives.

Similarly, am illiterate tribal who converts himself to christianity may not know anything about christianity or the religion. But he sure knows one thing...that this new religion is giving him food and treats him equally as a human being. That is peace for him. I don't think this should be labelled as a forceful conversion.

As for the killing of Graham Staines and his sons, Its a shameful act. If you see the photographs of the innocent kids, it willd efinitely touch your heart. No one has the right to take the life of another individual, come what may be the circumstances.

God never discriminates religion. Lord Vishnu married a Muslim. Anyway what happens if more people convert to christianity ? One should beleive in one's God, not the dominance of their God over others.

I am not being pseudosecular. Sometimes my friends say I talk as if I am a fanatic. At the same time, we need to respect eachg person's wishes. At the same time, even the others shouldnt do provocative acts or try to give scope for people to become passionate and violent about their religions. Killing someoen doesnt solve a problem.

Because in the end, God is one.
Reviewed by Kiran Kumar Jonnalagadda
I am glad to say that I am a converted christian. I specially thank my lord for leading me into this true way. One cannot taste the glory of Christ untill and unless they submit themselves to him. The knowledge of Christ is like a mountain. When one sees it from far, or from its foot, he could just see it as a mountain. But when he started climbing over it, step by step he can find the beauty in it and also the beauty of the city aroud it. As high as he climbs, that much he can enjoy the beauty. This is the same case with the holiness of Christ and Christianity. ONLY ONE WORD ABOUT HIM IS ENOUGH TO SAY THAT HE IS GREATER THAN ANY OTHER... "HE IS FREE FROM SIN"... I heard that in some vedas, its written that few gods repented for the sin they did... I don't want to mention the names... But how can u say that a sinner is a god??? Jesus hiself humbled himself and came to this world as a human n left an example for people how to live a sinless life and how to love one another... He even loved the people who are crucifying him and prayed to his father in heaven to forgive them... The same love he wanted everyone of us to have... Jesus told that he came to this world only for the sake of sinners but not for the sake of righteous people. He humbled himself and washed the feet of his disciples... In the same manner he wants every one of us to humble ourself... but not to fall on the feet of gurus and feel that as a great previlege... I don't know one thing.. but I wanted to know it from u... did ever Sai Baba told that he is god??? Please take this into positive sense... I does'nt mean to blame him... But just wanted to know... The main principle of Christianity is to love god and then love one another... this love should be the true one... There are stil many points... but it will be too lengthy to mention here...

Christ mentioned idol worship (worshipping idols which are man made) as one of the sin... That is why Christians will not agree to enter the temples or other holy places. But ofcourse many christian churches who could not understand this are still keeping the photos of Jesus and Cross. Idol worship means not only worshipping a statue, but each and everything that comes between u and Christ is an idol.

Coming to coversions I feel very sad to talk about missionaries (especially in India) that convert people, offering them some wordly pleasures. This is not a true service at all. Jesus will never suport this. This is not the will of god. This is the service, man is doing on his own accord. And there will be no fruit for this type of service. The only thing Jesus wants is to preach gospel to people who r in darkness of sin and to serve them with love and lead them to a eternal way. He told to help ur fellow brother, but not to offer help and turn people towards him. He told that, every Christian should be different from others in world... It doesn't mean that they should differ in physical appearance nor that they should not mingle with people of other religion... He wants to be different spiritually... If u can read The Holy Bible and understand it in right sense u can find answer for ur question, why Christians are being different... I am sorry if any of my words hurt you... i don't want to hurt people. but wanted them to know truth...
Reviewed by George MacLean Akurunwa
Thanks for your candid opinion about christianity and conversions. Religion is has a very powerful grip on people and it is difficult to make one see others view, but by all means, we should not support the killing of missionaries for whatsover reasons.
The questions I have for you are:
1. Did the lives of those converted get better after the conversion? If you really take a closer look you will see that the answer is YES.
2. If you have something that will benefit somebody and change their lives for the better wont you in love offer it to them?
3. Have you read the Bible to find out about this Jesus that we preach. Compare Him with any man that has ever lived. If you get to know about Jesus, the Savior, you are more likely to love him.
4. Do you really know that Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship or fellowship with God. Religion is deadly because it is man's philosophies and personal beliefs as against Christianity which is God relationship with man. This might not make much meaning to you until you have an open mind and come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

I enjoyed your poems. God bless.
Reviewed by Elaine Masters
It is always interesting to see myself in someone else's mirror! Being a Christian, I like to know what others think about Christianity. I'm sorry your Christian friend will not attend temple with you. She would learn many interesting things by exploring worship services in other faiths. I have been to Moslem services, and also to Mormon services which many Christians feel is outside Christianity, and once I attended a Jewish service in a synagogue. I've lived in Thailand and Indonesia and have many Buddhist and Moslem friends, and we know each other well enough to "compare notes" on what we believe. I think this is also important for world peace. How can we have a meaningful commitment to each other if we never explore religious beliefs?
When Christians say that their religion is the only true religion (also claimed by Muslims, I think) they are not saying this on their own account. Jesus taught that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no person comes to the Father (God) except by him. This bothers me, just as it bothers you--I hope my delightful Buddhist and Muslim friends will also find and enjoyable eternal life after they die, but that is not what Jesus taught. On the other hand, the Bible says that ALL have witnessed the glory of God in nature--the beautiful mountains, oceans, sunsets--and all can come to an understanding of God. I'm not sure in my mind how that all works. But--what if Jesus is right? There are some absolutes in this world. For instance, we can say that we don't believe in gravity, but if we jump out the tenth floor of a building, we will discover that what we believed doesn't make any difference, we're still going to splat on the ground pretty hard. Perhaps believing in Jesus is like that. We don't make up our own God, he is an absolute.
As to people being forced to convert, I believe people in the world today convert by their own choice. In centuries past, several different religions "converted" people at the point of a sword, but I doubt that their hearts were in it! Now, people are presented with a choice, whether to stay with their original beliefs or whether to follow Jesus. I hope you will get a copy of the Bible in your most-comfortable language and read some of it. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament talk about the life and teachings of Jesus. Maybe you would like to start with that.
Reviewed by suresh
one side talk looks like..!!!
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