The recent World Watch List by a company called Open Doors falsely implicates India as being a country where Christians encounter massive persecution.
Maria Wirth is a German who came to India on a stopover (that’s at least what she thought) on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. She visited the Ardha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar in April 1980 where she met Sri Anandamayi Ma and Devaraha Baba. She dived into India’s spiritual traditions, sharing her insights with German readers through her articles and books. For long, she was convinced that every Indian knows and treasures his great heritage. However, when in recent years, she noticed that there seemed to be a concerted effort to prevent even Indians (and the world) from knowing how valuable this ancient Indian heritage is, she started to point out the unique value of Indian tradition also in the English language. She is also the author of the book “Thank you India – a German woman’s journey to the wisdom of yoga”.
The media's job isn't to provide objective information anymore. It probably never was. Rather, it is primarily about influencing opinion to further the agenda of certain interests with lies which are apparently an acceptable tool now. Lies are often disguised as surveys or even research. Nobody would believe lies if they were too obvious. Yet when a World Watch List for example by Open Doors in England gives out a ranking regarding the level of persecution of Christians in the world, and when nobody less than the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt releases it (in January 2019) and tweets about it, the ranking acquires respectability and credibility, even if it contains plain falsehood. From now on, people who have heard about this list will “know” that the level of persecution of Christians is extremely high in India, higher than for example in Syria or Nigeria.
Now this list falls clearly under propagating falsehood in the name of an agenda. There is no other country where members of other religions are as safe as in India. Hindus always gave shelter to those who were persecuted in their homelands. Jews gratefully acknowledged that India is the one country where they were never persecuted. Syrian Christians under their leader Thomas of Cana (Thomas the Apostle did not come to India) were given refuge in the 4th century. Parsis came in the 10th century to escape the Muslim invaders in Persia. And in 1959, some 100,000 Tibetan Buddhist refugees fled over high Himalayan mountains and found shelter in India – only 12 years after the British had left India – a country that was one of the richest on earth when they seized power and one of the poorest when they left.
Yet, now the British Foreign Secretary has tweeted that nobody should be persecuted for their faith and obviously endorsed the ranking of India in the “extreme level” category at number 10 out of 50 countries.
Of course, nobody should be persecuted for their faith. Yet an important issue is overlooked. What is the reason for the persecution? Who is likely to persecute others for their faith? Naturally, it must be those who believe in an ideology that considers the faith of those others as wrong and unacceptable. There exist mainly three such ideologies – Communism, Christianity and Islam, and all three are known for not only persecuting, but even killing dissenting voices in the millions.
- Communism wants to stamp out religion as such as it considers it a disease.
- Christianity wants to obliterate all other faiths except itself, and Islam has the same goal. It considers all others as false and unacceptable to their god. Both won’t tolerate other faiths and therefore are likely to persecute them.
So the first countries on the list may indeed deserve their rank and do indeed persecute Christians. North Korea due to its communism, and then right up to rank 17, all are Muslim majority countries with one exception. On rank number 10 is India with a Hindu majority.
How did India get in there? There seems to be an agenda to obfuscate and muddle the issue. Hinduism does not condemn other faiths as wrong and does not persecute others. It never has. It has the most liberal worldview possible. Everyone has the right to seek their own truth, and own connection to the source of their being.
So why is India ranked together with countries where indeed Christians are persecuted? Surely the compilers of the list must have reason to include India, won’t they? Was there not a young American missionary killed by tribals in the Andaman Islands recently? And is this not brutal persecution?
Yes, it is true that he was killed. The young American was naïve. He knew that the Sentinelese tribe was fully cut off from civilisation and hostile, and nobody was allowed to go there. Yet he went nevertheless, feeling he was called to bring the Gospel to them as if they were in need of it. His superiors should have warned him, yet they rather encouraged a possible ‘martyrdom’.
Yet this definitely cannot be called as persecution of Christians. It was a defense against an unwanted intruder by tribals, who earlier had bad experiences under the British colonial rule. It also cannot be called persecution of Christians, when villagers occasionally chased away missionaries who had come to convert. These villagers have every right to protest against their gods being called devils and being pestered to leave their ancient traditions. Did the Christian missionaries not cross decent human behaviour by not respecting others’ views, if those views are not harmful to anyone? Unfortunately, Christian missionaries are notorious for crossing decent human behaviour and for putting out blatant fake news.
Swiss friends were alarmed by a forward they had got on 23rd November 2018 and asked me if there was truth in it. It was in German and I'll translate it here in full:
SAD NEWS: Please pray! An urgent issue for prayer. Pray for the Church in India. Last night 20 churches were burnt down. And tonight more than 200 churches in the Olisabang province are meant to be destroyed. They want to kill 200 missionaries in the next 24 hours. All Christians hide in villages. Pray for them and send this message to all Christians whom you know the world over. Pray to God that He has mercy for our brothers and sisters in India. When you receive this message, pass it on urgently to other people. Please pray for the 22 Christian missionary families who have been condemned to be executed. Please pass on this message as fast as you can, so that many will pray!!!
A Google search shows that this message has been circulating since 2010 and is a hoax. Even the province doesn’t exist. Would a persecuted religious group dare to spread such blatant, outrageous lies? Would it dare to have a detailed plan like the Joshua Project about how to convert the maximum number of Hindus? So who is actually persecuting whom? Yet instead of condemning the devious agenda of the missionaries, the world accuses India of persecuting Christians. Why?
The West knows that they cannot bully Islamic countries. But in India, which is a easy and high target for conversion, there are enough western oriented Indians who will happily toe their line and falsely accuse Hindus of persecuting Christians. In this way, Hindus and India gets a bad rap in the eyes of the world and Christians receive support and compassion.
Mainstream media has tremendous power to shape opinions. Churches have tremendous financial and political clout. Both obviously cooperate to portray Hindus as intolerant and hateful of other religions – absolutely contrary to facts. There is a third power that wants India to get a bad image the world over, at least as bad as its own image. It is Pakistan, which is at rank number 5 in the list.
Intriguingly, not a single European or American country is among the 50 top countries where Christians are persecuted. But was there not a shooting in a church in the USA? Have Christian refugees for example in Germany not been attacked by Muslim migrants? Does this not count as persecution? And are those French or German or Spanish or English citizens, who are randomly stabbed with a knife or blown up in a terror attack, not targeted for their faith, for not being Muslim?
We need to be clear. Those who are persecuted FOR their faith, are always persecuted by members of a different faith which is rigid and dogmatic and considers those other views as wrong – so wrong that they are ready to cheat or even kill to wipe this 'wrong' faith out. Islam is one such rigid faith, but so also is Christianity.
So, in a tweet, I suggested to the British foreign secretary a slight change in his comment. Instead of “Nobody should be persecuted FOR his faith” I suggested, “Nobody should be persecuted BY a faith”.
Will he understand?