Tactics and Strategies of Unethical Conversion

The aim of the Christians is to Christianize Sri Lanka.

“The work of the Church is not done until 90% of those who are not Christians are Christians”. Statement made by Rev. Lakdasa de Mel, Vice Bishop of the Anglican Church.

Source: Revolt in the Temple, 1956, p. 485

The methods used in conversion are the same as those used in advertising and war fare. They attack the mind from several directions, breaking down ‘enemy’ resistance.

Targets are

  • The Poor
  • The Unemployed
  • The Sick
  • The Bereaved
  • Children
  • Young Adults

Methods for converting are tailored to the targets. The entry points are carefully studied in the areas selected and are determined by local need.

  • Material Inducements – houses, clothes, food, money etc. are offered to the poor, and also to others.

Miracle boxes are put in local churches. The poor villager writes his/her wish on a paper or gets another to write – a loan for a house, fee for child's schooling, equipment to start a small business… And lo and behold, a few weeks later, the miracle happens! And, of course, the whole family converts, making others in the village follow suit!

  • Job Offers
  • Threaten with dismissal from job

The boss invites the employees to attend church if they like, but in reality it is compulsory attendance.

Child Evangelism – Catch Them Young

  • Pre-schools are opened all over the island in the guise of offering a good English education, with a promise of entry into good schools-the objective is “child proselysation”;
  • The children are initiated to Christian ideas using hymns, prayers and songs. By doing this they gradually alienate the children from the cultural and religious beliefs that Buddhist children are taught in their homes.
  • Teach Buddhist children of 4-5 years, that they “must not kneel in front of anyone other than God” thereby destroying the age old cultural practices of paying reverence to the Buddhist clergy, teachers, parents and elders.
  • Teach children that Prince Siddhartha was a bad father because he left his baby and renounced the world to seek The Truth.
  • Teach innocent pre-school children not to offer flowers at the temple, because the bees and butterflies will have no food.
  • Tainting young minds of these pre-school children for instance  by showing two boxes one with only the Buddha and the other with Jesus and chocolates, toys, and tinsel and saying that if they follow the former they get nothing!
  • Giving out dry rations to the families of children attending their pre-schools and providing uniform material to the children free of charge, conducting medical clinics and prayer sessions to heal the sick.
  • Children’s Homes are opened to help destitute children, they say. Children in these homes often have “visitors” who come to check their welfare and while talking to them say how wonderful God is.
  • Child sponsorship by overseas benefactors. They are influenced to become Christians.

Older Children

  • Conducting tuition classes for students, especially from low income families free or for a nominal fee. The classes begin by praying to God so that they may retain what they study. Later they are lured into designated places for prayer meetings to teach them the ‘word of God’.
  • Opening private English schools. The children come from different religions (from the homes and from the area). “This project allows us to tell about the gospel to all these children”.
  • Students are taken on organized trips to visit churches in various cities. The parents are not informed of the itinerary.

Coercing Parents

  • Obtain signed consent of parents and children to say they embrace the Christian faith, before further help and education are given.

General Tactics

  • Insulting Buddha – by smashing Buddha statues and getting “the new entrants” to their faith to spit and urinate on the smithereens
  • Ridiculing Buddha by giving Muscat (Buddha’s flesh) to eat and syrup (Buddha’s blood) to drink. Buddha statues are smashed and laughing…”Buddha is destructible He cannot save himself”.
  • Employing young men to shave their heads, don robes and misbehave in public place and partake food after 12 noon and frequent hotels in the night.
  • Use young couples to go into village temples in the night requesting shelter from the temple monk (on the excuse that they were traveling from far) and in a short while the male would leave the female alone in the temple, and go out. Within minutes, the girl would ring the temple bell and inform the villagers that the monk had tried to molest her.
  • Employing women to enter temples and lure young monks into abandoning the temple and disrobing.
  • Visiting houses where death or disaster have struck the family and appearing to offer solace to the grief stricken families initially, and getting such families to embrace Christianity. Many such instances have been recorded after the Asian tsunami of 2004.
  • Encourage mixed marriages between Christian and Buddhists, with the objective of converting the Buddhist spouse and making the children Christian. Groups have been set up to identify such couples to find out the religion of the children.

Healing

  • Conduct ‘faith healing’ programmes in open parks or at road intersections and blaring Christian songs and hymns through public address systems. These programmes are conducted near temples on a Poya Day when there are religious observances.  The much publicized ‘sick who have been healed through prayer’ are paid money to come and make a revelation.
  • Going to hospitals, medical centres and going behind patients offering God’s help to cure them.

Church Planting

The aim is to plant a church in each and every village. A community centre is set up in residential areas in homes towns and villages, which eventually becomes a church.

Planting a dedicated Christian family into a predominantly Buddhist village. They are advised to get completely involved in the life of the village and earn their respect and the right to be heard in the village. They first identify themselves with the villagers to exert the maximum possible influence. Over a period of time this method has been successful in converting rural Buddhists into Christianity.

Door to Door Campaigns

  • Send paid workers from house to house, boarding houses, to board trains, to street corners to distribute pamphlets, books, and other literature and engage in discussion.

Change of Terminology

Attempts to dilute Buddhist cultural practices by resorting to the following

  • Use of indigenous terms, practices
  • The term Aramaya, a Buddhist temple is used for a church.
  • Mahanayake’, ‘Anunayake’, used by the Buddhist monks is used for Christian clergy.
  • Using titles and terminology thereby attempting to make it appear that both religions are the same. (A similar tactic is used by Christians in Malaysia to refer to the Christian God as Allah).
  • Bhavana, Buddhist word for meditation, is used for prayer sessions in the church.
  • Daham Pasala of the Buddhists for Sunday school.
  • Devameheya has become Pooja (of Buddhists and Hindus).
  • Tie a thread similar to the thread tied after chanting Pirith by Buddhist monks.
  • Interpolating Christian words into popular Buddhist songs.
  • In Nepal for instance, where literacy and medical attention is low, schools and hospitals are established.
  • In Sri Lanka where literacy and poverty are both high, Bible translations, published literature and financial aid are provided.

Physical Violence

  • Chase monks out of their temples.
  • Threaten monks with bodily harm.

Destruction of Buddhist Heritage

  • Send paid workers to destroy Buddhist archeological sites and rob temples.

Entry into Development Work

  • Every project, every programme funded and implemented by Christian based organisations is analysed to ensure that within that programme, evangelism is a significant component.
  • Provide credit/loans to start income generating projects provided they become Christians.