Syro Malabar CrossI have never been a fan of mass conversions. I have always been critical of evangelists who have made it a mission to harvest souls in India. Christianity in India has been around for around 2000 years. We make up roughly three per cent of the population. What is the need to convert? Recently there has been a spike conversations due to a few ‘new age’ evangelists from abroad. I seriously believe this could have an effect on religious harmony in the country.

Religion is a personal matter. Let’s leave it at that.

News such as these are disturbing:

A large number of Christians, who were Hindus earlier, have been reconverting their religion to brace Hinduism in Uttar Pradesh.

The reconverts said they had left the Hindu fold because of the false promises made by Christian missionaries.

“I was a Christian four to five years ago, but not now. They had given me many allurements that my children will receive free education, will have higher education and equal status. Those, who had converted to Christianity earlier, were treated differently from those who joined later,” said Sobhran Singh, one of the reconverted persons.

At a function organised by the Dharam Jagaran Samiti, Christian converts attended a ritual where Vedic chants were read, and sacred threads tied on their wrists to symbolise the ‘homecoming’—bracing Hinduism.

“Those Hindus who had converted to Christianity or those who were lured into joining it by Christian missionaries were called here to return back to the Hindu fold with respect and on equal terms. Since they were earlier a part of

Hindu society and they have returned back, so it has been termed as a homecoming,” said Gajeshwar Singh, the regional chief of the Dharam Jagaran Samiti (DJS).

The event comes in wake of Bharatiya Janata Party’s repeated calls for a ban on conversions. The party argues that such a ban will foster communal harmony, however Muslim and Christian minority groups accuse the party of whipping up Hindu voters’ fear to boost its political support.

In a country where out of the 1.1 billion population, 80 percent are Hindus, 14 percent Muslims and only three percent Christians, the religion divide remains a cause of concern for the political parties.