Missionaries withhold aid when tsunami victims refuse to convert.

Some things never go out of style. Things like preying on the traumatized in an attempt to convert them to your religion by refusing to hand out aid unless the victims of, say, a tsunami agree to give up their nasty, heathen, pagan religion for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rage and fury has gripped this tsunami-hit tiny Hindu village in India’s southern Tamil Nadu after a group of Christian missionaries allegedly refused them aid for not agreeing to follow their religion.

[…] Jubilant at seeing the relief trucks loaded with food, clothes and the much-needed medicines the villagers, many of who have not had a square meal in days, were shocked when the nuns asked them to convert before distributing biscuits and water.

Heated arguments broke out as the locals forcibly tried to stop the relief trucks from leaving. The missionaries, who rushed into their cars on seeing television reporters and the cameras refusing to comment on the incident and managed to leave the village.

Disappointed and shocked into disbelief the hapless villagers still await aid.

“Many NGOs (volunteer groups) are extending help to us but there in our village the NGO, which was till now helping us is now asking us to follow the Christian religion. We are staunch followers of Hindu religion and refused their request. And after that these people with their aid materials are leaving the village without distributing that to us,” Rajni Kumar, a villager said.

No word on which missionary group these folks were a part of and it’s certainly not the way the majority of the religiously sponsored NGOs are behaving, but it’s still a reminder of why I oppose things such as Bush’s faith-based initiatives. Too often charity becomes a means to an end for those willing to do anything to spread the word of God to the rest of the world.

Found via Mac’s blog where she expressed similar thoughts.

42 thoughts on “Missionaries withhold aid when tsunami victims refuse to convert.

  1. Obviously certain aid workers (assuming the story is true as presented) never bothered to read the tale of the Good Samaritan.  Idjits.

  2. As one of this sites token Christians, I would like to publicly disavow any relationship between my beliefs (and my God) and those of these people. These are the fringe of the fringe.

    I can rattle off at least five major “big” rules/beliefs that such behavior violates, and can’t think of one that it supports.

    My malicious side wouldn’t mind seeing others do unto them, as they have done unto others.

  3. Calls to mind tales of the “saintly” mother Theresa who demanded baptism & conversion of orphans before they were admitted to her hostel.Christian behavior there! – Hey,if i’m seriosly mistaken and there is a god,at least that bitch will have been toasting her toes for awhile before me.Ha-ha.

  4. This has been a problem in Africa for some time – you have Muslim families that are promised aid only if they convert to Christianity. Many devoted African muslims would rather die than change their faith.

  5. Exploiting tragedy for personal gain isn’t limited to the religious nutjobs—you can find examples of this behavior in your inbox every day. As Neil points out, this is a problem among some missionary groups and has been for centuries, but it’s not representative of all of them and I wanted to make that clear in the entry.

    I have no problems with folks lending other folks a helping hand because they believe their religious beliefs dictate that they should—in fact I think it’s one of the few positives that religious belief sometimes brings to people—but I do have a problem when it’s used as a means to an end in trying to gain new converts. It would be another thing if said conversions were the result of witnessing the compassion and charity of the folks giving the aid, but it’s entirely another when it’s brought about by using said aid as a bribe.

  6. Then the only true response is “Yeah, we’ll convert. Just leave the the crate of bibles along with the food, water, and clothing.”

    Then when they’ve gone, burn the crate for warmth. (Don’t use ‘em for cooking, though – they probably contain toxic chemicals in their jackets and ink).

  7. Why aren’t the Catholics over their power trip by now?!?  They should be kicked out of the tsunami area altogether if they can’t even be good stewards of their own religion.  I wonder what the pope would say.  This is outrageous.

  8. Like everything else in our society the bad always get the publicity.  There are people in every situation who take advantage.  All blacks do not get in trouble and all whites are not rich.
    Polish people are not stupid and all gays do not have aids. I believe that we as a society also tend to excentuate the bad and ignor the good!  There must be some Christian groups who have done a wonderful job helping others and some have even sacrificed thier lives. Why don’t they get equal time?

  9. The thing I find most disturbing is that these missionaries somehow believed they were doing the right thing.

    According to other reports, this is not an isolated incident and these people have been exploited by Christians and Muslims from various sects.  The Christians even going so far as to view 200 orphans removed from a village as instruments to be used to gain a foothold in the area for proselytizing.

    An interesting story in Ekklesia points out that the American Tract Society has created new pamphlets focusing on the disaster throughout history to be handed out to the victims.  Sick bastards.

  10. You know, I have no problem with people picking and choosing to whom they give their charity.  It’s their choice.  But using it as a “convert or die” foil is dickless.

    But this behavior is not at all surprising from the god-soaked freaks who become religious missionaries.  It never ceases to amaze me the complete hypocrisy of organized religion.  Even strict interpretations of christian doctrine would require christians to help all in need, regardless of their religious beliefs.

    …but it’s still a reminder of why I oppose things such as Bush’s faith-based initiatives.

    As a member of one the countries smallest minorities (Atheist, conservative, hawk, bush-supporter), I am (surprisingly perhaps) for the whole faith-based initiative thing.  Any measure that moves charity from government the private sector is a positive move, IMHO.  It also encourages those of us not in that mindless demographic to also step up and provide charitable programs as well. 

    I do hope that if there is any public funding prodided to a private group, faith-based or other, they are required to provide services Irregardless of agenda.  We should all push for that.

  11. “Then the only true response is “Yeah, we’ll convert. Just leave the the crate of bibles along with the food, water, and clothing.

  12. I think you mean the charismatic movement darling, Mr Benny Hinn. What a freak. Making himself akin to Jesus and bashing his enemies is what this guy does best.

  13. The incident is an exception to concerted charity in a catastrophe that has left no one untouched.(ANI)

    We may have gone slghtly too far here.  I am sure the overwhelming majority of aid heading to this area come with no strings attatched.  It is also VERY interesting that the aid workers in question are not identified in the story.  Surely someone got a license plate number.

  14. But when the recyclers met the Revenue Department officials to get their solatium, they were told it would materialise only if they returned to MGR Nagar, where their deads and others have been buried.

  15. Christians have been doing this for years. Look at the Salvation Army. What do you think they do any different in the good ole USA?

    Seriously, think about it, most Christians (or any other religion) believe what they do because their parents told them it was true. The only way they can grow is to force their religion on others. Either by having more children or “you can live if you adopt my beliefs and force it on your children”.

    It’s a sad world when religion gets involved. They have perverted the instict for survival of the species to some religious dogma.

  16. I cannot automatically believe this story to be true. I am true skeptic-I hardly believe ANYTHING! You know, none of what you read and only half of what you see. If it is true it is incredibly stupid to think this conversion would make any difference if it was forced. Then you’d be talking about a quota system. Perhaps the aid providers were really AMWAY distributors in disguise. Then again, the main reason Christianity flourished was from “lip service” conversions. The dark ages European kings that converted only did it for political power.

  17. Raised a strict Christian, it hurts me when things like this happen, and believe me they do all over the world. I’ve been ousted from my own religion simply because I refused to fall to the hypocrytical masses. I believe in faith in something, yet, if that something tells you that you cannot deliver aid to those in need simply because of their personal religious beliefs, then as a human I think one needs to step back and re-evaluate their beliefs and the foundations thereof.

  18. Jay-zus!

    Ant, don’t start giving Amway any ideas!

    This is slightly off track, but if you have quicktime enabled you might be interested with what Ken Kesey has to say over at The Edge.

  19. I am a non-Christian that works for an organization that’s pretty much entirely Christian but in a very low-key way.  “Inter-denominational”, I like to call them.  We had a half-million meals (another two million slated by mid-February) and roughly forty tons of medical supplies and another twenty of miscellaneous household goods/clothing items to be sent to Indonesia.  The NGO (non-governmental organization) in Indonesia that was organized enough to distribute this quantity of aid had ties to Christian missionaries.  Good guys – I’ve met them all and they passed my bullshit-ometer – and, more importantly, had their act together better than even the Red Cross in that area.  These missionaries are humble, humble people who believe that “people will know our Christianity because of our good works and not our words”.  Nary a Bible to be seen; no preaching, nothing.  Just good works.

    We were denied clearance to ship these items because it was “a vehicle of the Christian faith” because of our peripheral ties to the missionaries.

    This makes me sick, on both sides of the fence.  The Christians who deny relief to the suffering people and Muslims (or whatever group – I’m not having a bash at Muslims in particular) who deny the acceptance of said relief.  It’s only the hard-line fundies on either side who take that stance, and they tend to make those decisions in a vacuum.

    If everything I held dear was currently at the bottom of the ocean and someone offered me help, provided I accepted Christ?  I’d bake the communion wafers *myself*.  Wouldn’t believe in it, but I’d go through the motions.  If, say, I were a Canadian facing a plane full of Americans who were diverted after 9-11 you’d better believe I’d be the first in line with soup and mattresses.  Even if they were brown; even if they looked like Barbara Streisand.

    I don’t think that faith in God has any place in the decision-making process of humanitarian aid distribution because if God were doing his job this shit wouldn’t have happened in the first place, and we wouldn’t have to be counting on mere mortals to pick up the slack.

  20. If you don’t attend the service, you don’t get fed shit: this is the practice at every homeless mission in the country as best as I know.

    For the sake of truth, news reporters should not even permit them to claim the mantle of Christianity. Refer to them as a faux-Christian relief organization.

    If the KKK called itself a Christian ngo, would the journalists parrot that? Then why do they permit groups like these to wear a banner that promotes the opposite of what the religion does?

  21. Stories like this are why I avoid donating money to any religious (or faith based, which is the ‘in’ term at the moment) charity these days unless I know exactly where it’s going. I don’t want my money being used to build churches or blackmail starving third world citizens into converting. I’m not even giving to the Salvos anymore, since lately they’re growing more and more open with their religious mission.

    I’m giving as much as ever to charitible organisations, though now that I’m donating to secular groups which I’ve checked out beforehand and found to have no religious or political agenda, I know it’s doing good.

  22. I have to agree, people over there are in position to refuse aid, I would take the wafer if it meant feeding my family, and just sack the religion off when the time was right.

    Perhaps maybe these people want to hold a bit of integrity and don’t want to commit themselves to something they don’t believe in, but I suppose integrity and honesty are wasted when the other party are not being that way themselves.

    I don’t remember a passage in the bible where it said, love thy neighbour if they believe in me. Christianity is all about selfless love, without an agenda. These missionaries certainly have one.

    But I don’t think any favours are being made either side, the Muslims refusing aid to people who are desperate for it, and christians refusing aid (and denying their fundamental beiefs. A sad, modern tale of really what religion is all about. Power, greed, and monopoly. If all the money ploughed into churches and 3.5 million dollar homes for preachers were used to help the poor via secular organisations, the world would be a better place.

  23. Picklejuice: We were denied clearance to ship these items because it was “a vehicle of the Christian faith

  24. “Taking soup”, 21st century style. During the Irish Famine of the 1840’s, many Protestant missionaries opened soup kitchens in Ireland to help the starving – provided they converted from Catholicism. Some things never change.

  25. I find it hard to believe that missionaries did not give aid to the tsunami victims becasue they would not convert over. I personaly don’t believe it. That is not something a christian missionary does, sure they might tell them about their faith. But they would leave it up to them. So I think some one who hates christians is more than likely spreading lies.

  26. Well, Teri, not all Christians are “true” Christians.  Believe it.  Ever heard of the Crusades?  The Inquisition?

  27. Well that may be, but how ever, I have never heard of a christian faith threating your life if you leave a religion, like islam does, I have never heard of a christian faith threatening to behead you like islam does. I have never heard of christians doing honor killings like islam does, I have never heard of christian doing circumsing on feamales like islam does. Yes there are people who are not true christian, true enough. But they nothing compared to these other religions out there islam being the most, extreme of them all. I know I know some ex muslims, who have filled me in on the true islam, they are now christians. But eveyone is entitled to their opinion.

  28. You need to study your Christian history then, Teri. You’ll be quite amazed at some of the shit your own belief system is responsible for. The Crusades and Inquisitions mentioned already are just two of the commonly known examples, there’s plenty more you’ve probably not heard about.

    Parading your ignorance isn’t helping your cause.

  29. An excellent programme in the UK on the aftermath of the Tsunami provided me with some food for thought I would like to share.
    Speaking to devestated individuals afterwards a Muslim young man believed it to be Allah’s will that he be tested he lost all his family.
    A young Roman catholic girl was told afterwards the people were being punished for their sins(she lost both parents)some consolation to know they were bad?
    A young man a Bhuddist believed it was Karma for misdeeds in a past incarnation.
    The programme then travels with an anthropologist? to a nearby small island.
    He has been studying the people over the past decade.
    A “primitive” people who’s world myth is that they live atop a giant tree growing from the ocean depths,he discovered that although the coastline was devastated no lives had been lost.
    He found this was not a fluke.The people explained that when they saw the signs in the forest and the ocean, the elders told them they must head for high ground as the sea and land were going to do battle and that when they returned they would find new boundaries had been set between the land and sea.
    Lo it was so
    It seems to me their mythology served them well in this life,I am of the opinion that this is/was the function of mythology.
    I could of course be wrong


  30. It seems to me their mythology served them well in this life,I am of the opinion that this is/was the function of mythology.

    I agree, kent.  We invent stories to help us navigate our lives- myths, parables, and science are all maps of one sort or another.  Of course, myths were not usually consciously designed to function as memorable ways of passing on useful knowledge- they were considered to be true stories, at least before we learned more about the world.  But function they did, and do.

    Unfortunately, many religious people cannot let go of their belief in the literal truth of their myths, even when their absurdity is apparent, and their danger to our world obvious.

  31. It seems to me their mythology served them well in this life,I am of the opinion that this is/was the function of mythology.

    Bible (Bi-bell Noun) Survival guide for desert living.  Should not be taken seriously on matters of science (See Also- Torah, Koran)

  32. I am from India, and I have first hand experience of these attrocities. Conversion is big business here and ironically degrading the heritage of our culture. Add the money mongering politicians who gets a fair share of the aid coming in, they turn a blind eye. You are right about mother theresa, she is a hated figure, and also the convent schools who propogates conversion. It wouldn’t be a surprise if younger generation here turns hostile and take direct action.

  33. Teri, you are free to believe whatever since the media itself is biased. Haven’t you heard Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunte

  34. Kent: The people explained that when they saw the signs in the forest and the ocean, the elders told them they must head for high ground as the sea and land were going to do battle and that when they returned they would find new boundaries had been set between the land and sea.

    The signs the elders probably saw were the untethered animals running to higher ground in response to the torsion waves they were picking up from the tension set up between the plates before they moved which may have been caused in part by the impending Galactic Superwave due at the end of 2012 … if you believe in that sort of thing.  wink

    Hamlet 1:5
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  35. I do not believe that any Missioneries would have asked the Tsunami victims to convert. This is fabricated story created by some Hindu Bastards.

  36. When you worship a god construct that burns people of other faiths or none at all then it dements your mind. These Christ psychosis infected imbeciles have too much time and money on their hand and it gives them a superiority complex and they feel they have a right to push their ugly and vile demonic cult on these poor victims of a natural disaster.

  37. Pingback: Conversion was Mother Teresa’s top goal, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says - Page 7

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