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8. How do Christians react when members of their religions convert to another.

      Members of all religious sects detest conversions. They feel that it is an attack on their beliefs and their way of life. Christians are no different. The Pope (a Catholic) has frequently complained about the activities of the Protestant missionaries in South America. During one of his visits, he called them 'rapacious wolves'. The ex-Catholic still believes that Christ is the ONLY son of god, but is practising his belief in another church and under another priest. According to the Christian theology, such a person will go to heaven. But the Pope thinks that it must be he alone who should save the person's soul.
    The Pope is also unhappy when Catholics leave Christianity and become either Hindu or Buddhist. He asks his flock that they 'should know (their) spiritual heritage well and consider whether it is right to set it aside lightly.' Yet, the Pope has no compunction of asking the Hindus to set aside their even longer spiritual heritage aside and become Christians.
     To counteract the growing popularity of the ISKCON movement among the Christian youth, one organisation said that it would be legitimate for the Christian parents to defy the law on kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault and battery, to prevent their children from joining ISKCON.
    The Christians in India are also concerned when the ones whom they have converted go back to their original faith. In Northeast of India, they say that if the plans of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for reconversion goes ahead they will resist it and even said that there will be a physical and religious war.
    The present Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, is a member of the Church of England, while his wife is a Catholic. Once he went to a mass in a Catholic church alone. There was a hue and cry from the Church of England clergy, who feared that he might be converting to Catholicism. One of the clergy wrote an article saying that Rome is not for Blair, and implied that the views of Vatican may influence the decision taken by Blair as the Prime Minister.
    Islamic countries prohibit Christian missionaries from operating in their countries, even to provide pure social service. In Russia, the only Christian sect that is permitted to operate is the Russian Orthodox variety. In Israel, a law prohibiting conversions was dropped when 50 Christian groups agreed not to carry missionary activity in the country. They also agreed to avoid 'activities which alienate (the Jews) from their tradition and community.'

See also (Q. 7)


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