Lesson 3: “One for you and two for me.”
Why do Evangelists and their Islamic counterparts concentrate their efforts on converting poor people in 3rd world countries and ghettos around the world? At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a good return on investment for the organization. Poor people will never be able to contribute much to the wealth of the organization, and asking for contributions, no matter how small, is taking food away from the poor families. It is more likely that the church will provide financial aid to the converts in an attempt to create false prosperity and attract more converts. Why?
If you ask the missionaries they will tell you that they are saving souls, and indeed these front-line zealots probably believe that. If you ask the people they are trying to convert, you will get several answers. Quoting from http://geocities.com/focussrilanka/index.htm :
“What is the motivation behind conversion activities? Why should one person want to convert another to his or her religious belief? In a pluralistic world, such as we live in there are many different types of culture, art, language, business and religion that contribute much to the richness of society. Why should we demand that everyone be like us in terms of anything, including religion? Isn't this diversity the very beauty of culture and our greater human heritage?
Clearly the missionary seeking converts must believe that other people cannot find their goal of life by any other religion than the one that he is propagating. Otherwise there would be no need to convert anyone. And generally the missionary is not simply announcing that he has something good or better, like someone who has invented a better light bulb. He is usually claiming that his religion is the one true faith and that the others are either inferior, out of date, or simply false.
One could argue therefore that the conversion mentality is inherently intolerant. If, recognise that many religions are good and religious belief should be arrived at freely and without interference, then I will not create a massive organization to covert other people to my belief and get them to renounce what they already have. Only an intolerant and exclusive religious ideology requires conversion or funds it on a massive scale.
In short conversion activity is anti-secular. It does not tolerate the religious differences that must exist in a truly secular society but aims at eliminating them. “ - Peter Frawley
“At a time when the west seems to be moving away from religion, one must wonder why missionaries come to lands where there is a healthy practice of religion. Today, these missionaries target the poor, the destitute and the ignorant because these are the socioeconomic groups most vulnerable to their machinations.
>No religion interferes with the way of life of a people. It is the responsibility of
>political and religious leaders, teachers and parents to ensure that unscrupulous
>elements are not permitted to exploit situations and create unrest that would be
>detrimental to the country. - (quoting ZERNEY WIJESURIYA, Former Director, National Intelligence Bureau, Sri-Lanka)
No particular religion may interfere with the way of life of people, but evangelism certainly does. For example, new converts are forbidden by missionaries to take part in cultural activities they have taken part in since they were children. This results in their alienation from other villagers who are either Buddhist or Hindu. As more people convert and subscribe to the rigid attitude of the missionaries, the village is divided and the harmony that was once prevalent is breached. New converts are encouraged to develop a sense of aversion towards their ancestral faith.”
– Unattributed response to Mr. Zerney Wijesuriya.
So, why go to all that trouble when the result is to divide communities and create strife? Is it to create an army of Christians, presumably to take over the world, as another post on the Sri-Lankan site suggested? No! The answer is that converting the heathen is BIG BUSINESS! The people at the top of this food chain could care less about the spiritual well being of poor people that they will never meet. If these same people came to live in their neighborhood, they would move away. The leaders of this idiocy benefit in many ways; they use the image of saving poor little Jamal to drum up money. Only a fraction of that money is actually spent on the “heathens”, or even on the mission itself. The rest goes to television producers, and wardrobe, and food and lodging and transportation around the world. Trips to check on the various missions, and with stops in less hellish places for “conferences” and “fund raising”. All this is done in the name of the church, and all tax-exempt. They are getting and granting huge financial favors, and living amid church-owned luxury “investments”. These people at the top of the food chain are living a life of luxury, all in the name of religion, while their zombified shock troops sell their illogical message of false hope to the poor. Indeed, the world’s poor are a good investment. They are desperate enough to try anything, and are often lacking in the kind of education that would give them the tools to question the absurdity of the zealot’s claims. Fertile ground indeed for converts, and in order for the scam to work, one has to show results. The confusion of ideas here is that the missionary work is the motive, and not the fund raising activities themselves.