The joint Committee appointed by the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America and the Foreign Missions Conference of North America in the year 1944, in their “Statement on Religious Liberty”, have defined the term as given below:-

“Religious Liberty shall be interpreted to include freedom to worship according to conscience and to bring up children in the faith of their parents; freedom for the individual to change his religion; freedom to preach, educate, publish and carry on missionary activities; and freedom to organise with others, and to acquire and hold property, for these purposes”. (Religious Liberty: Bates, page 309.)

2. Religious Liberty, as defined above, has been in existence in India from times immemorial.  India is a land of many religions-Hinduism, majority religion, is itself a co-ordinated combination of various beliefs. It has survived through ages by its liberal and receptive attitude towards other faiths.  There have undoubtedly been controversies in India of a religious and philosophical nature but there has been perfect freedom of Conscience.  Coercion and religious persecution have been unknown in Hindu society.  The alleged persecution of the Budhists has been held to be a myth on critical research. [Budhist India by Rhys Davids, p. 211 (Sushil Gupta, Calcutta).]

The all-embracing polytheism of the early Hindus afforded ample scope for different beliefs to exist side by side without trying to oust one another.  Both Jainism and Budhism were deviations from some aspects of early Aryan faith.  “Their rise and progress, the standardisation of Jainism as a minor sect of ascetic tendencies; the extension, the export, the decline of Budhism within a Society of Hinduism,……… all were essentially peaceful.  The changes came by persuasion and by slow social pressures or movements, without clear conflict of group wills against other groups or against individuals”. (Religious Liberty : Bates, page 267.)

Hindu India provided in the person of King Ashok the Great, who subsequently became a convert to Budhism, a unique instance of goodwill and toleration towards other religions. One of his well-known inscriptions reads as follows:-

“King Piyadasi (Ashok) dear to the Gods, honours all sects, the ascetics (hermits) or those who dwell at home, he honours them with charity and in other ways.  But the King, dear to the Gods, attributes less importance to this charity and these honours than to the vow of seeing the reign of virtues, which constitutes the essential part of them.  For all these virtues there is a common source, modesty of speech.  That is to say, One must not exalt one’s creed discrediting all others, nor must one degrade these others Without legitimate reasons. One must, on the contrary, render to other creeds the honour befitting them.” (Religious Liberty, pp. 267-268: Bates.)

What a lucid and comprehensive exposition of liberty of religion? It is, as it were, “faith in the goodness of faith”.  Refraining from speaking well of one’s own faith and ill of others enables us to appreciate in a friendly discussion the truth and beauty in the teachings of other groups which enriches one’s own belief. Charity and toleration are thus developed.  Hindu India has maintained this spirit of religious toleration.

3. According to some of the Christian writers, intolerance in religion came in the wake of the advent of Christianity. Professor Guido de Ruggiero in his article on “Religious Liberty”, published in the “Encyclopedia of Social Sciences”, writes:-

“The antagonist in the major struggle of mankind for religious freedom has been Christianity, which accentuated the elements of intolerance included in its Hebraic heritage and supplemented them by the introduction of two new and potent incentives-the idea of a universal mission, a rigid dogma, the conception of the Church as an indispensable mediator between God and man.” (Religious Liberty: Bates, p. 132.)

In exposition of the above statement, Professor Raffini writes in his book “Religious Liberty”:

“When the idea of a single and universal God was set, first by the Hebrews and then by the Christians, against the ancient polytheism, there arose a new form of religious exclusivism, contrary to the old not less in its basis than in its effects.  The Gods of the other peoples were said to be false and fallen and religion lost its national and public character and became on the one side cosmopolitan and on the other proper to each single individual.  From this followed not only an inextinguishable spirit of proselytism but also the principle that he only could be saved who worshipped the true God, that is to say, the principle of absolute intolerance (italics ours). (Religious Liberty: Bates, p. 132.)

4. During the first three hundred years of its existence Christianity itself was faced with the question of how it could make its way in a non-Christian society ruled by the Roman Empire.  The question of its being intolerant, therefore, could not arise.  The early Roman Emperors looked upon Christianity with suspicion as it preached “novel principles and sanctions, not Roman”.  Until Decius’ Edict of 250 there was, however, “no general and systematic persecution of Christianity”. Then an era of torture and persecution started in full swing.  First, the Christians were required to sacrifice to the old Gods under penalty of imprisonment.  Then their Churches were seized.  Christian assemblies were banned, their bishops and priests were executed and even laymen of standing lost their posts, their properties and even their rights of residence. Ultimately their Churches were destroyed, their scriptures confiscated, their clergies imprisoned and subjected to great tortures and finally all Christian were required by law to offer sacrifice to old gods or die. There was a change in policy when Constantine rose to the throne of the Roman Empire. He issued an edict in 312 or 313 of conscience, for full rights to Christianity on an equality with other recognised religions, and for restoration of Church property recently confiscated.  Emperor Constantine was anxious to consolidate his vast Roman Empire comprising peoples of different faiths.  He considered Christianity as a useful handle in unifying the complex empire.  Thus “favour was soon advanced to privilege and privilege to prestige that approached exclusive power”.

5. The tables were now turned against other faiths. “By the Codes of Theodosius and Justinian, heretics were forbidden to build Churches, to assemble for religious purposes, or to teach their doctrines even in private.  They denied rights of bequest and of inheritance, even of contract.  Death was prescribed for lapse from Christianity into pagan rites.  By the time of Justinian pagans were required to hear instruction in the Churches and were subjected to exile and confiscation of property if they refused baptism. Young children of pagan families were to be baptized”. (Religious Liberty: Bates, p. 135.)

It is thus evident that repressive measures against non-Christians were plentifully decreed.  In fifty-seven years from Valentinnian I, no less than sixty-eight laws against heretics were enacted.

6. Theodosius II and Valentinian III (5th century) made deviation from orthodoxy “a crime against the State carrying even the death penalty”.  By 407, heresy was made a public crime.  Soon it was enacted that the Imperial service should receive “no one who disagrees with us in faith and religion”.  Thus Theodosius the Great, relentlessly pressed his subjects to conform to “Catholic (Trinitarian) Christianity”.  By the year 386, all public-discussion of religious issues was prohibited.  Imperial authority in spiritual matters was thus fully established in utter disregard of the “proud Christian conviction that the Emperor was not to be considered in terms of divinity”.

7. What was the attitude of Christianity towards the Jews after Christianity itself was in authority?

At first Judaism remained as in pagan Rome, “a permitted religion”, subject to certain disabilities.  It was characterised by Theodosian Code as “abominable superstition”.  Jews were not eligible to public office.  A Christian who adopted Judaism lost his right of bequest.  Exile or death was the penalty prescribed for the Jew who married a Christian wife. Capital punishment was awarded to a Jew who carried out proselytization of Christians.  In the seventh century in Spain, Italy and Frankish Empire, Jews were ordered to choose between baptism and expulsion. It is really a matter of great surprise how the Christians could justify “the severity and ostracism” practised by the entire community against the Jews with doctrine of “tolerance and protection” which the teaching of scripture required of them:

“The employment of organised religion on behalf of the State power and of State power on behalf of organised religion, both in contradiction of liberty, is found in the policy of Charlemagne among the Saxons.  In his first capitulary for them he not only provided extraordinary honour and protection for the Church, he decreed death for those participating in pagan sacrifices and for those refusing to accept baptism” (P. 136, Religion Liberty: Bates.)

8. Kenneth S. Latourette in his book “A History of the Expansion of Christianity” writes :

“The conversion of the Saxons was achieved by a combination of armed force and zeal of the missionaries.  The completion of conversion of the entire Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, accomplished though it had been under the urge of imperial legislation, had probably not entailed the killing of as many non-Christians as did the winning of this comparatively small area in North-Western Germany” (Ibid, p. 136).

9. The above procedure was repeated again and again in the next thousand years of the history of Christianity from eighth to nineteenth century.  Invaders and conquerors have been employing the Church for the purpose of consolidating their political conquests.

10. Religious liberty was woefully crushed as a result of the unholy alliance between the Church and the State to persecute and torture those who did not subscribe to the official religions.

11. Reaction came at last.  There was demand for separation of the Church from the State and vice versa during the period (1500-1700) called the Reformation Era.  Luther led the movement of Reformation.  He gave expression in his early life to views like these: “Belief is a free thing which cannot be enforced”.  “Heresy is a spiritual thing which no iron can hew down, no fire burn, no water drown”.  Later on, there was, however, a change in his attitude.  His vehemence against his opponents, whether Roman Catholics or other sects, which did not follow his pattern, led hint to leap “all bounds of love and mercy” In one of his Table Talks he is reported to have said:

“Heretics are not to be disputed with, but to be condemned unheard, and whilst they perish by fire the faithful ought to pursue the evil to its source and bathe their hands in the blood of the Catholic Bishops, and the Pope, who is a devil in disguise.” (Religious Liberty: Bates, p. 156.)

12. To the Duke of Saxony, Luther commanded both political and religious compulsions.  His words are significant.  “It will lie heavy on your conscience if you tolerate the Catholic worship for no secular prince can permit his subjects to be divided by the preaching of opposite doctrines”.  “The fact”, as pointed out by William Sweet in his book “Religion in Colonial America,” “is that the rise of Protestantism was accompanied by an unprecedented outburst of intolerance and cruelty in which both Protestants and Catholics participated”.

13. The spirit of intolerance exhibited either by the Catholics or the Protestants was not confined to heretics or the Jews but was directed even against each other.  John Robinson wrote as follows in the early years of the seventeenth century:-

“Protestants living in countries of Papists commonly plead for toleration of religions: so do Papists that live where Protestants bear sway though few of either especially of the clergy…… would have the other tolerated, where the world goes on their side”. (P. 155 ibid.)

Such is the history of religious liberty under Christianity in the West.

14. Let us now turn nearer home and study the question of religious liberty under the domination of the Christian countries of the West.  As pointed out by Shri K. M. Panikkar in his book “Asia and a Western Dominance”, the coming in of the Portuguese in India marks the advent of Christianity on Indian soil.  “With the Portuguese, Christianisation was a State enterprise”.  Since the power was Roman Catholic in its religion, it were the Roman Catholic missionaries who carried on missionary work.  On the recommendation of the Pope, King Joao III of Portugal appointed Francis Xavier and sent him to India for the propagation of Christian religion.  He landed ashore in 1542 and set to his work in right earnest.  He, however, soon realized that without State aid it was not possible to spread Christian religion in India.  Writing to Father Rodrigues he said:

“According to my experience the only effective way to spread religion India is for the King to proclaim by means of an edict to all his officials in India that he shall put trust only in those who will exert themselves to extend the reign of religion by every means in their power.”

To King Joao III he wrote as follows:

“To your servants you must declare as plainly as possible…… that the only way of escaping your wrath and of obtaining your favour Is to make as many Christians as Possible in the countries over which they rule.” (P. 382, Asia and Western Dominance)

In 1546, he wrote a letter to the King of Portugal requesting him to establish the Holy Inquisition, as it was called.  This “unholy and wicked institution” lasted for nearly two hundred and fifty years.  It perpetrated innumerable atrocities on both Christians and non-Christians.  It proved the worst of its kind, established anywhere.

15. The Portuguese power became ruthless the more it got itself established in India.  Royal Charters were issued from time to time making invidious distinctions between Christians and non-Christians and subjecting the latter to untold disabilities.  In 1559 an enactment was passed debarring all Hindus from holding any public office.  In the same year another law was enacted confiscating the properties of non-Christian orphans if they refused to be converted to Christianity.  Yet another law ordered destruction of Hindu temples and images and prohibited all non-Christian religious festivals. In 1560 all the Brahmans and goldsmiths were ordered to accept Christianity otherwise they were to be turned out of Goa.  By a law passed in 1567 the Hindus were prohibited from performing their important religious ceremonies such as investiture of sacred thread, marriage ceremonies and even cremation rites.  Hindu religious books were proscribed.  All non-Christians above the age of 15 were forced to attend the preaching of Christian religion.  Hindu temples were destroyed and in their place churches were built.  In 1575 another law was passed by which the Hindu nationals were debarred from their civic right of renting state land.  People of Goa were prohibited to use their native language by an order of 1684 and were allowed three years to learn the Portuguese language under pain of being proceeded against under law of the land.

The aim of all these enactments was to compel the people either to accept Christian religion or to leave the State.

16. The activities of the Christian Mission during the days of Portuguese’s sway in India were confined to South India and were carried on by the Catholic Mission.  The decay of Portuguese power in 1660, adversely affected the missionary activities in India.  The first phase of Christian Missionary activities in India, came to a close by the middle of seventeenth century.

17. From 1660 the second phase in the history of Christianity in India begins.  There was a great set back to Christian activities in India during the second phase.  In the words of Shri K. M. Panikkar, “The European Nations that followed the Portuguese in Indian ocean were interested solely in trade, and as they were organised as commercial corporations, the question of converting the heathens was of no significance to them”.  Further, the Dutch, who followed the Portuguese in the first instance, and the British, who displaced them ultimately, were Protestants and had no sympathy with the Catholic Order.  Till the end of the eighteenth century, the Protestant zeal for Missionary work had not developed.  Consequently there was a lull in Christian Missionary activities.

18. From the beginning the policy of the East India Company was one of discouraging the Missionaries.  Its primary concern was trade and it was felt that any interference with the religious beliefs and practices and social habits of the people of India would create a prejudice against the company and go against its interests.  From 1757 East India Company assumed political power in its hands.  Its decision to exclude Missions from territories under its sway became even more definite and pronounced.  The fact that organised Protestant Missions with political influence did not exist in England helped the company to uphold and follow its policy of religious neutrality.  By the end of the eighteenth century a spirit of evangelism permeated the Protestants as well.

19. A new phase of Christian Missionary activities in India set in with the abolition of the East India Company’s monopoly in 1813.  Till then no European who was not in the service of the East India Company could set his foot on Indian soil without the permission of the company, but when the ban was removed in 1813, any European could visit India freely and the company had no legal right to stop him.

20. The progress of modern Christian missions in India began with the consolidation of British power in the country.  The Catholics had done much work in the land but their work was limited to the areas in the south.  The fact that the political influence of the Portuguese was confined to a small part of India did not favour the spread of Christianity to other parts.  The number of converts and the areas they belonged to were limited.  The field of the Christian work became extensive during British rule in India.

21. Protestant missionary work in India was initiated by Dr. William Carey who landed in India in 1793 and settled in Serampore-a Dutch settlement, as the East India Company did not give him any quarter in their territory.  Dr. Duff joined Dr. Carey soon after and the two laid the foundations of Christian missionary work under the Protestant denomination.

22. The war of Independence of 1857 was a turning point in the history of Indian politics.  Thereafter the governance of India passed off from the control of the East India Company to that of the British Crown.  As regards the cause of the revolt there were two schools of thought in England at that time.  The majority view according to Mr. Arthur Mayhew, attributed the disaster primarily to popular resentment caused by the Government patronage and support of Christian missionary work in its educational and philanthropic side, by its legislation on Christian principles against social evils such as infanticide, suttee, and converts’ loss of civil rights and by the open profession of Christianity and support of  proselytising agencies by many of individual officers”.  The other view held was that catastrophy was the result of “nervous apprehension of the British Government, its dread of emphasising its true faith and occasional appearance of repudiating it and its pandering to heathen prejudice”.

23. There seems little doubt that the mind of the general populace was profoundly disturbed by the new policy in administrative and educational matters that had been followed by the Government since 1813.  Things, however, came to a head when under the very aggressive rule of Lord Dalhousie several laws were passed which struck at the very root of Indian social life.  In some cases he was no doubt, prompted by his zeal to help christianisation of the country.  Thus for example, a law was passed preserving the right of inheritance of a convert to Christianity in Hindu family.  There was already a seething mass of discontent amongst the people.  Thus, only a spark was needed to start the conflagration and the same was provided by the greased cartridges used in rifles. It was suspected that the fat of cow and pig was used for the purpose.

24. The British Government having realised the gravity of the situation decided to make administration of India as a direct responsibility of the British Crown.  To allay the excited religious feelings of the people of India Queen Victoria, at the time of assuming direct control, issued the following Proclamation in 1858:-

“Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity and acknowledging with gratitude the solace of religion, we disclaim alike the right and desire to impose our conviction on any of our subjects.  We declare it to be our royal will and pleasure that none he in any wise favoured, or molested or disquited by reason of their faith or observance but that all shall alike enjoy the equal and impartial protection of the law, and we strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be in authority under us that they abstain from all interference with religious belief or worship of any of our subjects on pain of our highest displeasure.”

25. The above Royal Proclamation has been considered as the Magna Charta of religious liberty and neutrality.  Till the year 1947, the official policy of the British India Government, in matters of religion, continued to be that enunciated in the above Royal proclamation.

26. There was however difference between theory and practice.  Although the British Government of India were wedded to a policy of religious neutrality, yet indirectly the Christian officials holding positions of importance, afforded considerable encouragement and facilities to the Christian missionaries with whom they had their natural affinity.  The Christians under the British rule in India enjoyed a priviledged position.  To quote K. M. Panikkar from his book “Asia and Western Dominance”, “Legislation Protected the rights of the converts to their share n the Hindu joint families and the decision of the High Courts enabled converts to blackmail their wives to follow them into the fold of their new religion.  The Government also encouraged the Missionaries to work among the backward tribes, being satisfied that Hindu opinion would not be offended by it.” The author further adds-“On the whole however it may be said that the British Officials preserved an attitude of neutrality and the British Government always vigilant, in matters affecting law and order and the loyalty of the elements on which they depend for their rule discouraged methods of propaganda offensive to the Hindu sentiments”.

27. Before Christian Domination, India was under Muslim domination.  Although the first Muslim invasion of India took place in 711 A.D., yet “consistently progressive conquest” of India began about the year 1000 A.D. It was however from the sixteenth century onward that the “Muslims dominated Hindu society, in a political and military sense”.  Babar and Akbar however tended to be “indifferent to all, but the political aspects of religion”. But Akbar’s son, Shah Jahan, ordered in 1633, “the destruction of Hindu temples. which the faithful had begun openly to erect in his father’s time.” Intermarriages of Hindus and Muslims which were frequent in the Punjab and Kashmir were prohibited. “Aurangazeb, the puritan champion of Islam”, writes Searle Bates, “piled persecution upon repression”. In 1669 he issued orders “to the Government of all provinces to demolish the schools and temples of infidels and put down their teaching and religious practices strongly”. As a result a large number of Hindu shrines, including the famous Hindu places of worship suffered destruction. “Gross desecration”, writes Searle Bates, on page 270 of his book Religious Liberty, “was frequently added, such as the killing of cows in sanctuaries and the trampling of idols in public squares.  In 1679 Aurangazeb reimposed “the Jizya Tax on the unbelievers with the object of spreading Islam and overthrowing infidel practices”.  Hindu religious fairs were prohibited.  People were encouraged to embrace Islam by the offer “of grants to converts or of jobs in Government employ, or of liberation from prison”. These measures resulted in “a noticeable bulk of accessions”, to the Muslim immigrant minority from “weak portions of heterogeneous Indian Society”.  “The Mohamadan invasions”, in the words of Searle Bates, “helped to extinguish the fading Budhism and were severe upon the Jains.  The Sikhs, a relatively late sect to arise within Hinduism, preserved themselves by strong organization and by military powers, alike difficult to overwhelm and valuable to placate”.

28. According to Searle Bates, “In general India has not thought or organised or legislated in terms of the oppression of religion or of the liberty of religion.  Striving of religio-social groups there has been”. (P. 271: Religious Liberty.)

29. Coming to more recent times we find that in 1924 there was a Unity Conference held at Delhi.  Quite a number of Indian representatives of various religious Communities and political leaders attended the Conference. Mahatma Gandhi took a prominent part in the deliberations. The Conference passed a resolution on religious liberty, which rims as follows:-

“This Conference is emphatically of opinion that the utmost freedom of conscience and religion is essential and condemns any desecration of places of worship to whatsoever faith they may belong, and any persecution or punishment of any person for adopting or reverting to any faith, and further condemns any attempt by compulsion to convert people to any one’s faith or to enforce our’s own religious observance at the cost of the rights of others.

“With a view to give effect to the general principles promoting better relations between the various communities in India laid down in the above resolution and to secure full toleration of all faiths, beliefs and religious practices, this conference records its opinion.

“That every individual or group shall have full liberty to hold and give expression to his or their beliefs and follow any religions practice, with due regard to the feelings of others and without interfering with their rights.  In no case may such individual or group revile the founders, holy persons or tenets of any other faith.

“That every individual is at liberty to follow any faith to change it whenever he wills, and shall not by reason of such change of faith render himself liable to any punishment or persecution at the hands of the followers of the faith renounced by him.

That every individual or group is at liberty to convert or reconvert another by argument or persuasion but must not attempt to do so or prevent its being done, by force, fraud, or other unfair means, such is the offering of material inducement.  Persons under sixteen years of age should not be converted unless it be along with their parents or guardians, by a person of another faith.  If any person under sixteen years of age is found stranded, without his parents or guardians, he should be promptly handed over to a person of his own faith.  There must be no secrecy about any conversion or reconversion”.

Such in brief is the History of religious liberty in Europe and India, with special reference to Christianity.

30. We have so far dealt with the history of “Religions Liberty”.  Let us now consider the question of Religious liberty as it exists today in various countries (other than India),

31. There are at present four great religions prevailing in the world, viz., Hinduism, Budhism, Christianity and Islam. Hinduism prevails in India alone.  Budhism prevails in China and Japan.  Islam prevails in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

32. The Christian countries of the world may be divided into three categories, viz., first those where Catholic Church is the prevailing church and secondly those where Protestant Church predominates, thirdly where orthodox church prevails.  Prominent under the first category are the States of Italy, Spain, Belgium and Portugal.  Russia and Greece are the countries of the Orthodox Church.

33. Let us first take Italy, which is the official seat of Catholic Church, being the residence of the Pope, head of the Catholic religion.  Before Italy became Fascist, the state was subordinate to the Church.  The Pope dictated even the politics.  When Mussolini came in power the relations of the Church and the State were readjusted by initial consent under what is known as Concordat.  Art. I of the Concordat lays down:-

“Italy recognises the Catholic religion as the sole religion of the State.”

Previous to the Lateran Agreement of 1929, Art. I of the Constitution of Italy read as follows:-

“The Apostolic Roman Catholic religion is the only religion of the State.  Other cults now existing are tolerated in Conformity of law.”

34. Pope Pins XI interpreted the said article as implying that any discussion of religion, written or oral, which might “easily mislead the good faith of the less enlightened” must be punished by law.  In Italy it is only the Catholic religion that is provided unqualified protection under the penal code (Arts, 402-405) against public abuse and libelous attacks.  If such offences are committed against other churches, extenuating circumstances are to be considered in assessing the offence.

35. In the matter of education, Art. 36 of the Concordat lays down:-

“Italy considers Christian doctrine in a form handed down by the Catholic tradition as the basis and apex of public education.”

Such education in Italy can be imparted only by teachers or priests approved by the Church authorities and any withdrawal of approval is at once effective against the teacher.

“Liberty of Conscience” in a Catholic State was interpreted to mean “liberty to accept the church’s guidance of conscience without interference by the State.” (Religious Liberty: pp. 42-45.)

36. Next in importance to Italy amongst the Catholic countries is Spain. “Religious liberty for other than Roman Catholics”, says M. Searle Bates in his “Religious Liberty and Inquiry”, “scarcely exists in Spain today, as has been largely true throughout the modern history of the country.”

37. The Catholic Church in Spain, in course of time, became a dominating power which had “subjugated the political power and was nearly omnipotent in public, social and economic life”.  There was reaction against this amongst the inhabitants and hence the Spanish Revolution of 1931-39.  The frenzy of the lovers of political freedom was let loose against the Church administration in Spain.  The Church in Spain came in for persecution at the hands of the Fascists who subscribed to atheism.  It is said that 20,000 churches were destroyed or looted, 16,000 priests, monks and nuns were either executed or murdered and 300,000 inhabitants lost their lives.  Peace was ultimately restored after this blood-bath between the Church and the State.  The accord with the Holy See reaffirmed the four articles of the Concordat of 1851 which ran as follows:-

“(1) Catholicism continues to be the sole religion of the Spanish nation, to the exclusion of any other, and is always to be maintained with all the rights and privileges which it should have in accordance with God’s law- and the prescriptions of the sacred canons.”

(2) Instruction in all schools shall conform in all respects to the doctrines of the Catholic religion, and, therefore, bishops and their aides shall have full and free supervision over the purity of faith, and customs and the religious education of youth, even in public schools.

(3) All authorities shall be charged with showing and causing others to show the bishops and the clergy the respect and consideration due to them according to divine precepts, and the Government shall grant effective protection and sup port to the bishops wherever they request it, particularly when they combat, “the inequity of men who attempt to pervert the souls of the faithful and to corrupt customs,” or whenever it is necessary to prevent the publication or circulation of evil or harmful books.

(4) In all other matters relative to the exercise of ecclesiastical authority and to the ministry of holy orders, the bishops and the clergy shall enjoy full liberty according to the sacred canons.” – “Religious Liberty”, pp. 14 to 19.

38. The Church has regained its position in Spain.  The head of the State has an important say in the selection of the Spanish bishops and archbishops, although the Pope participates in. the process.  Catechism is obligatory in all State Schools and the baptising of all children is insisted upon.

39. In Spain, Catholic Church occupies a privileged position.  “One people, one State, one leader, one faith, one Church” is the common slogan.  “No rights or status”, says Searle Bates, “exist for other religious beliefs or organisations of any sort.” A police order of 1940 decrees that, “through a generous tolerance of religious opinions of foreigners who reside in our country, in so far as they are not opposed to Christian morality or infringe upon police and health rations, “foreigners may continue to gather in chapels in which rites and ceremonies different from the Catholic religion are celebrated”.  The “general tolerance”, further orders that foreigners “must withdraw from the walls, entrances, doors and other visible places, any lettering, emblem, flag, or other sign which might lead to confusion of the said chapels with churches of the Roman Catholic religion”- ‘Religious Liberty’, pp. 19 and 20.

40. Not to speak of freedom of conscience being guaranteed to non-believers in Spain, even the believers not subscribing to the tenets of the Catholic Church have no religious liberty in Spain as is evident from the following extract from the Report on Religious Liberty by Searle Bates:-

“According to the reports of the year 1944, it seems that twenty out of two hundred Spanish Protestant churches are now open.  Some pastors have been driven out of the country and others work under persecution, covert or naked.  All Protestant schools were closed.  In the large cities members are able to get along, but in smaller communities recognised Protestants are commonly refused employment, sale of goods and government relief.  No Spaniard can secure a certificate for leaving school or can enter the Civil Service unless he has official evidence of instruction in the Roman Catholic religion” -”Religions Liberty, p. 20.”

41. Portugal is often presented by the Catholic Missionaries as the Catholic State par excellence founded on the religious, political and social principles of the great encyclicals from Leo XIII to the present day.  There is no State Church as such in Portugal.  The Concordat, however, provides in Articles II and III an
open course for the Catholic Church in the Portuguese Republic:-

The Catholic Church may freely exercise her authority; in all the matters within her competence, she may carry out without impediment any acts consonant with her rules and jurisdiction……

The Catholic Church in Portugal may organise herself freely in harmony with the provisions of Canon Law and thereby constitute associations and organisations whose personality at law the State shall recognise.”-“Religious Liberty”, pages 97 and 98.

42. The place of the Church in education is well established in Articles XX and XXI of the Concordat 1940 quoted below:-

“The teaching administered by the State in public schools shall be guided by the principles of Christian doctrine and morals traditional to the country.  Therefore, the Catholic religion and Catholic morals will be taught in public elementary, complementary and intermediate schools to pupils whose parents or guardians have not lodged a request to the contrary.

For the teaching of the Catholic religion, the text-books employed must be passed by ecclesiastical authorities.  In no case shall religious instruction be given by persons not approved by the ecclesiastical authorities as competent.” – “Religious Liberty”, p. 98.

43. In the case of her colonial possessions the Portugal.  Government follows a policy which is a negation of religious liberty.  The Portugal Catholic Church has monopoly of spiritual training of African and Asian people.  The non-Catholic Missions are subjected to serious restrictions and discriminations in clear violation of religions liberty and of international agreements. Article 24 of the Colonial Act runs as follows:-

“Portuguese Catholic Missions overseas being an instrument of civilisation and national influence, and establishments for the training of staff for service therein and in the Portuguese Padroado, shall possess juridical personality and shall be protected and assisted by the State as educational institutions.”

Article 2 of the same Act lays down as follows:-

“It is the essential attribute of the Portuguese nation to fulfil the historic functions of possessing and colonising overseas dominions and of civilising the native population inhabiting them as also that of exercising the moral influence ascribed to it by the Padroado in the East.” (Religious Liberty, p. 515).

44. How did the Portuguese Mission authorities act in christianising and civilising the native population of India can be seen from the following extract on page 161 of “The Heritage of the Indian Christian”.

“The next comers were the Roman Catholic Portuguese who obtained the settlement on the west coast early in the sixteenth century, and proceeded to follow their usual policy of rapid christianisation of the Indian people under their immediate influence.  Thus, Goa remains nominally Christian to this day.  But this incident in Indian History is chiefly important because it provides St. Francis Xavier and his fellow-Jesuits with an opportunity for evangelistic work in South India.  The Portuguese soon discovered the Nestorian Christians in Malabar, and immediately sought by all possible means, fair and foul, to bring them under the obedience of the Pope, and to a profession of the orthodox faith.  By dint of wholesale employment of force, bribery, they succeeded in subjugating the larger part of them.”

45. In Columbia the Catholics have forbidden the evangelistic activity of non-Catholics, i.e., to proselytise or propagandise outside their places of worship (page 246, National Christian Council Review, May 1954).

46. “France” in the words of Searle Bates, “has not, since 1870, been considered a “Catholic country” in the old meaning and not in recent years a “Catholic State” in the new sense of corporative structure based on the doctrines of the encyclical fully supporting the Catholic Religion and Catholic education.  Yet France remains a nation in which Catholicism is first and dominant among religious influences. (Reli. Lib. p. 103).

“SWEDEN maintains a constitution of the year 1809.  Article 2 requires: “The King shall always belong to the pure evangelical faith as adopted and explained in the unaltered Augsburg Confession and in the resolution of the Upsala Synod of 1593”.  The King’s ministers must belong to “The pure evangelical Faith” as so defined (Article 4).  Freedom from constraint of conscience and protection of every one “in the free exercise of his religion, provided he does not thereby disturb public order or occasion general offence,” are secured by article 16.  To offices other than that of royal minister adherents of other Christian faiths and of Judaism may be appointed; but “no person not belonging to the pure evangelical faith shall take part, as Judge or in any other position, in the discussion or decision of questions relating to divine worship, to religious instruction, or to appointments within the Swedish Church.” (Article 28).  Reli. Lib. p. 524.

47. The imparting of religious instruction is compulsory in the State elementary; secondary and teacher training schools for all pupils whose parents are members of the State Church.  Only members of the State Church are appointed as teachers.  Denominational groups and persons not members of the State Church are not permitted to establish their own schools for children.  Up to the end of the 19th century Sweden was a Lutheran State in the full sense of the word and liberty of conscience was nonexistent.

“All administrative and judicial posts, the entire teaching and medical professions, required a Lutheran profession of faith.  Attempt to get a Lutheran to chance his confession were penal offences, and apostacy from the State religion made a Swede liable to banishment for life.” Reli. Lib. p. 205.

48. NORWEGIAN constitution is as old as 1814 with amendment from time to time.  Article 2 of the Constitution declares:

“The Evangelical Lutheran religion shall remain the public religion of the State.  Such inhabitants as profess this religion are required to educate their children therein. Jesuists shall not be admitted.” Article 4 implies active furtherance of the State religion by the Government, which acts for the sovereign : The King shall always profess, maintain and defend the Evangelical Lutheran religion, “More than half the King’s ministers must belong to the State church.  On the other hand, the king and his ministers prescribe the ritual and worship of the Church, appoint and discipline the Clergy (Articles 12, 16, 21).  Reli. Lib. p. 523.

The Cardinal principle of educational policy of Norway is that the children should receive “Christian education . Therefore, religious instruction is compulsory for all pupils in State elementary, secondary and normal schools.  Except as exemption is claimed by parents who have left the State Church.  Class teachers given religious instruction and are appointed with the approval of the Bishop Non-conformist schools are not given any State-aid. (Reli. Lib. p. 332).

49. In DENMARK Lutheran Church is the State Church.  King must be a member of the Church.  The State controls and subsidises the activities of the Church and has not yet given it a separate constitution. (Reli. Lib. p. M).

The Danish constitution of 1915 is based upon the document of 1849.  Article 3 of the Constitution lays down-

“The Evangelical Lutheran Church is the national Church of Denmark and as such it is supported by the State”. (Reli. Lib. p. 523).

In schools under State management all children receive instruction in the Bible, Shorter Catechism and Hymns in the lower classes and in church history in the upper class.  Each child of fourteen years or more belonging to the State Church, is obliged to attend “Confirmation classes” twice a year but can be exempted from actual confirmation on application. (Reli. Liberty p. 104).

50. Of the European States subscribing to Orthodox Christian Church, Russia is the most important example.  “At no time and in no land has the world known so dramatic a denial of religious liberty as in Russia since 1918”.  The provisional Government (1917) had freed all recognised Churches from State control and interference.  By the beginning of 1918, the Soviet decrees “nationalized Church property and the schools, instituted civil marriage and separated the Orthodox Church from State and school alike.” Freedom of conscience was granted and all restrictions of fights based on belief or non-belief were annulled.  Religious instruction in private was authorised, but was barred from all public or private schools, where general subjects were taught. (Reli. Liberty p. 2).

UP to 1929 the Constitutions of the various republics constituting the Soviet Union contained the following article :

“In order to provide the workers actual freedom of conscience, the church is separated from the State, and the school from the church, while freedom for religious and anti-religious propaganda is recognised for all citizens.  ‘The Stalin Constitution of 1936’, still in force, has the following provisions:-

“For the purpose of providing to citizens freedom of conscience, the Church in the U. S. S. R. is separated from the State, and the school from the Church, freedom for the conduct of religious cults and freedom for anti-religious propaganda is recognised for all citizens.” (Article 124).

The period from 1937 to 1939 was a period of persecution of the Church leaders and the Church.  In 1938 alone several prominent bishops were shot, while over fifty bishops were sent to prison or to the concentration camps.  A heavy rent charge was imposed upon Church buildings with the result that in 1937 alone 1,100 orthodox churches and hundreds of other places of worship were forced to close.  The Soviet statistics for 1940 showed that there were then 4,225 listed Orthodox Churches with 5,665 priests as against 46,457 such churches and 50,960 priests before the revolution 1917.  There were 28 Orthodox bishops and 37 monasteries in 1940, as compared to 130 bishops and 1,026 monasteries before Revolution.

The situation, however, changed by 1944.  The Central Organisation of the Russian Orthodox Church has been officially restored. (Religious Liberty, pp. 4-9).

51. Second in importance amongst the countries having Orthodox Church is GREECE.  The Constitution of Greece grants freedom and protection of rights to every recognised religion.  The Church of Hellas is established by the State, which pays the bishops and exercise supervision of all temporal matters in church affairs. Spiritual authority vests it the synod of all the bishops.  Marriages and baptism of evangelical groups are recognised as valid.

Art I of the constitution lays down as follows :-

“The Dominant religion in Greece is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ.”

“The Orthodox Church of Greece is inseparably united, from the dogmatic point of view, with the Great Church of Jesus, Constantinople, and every other Church of Jesus Christ of the same dogmas, observing immutably, like it, the holy apostolic and conciliar canons and the holy traditions.  It is autocephalic; it exercises independently of every other Church its sovereign rights and it is administered by a Holy Synod of arch bishops.  The ministers of eve cult are subject to the same surveillance, on the part of the State as those of the dominant religion.”

“The liberty of conscience is inviolable.

All the known cults may be exercised freely under the protection of the Law, provided they are not contrary to public order or to good morals.  Proselytism is forbidden.” (Religious Liberty, p. 525).

The official definition of term Proselytism as given below not only guard against the possibilities of its abuse but prevents any religious change even by persuasion or information.

“Any attempt by force, or threats or illicit means, or grants of promises of financial or other aid, or by fraudulent means or promises, or by moral and material assistance, or by taking advantage of any person’s inexperience or confidence or by exploiting any person’s necessity or spiritual (mental) weakness or thoughtlessness, or in general, any attempt or effort (whether successful or not) directory or indirectly to penetrate into religious conscience of persons (whether of age or under age) of another faith, for the purpose of consciously altering their religious conscience or faith, so as to agree with the ideas or convictions of the proselytising party.”-(Religious Liberty, P. 112).

52. Of the remaining Christian countries, Great Britain, Germany and U. S. A. deserve special mention.

53. Question of religious liberty in GREAT BRITAIN centred round the historic position of the Church of England as the National Church.  The King and the Lord Chancellor must be members of the Church of England.  Twenty-four bishops and two arch-bishops are members of the House of Lords.  The Church enjoys properties and endowments.

The problem of the church schools and religious education in State schools of England has aroused controversy.  In the elementary and secondary schools under the control and management of the Church of England religious instruction is imparted.  In the State school, religious education does not exist.  Some persons in localities of the first type wanted religious instruction to he nonsectarian or varied from the Church of England type or voluntary only. Some parents in localities of the second type asked for more positive religious instruction being imparted to their children than was the case.  Dr. Henson has suggested a solution.  He says:

“If instruction in Christian faith and morals were made compulsory (subject to a conscience clause) in all schools, if the State limited its direct concerns to secular subjects and entrusted the religious instruction to the local education authorities, there is little reason for doubting that in a very short time the problem would be happily solved.” (Religious Liberty, page 88.)

54. In GERMANY before the National Socialist Party came in power it reassured the various religions by including the following demand as one of the Twenty-five points it stood for-

“We demand religious freedom for all denominations, so long as they do not endanger the stability of the State or offend against the German people’s instincts of morality and decency.  The party as such takes its stand on a positive Christianity, without committing itself to any particular creed.”

As soon as it came in power, it assumed, “that religion could be utilised for its own purposes of unity and morale and that autonomous elements of faith, spirit and organisation could be assimilated or crushed”.  Dr. Adolf Keller, a Swiss writer, says in his book “The Church and the State” as follows:-

“In the legislation and church policy of the State since 1933 an effort has been made to adapt or to assimilate the Church to the State to include her life within that of the nation, to introduce the principles of national socialism into the fellowship of Christ to impose the Fuehrer principle upon her and to make her a school of National Socialist Education.

“The irruption of State power into Church administration, the imprisonment of bishops, the banishment and harsh treatment of pastors, the closing of churches, questionable electioneering methods, the financial privation, were means used during this period, which were regarded by the confessional group as persecution and misuse of State power to the undue advantage of one party in the Church.” (Religious Liberty, pp. 21-22).

The Church rose up in resistance against the totalitarian dictatorship.  In the Evangelical Church Manifesto of 1935 the issue was made clear:-

“The German people is facing a decision of greatest historical importance.  The question is whether the Christian faith is to retain its right to exist or not……… Powers of the State and of the party are being used against the Gospel of Jesus Christ and against those who profess it……… Three years ago millions of Evangelical Germans welcomed the new beginning in the life of our people with warm hearts.  They did so with all the more joy because the Government of our Nation had said in its first proclamation of February 1, 1933, that it would ‘firmly protect Christianity’ as the basis of our whole moral system.” (Religious Liberty, page 25.)

The principle of religious liberty was thrown to the winds. There was not only interference by the State in religious matters, but violation of religious liberty:-

“One of the major breaches of religious liberty has been the gross interference with pastors and priests and their work. By October of 1934 more than 1,000 pastors had been arrested or had suffered some form of police intervention.  On the single day of March 11, 1935, 700 pastors were arrested, and 5,000 others were visited by the Gestapo, ‘telling them exactly where they and the State stood for’.  In 1937 virtually the whole leadership of the Confessional Church was put behind bars as common criminals.” (Religious Liberty, page 26.)

55. The Jews of Germany were subjected to untold oppression.

“In March of 1938 the Jewish religious communities lost their status as bodies of public right, and their officials were deprived of civil service standing.  On November 7 of that year, a young Jew shot a Secretary of the German Embassy in Paris.  Within twelve hours over 400 Jewish synagogues and places of worship were dynamited and fired.  Jewish shops were systematically pillaged and wrecked; while 60,000 more Jews were rushed to the infamous concentration camps.  Fearful economic exactions were put upon the enfeebled Jewish community.  The last Jewish children remaining in German schools were dismissed.” (Religious Liberty, page 32.)

56. Let us blow Advert to the U. S. A.- “The nature of American constitutional and judicial systems is such as to link together constitutions, major laws and court decisions into one complex.” (Religious Liberty, p. 529).

The constitutions of the various States declare and protect tile rights of their citizens to religious belief and its exercise in terms summed up in the following statement of Dr. Zollman in his book “American Church Law”:-

“Every individual has by nature the inherent, inalienable and indefeasible right of worshipping and serving God in the mode most consistent with the dictates of his conscience: that none shall be deprived of this right; that no human authority shall in any case interfere with or in any manner control or infringe it; and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious faith, worship, belief, sentiment and profession shall forever be allowed, secured, protected, guaranteed, and held sacred.  It follows that every person is at liberty to profess and by argument to maintain his opinion in matters of religion; that every denomination is to be equally protected by suitable laws in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship ; that none will be subordinated to any other or receive any peculiar privileges or advantages-in short, that no preference will he given to no discrimination made against any religious establishment, church, sect, creed, society or denomination or any form of religious faith or worship or system of ecclesiastical policy.  Absolute freedom to choose such religious belief as his judgement and conscience may approve his thus become the birth right of American citizenship.  Any civil or political rights, privileges, capacities or positions which a person may have or hold will not be diminished or enlarged or in any other manner affected by his religious faith, nor will he be disqualified from the performance of his public or private duties on account thereof.  He will not, on account of his religious opinion, persuasion, profession, and sentiments or the peculiar mode or manner of his religions worship, be hurt, molested, disturbed, restrained, burdened, or made to suffer in his person or property”. (Pages 531-.32 ibid).

57. Liberty of conscience is guaranteed by the court as well as constitute. “Liberty of conscience and belief is preserved alike to the followers of Christ, to Buddhists and Mohammedan, to all who think that their tenets alone are illuminated by the light of divine truth, but it is equally preserved to the skeptic, agnostic, atheist and infidel, who says in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” (Religious Liberty, page 534.)

Is the United States of America a Christian country in the juridical sense? Various court decisions on the question are in. the affirmative.  This fact has great bearing on the legislation of the country.  Dr. Zollman comments in standard work “American Church Law”, as follows:-

“The fact that the prevailing religion in the United States is Christian cannot but exercise a potent influence.  Since the great body of the American People are Christian in sentiment, our laws and institutions “must necessarily be based upon and embody the teaching of the Redeemer of Mankind.  Christianity has been declared to be the alpha and omega of our moral law and the power which directs the operation of our judicial system.  It underlines the whole administration of the Government, state or national, enters into its laws, and is applicable to all because it embodies those essentials of religious faith which are broad enough to include all believers…… It follows that certain acts which would be deemed to be indifferent or even praiseworthy in a pagan country are punished as crimes, or misdemeanors in America.  This is nor done “for the purpose of propping up the Christian religion, but because those breaches are offenses against the laws of the State”.  At least half of the Ten Commandments are on the statute books in one form or another.  These facts have led to the formulation of the maxim that “Christianity is a part of the law of the land” (Religious Liberty, page 533.)

58. The constitutional legal system confers positive aid upon religious societies by exempting their property from taxation.

The United States generally prohibits by law or by Court interpretation of State constitutions, sectarian instruction in public schools.  Private schools are allowed great freedom in organisation and programme.  There is a growing conviction about the importance of imparting religious instruction in the building up of character and giving values in life and a demand is being made for the imparting of religious and moral education of a non-controversial type in State schools.

In the words of Dr. Zollman:

If there is any one thing which is well settled in the policies and purposes of the American people as a whole, it is the fixed and unalterable determination that there shall be an absolute and unequivocal separation of Church and State, and that our public school system supported by the taxation of the property of all alike-Catholic, Protestant, Jew, gentile, believer and infidel-shall not be used directly or indirectly for religious instruction, and, above all, that it shall not be made an instrumentality of proselyting influence in favour of any religious organisation, sect, creed, or belief.” [Religions Liberty, p. 339.]

59. We have so far dealt with the countries under the sway of Christianity with reference to the religious liberty that their constitutions allow.  Let us now deal in passing with the countries where Buddhism is the dominant religion.  They are Japan and China.

Article XXVIII of the Constitution of JAPANESE EMPIRE reads thus:

“Japanese subjects shall, within limits of law, not prejudicial to peace and order and not antagonistic to their duties as subjects, enjoy freedom of religious belief.”

Religious freedom is limited to belief.  It is to be exercised within limits of law of the land and consistent with the duties of the individual to the State as its subject. (Religious Liberty, p. 49.)

The idea about the Emperor of Japanese Empire as something of the divine is peculiar to the Japanese.  In the words of a distinguished member and officer of the Diet, “He (the Emperor) is to the Japanese mind the Supreme Being in the Cosmos of Japan, as God is in the universe of the Pantheistic philosopher.  From him everything emanates, in him everything subsists…… He is supreme in temporal affairs of the State as well as in all spiritual matters.”-[Religious Liberty, p. 51.]

Shinto is the State religion.  In the words of Professor Genchi Kato,-

“This is not a religion adopted purposely by the State as are the State religions in the West, but the religion of the heart and life of every Japanese, male and female, high and low, old and young, educated and illiterate.  For this reason a Japanese never ceases to be Shintoist, an inborn and steadfast holder of the national faith of the way of the Gods as a group religion, as distinguished from a personal or individual religion, even though he may adopt the tenets of Buddhism or Confucianism-probably Christianity in Japan has not been excepted--as his personal or individual religion. In effect, this means that rejection of Shinto by a Japanese would signify treachery to the Empire and disloyalty to its Divine Ruler……The Emperor is incarnate Deity and occupies in the Japanese faith the position which Jehovah occupied in Judaism…… We cannot pass over the fact that these ceremonials (at the shrines) are accompanied by a faith in the divine aid of a great spiritual power.”-[Religious Liberty, page 51.]

“Private religions”, says Searle Bates, “may be cherished in addition but not in conflict; in subordination to the State religion, not in absolute allegiance.”

All education in Japan is dominated by the Imperial Prescript on Education.  The elementary schools of the State are compulsory and universal, with uniform text-books prepared by the Department of Education.  Secondary and higher schools, public and private, vary somewhat in type but not in programme and directive in so far as civic and moral education are concerned.

60. We now come to CHINA.  To quote Searle Bates,- 

“China is essentially a secular country, say some, a country of diffuse and diverse religions, say others.”

Article 15 of the Constitution says:

“Every citizen shall have freedom of religious belief; such freedom shall not be restricted except in accordance with the Law.”-[Religious Liberty, page 510.]

61. There is no dominant religious faith in working relation to the State.  The social and ethical teaching of Confucianism are widely influential in the cultural nationalism of the country.  The Buddhist religion has been accepted into the general culture.  Confucianism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism and Christianity are the established religions in China.  There is a constitutional pledge to religious freedom.  Despite multiplicity of religious faiths, China is known as “a land of tolerance and social harmony”.

China has no religious instruction in the public system and refuses recognition to elementary or junior or middle schools which impart religious instruction. Senior middle school and colleges may have elective course in religion and religious exercises.  The official position is summarised in the following Government reply to a petition submitted by twelve church bodies for permission to impart religious instruction in private schools:-

To sum up, there is not only one religion.  If we allow each religion in the name of education to vie one with another to propagate religion, the natural tendency will be to create division and strife.  The Ministry of Education, in order to guard against such a possible future calamity, is obliged to impose these restrictions which do not apply only to Christianity but to the other religions as well.

Hence, to have elective religious courses in junior middle schools and to have the privilege of worship in primary schools embodies obstacles too difficult to permit the Ministry to grant the request.”-[Religious Liberty, page 343.1

62. We have dealt above with Religious Liberty as provided under the constitutions of countries under Christian and Budhist domination.  Let us now have just a passing review of the Religious Liberty in the Muslim countries.

ISLAM controls the entire life of the Muslims.  According to Islamic conception, “Church, State and the Community are one entity”.  “Orthodox Islam”, writes M. Searle Bates, (P. 9) “is the contrary on religious liberty and finds no room for the concept as developed in Western lands.  In principle it forbids apostasy under dire penalty and provides for change of faith only toward Islam.” Another English writer S. A. Morrison writes in his book “Religious Liberty in the Near East” as follows:-

“Freedom of religion in the Near East has been commonly understood to mean freedom of worship, that is. the right of each community to conduct its religious services in its own way without official interference……………… The wider meaning of religious freedom, implying the right to persuade others or to change one’s faith, has never gained general acceptance”.

The writer goes on-

“Nothing arouses the resentment of Muslim officials and of public opinion so much as the mention of Christian evangelistic work (tabsheer).  On the other hand, every facility is given to pro-Islamic propaganda, and governments themselves lend their support to it, as an adjunct to their policy of nationalism.  The way is made easy for conversion from Judaism and Christianity to Islam, and various inducements financial or matrimonial, are dangled before the potential convert.  Economic discrimination against members of minority groups in the Government service and in private firms has been a potent factor in many so-called conversions. (Religious Liberty in the Near East, pp. 9-10).

Illustrating this point, M. Searle Bates points out that IRAN forbids religious propaganda in general and absolutely prohibits “proselytizing” of minors.  The law of the land assures freedom of worship but permits meeting only in churches, not even in private houses. (Religious Liberty by Bates, p. 10.)

63. EGYPT’S constitution declares that “Islam is the religion of the State”.  A Royal decree is necessary for the building of a church.  The TURKISH Constitution allows freedom of service and provides that “no one can be disturbed on account of the religion, rite, or sect to which he belongs, nor for the philosophic opinions which he professes.  All ritualistic ceremonies which are not contrary to the public order or morals, or inconsistent with the law, are authorized.” The civil code of Turkey declares that adults of eighteen years and over are free to adhere to the religion of their choice.  Proselytising in general is severely discouraged, and in the case of the young it is kept far outside of practical possibilities. (Religious Liberty, pp. 10, 13.)

Death penalty for apostasy from Islam is presumed to be still effective in parts of Afghanistan and Central Arabia.

64. Writing about religious freedom in education S. A. Morrison says in his gook on page 9:

“It is perhaps in the field of education that Christian missionary work has been most resented, Muslim Governments claiming that it is their duty to protect Muslim children from exposure to the teaching of a religion other than their own. Thus the parents are denied the right of deciding the form of religious education which their children shall receive.  Some Near East Governments have gone further in requiring instruction in Islam for Muslim pupils in all schools…………”.

For example, in Egypt teaching a pupil a religion other than his own while he is still a minor and incapable of true discernment, is declared as an offence against public order and morals.  The teaching of Islam according to prescribed syllabus, to all Muslim students, whether reading in Government or Mission schools, is compulsory.

The fundamental position, of the Government of Egypt is well-stated in a circular of the Ministry of Education, issued in 1940.

“Without question, to teach a pupil a religion other than his own, while fie is a minor and incapable of true discernment, is an offence against public order and morals.  No State which recognizes its duties towards its subjects for the protection of their religious beliefs approves it.  The freedom guaranteed to religions beliefs does not approve it, either.  This freedom is undermined if an educational institution seeks to influence young pupils by teaching them beliefs other than their own”. (Religious Liberty, p. 12 by Bates).

“The medical, social and educational work of foreign missions”, says S. A. Morrison, in his book, “is generally appreciated so long as it is felt to be divorced from any religious or political objective.  If, however, there is suspicion that foreign missions are the agents of a foreign political power, or of a foreign culture, or are actively propagating the Christian faith, steps are usually taken to curtail their freedom.  Direct limitations may be imposed in the name of public order, or because Christian missionary work may be said to contravene “good morals.” Alternatively, the restriction may be indirect, through the control of visas or transfer of money from abroad”. (Religious Liberty, in the Near East p. 10).

65. “In Muslim eyes”, writes S. A. Morrison, on page 9 of the same book, “the apostate is traitor, both to his religion and to his community.” The spirit of nationalism which has emerged in the countries of Middle Last also as a result of secular spirit prevailing in the advanced countries of the West, lays emphasis on the necessity of “National Unity, based on a common culture,” and whether the basis of this Unity was sought in race, as in Turkey, or in religion, as in most other Muslim countries, “Christian and Jewish minorities with their different culture came to be regarded as elements of weakness within the national organism”.

“Fear of all forms of western imperialistic penetration in the Near East, Political, economic or cultural is another factor that has affected adversely the position of the minorities”, says S. A. Morrison.

66. There exists at present a deep-rooted suspicion of foreign imperialism in the minds of the people of the Near East countries and only too often their belief is that, directly or indirectly, missions are the agents of a foreign Government.  Government of the Near East countries are, in particular, “suspicious of foreign educational institutions, lest these be used for either religious or political propaganda”.

“Belief in religious liberty”, says S. A. Morrison, “was the result of a long drawn-out struggle in western countries.  That struggle is as yet in its early stages in Muslim lands.  Some Muslims have caught the vision, and would hasten its realisation by the complete separation of religion and politics.

“The major issue in Near East countries today is”, Says S. A. Morrison, “whether they will follow the road of modern democracy towards equality of all citizens, irrespective of their race or religion, or whether they will cling to the Orthodox Muslim conception of the superiority in all aspects of life of the Muslim over the non-Muslim”.

67. Such in brief are the constitutional provisions pertaining to religious liberty in the various countries.  In the next chapter we shall consider the position pertaining to the Religious Liberty under the constitution of Free India.


India having deliberately decided to follow the road of modern democracy towards equality of all citizens irrespective of their race or religion, it will be interesting to examine the extent of religious liberty permitted by the Constitution of India.

2. The Preamble to the Constitution secures to all its citizens:

(a) Justice, social, economic and political.

(b) Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.

(c) Equality of status and of opportunity, without any distinction of caste, creed or colour.

3. Religions liberty guaranteed under the Constitution is dealt with under more than one heading viz:

(a) Freedom of conscience, of free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

(b) Freedom to manage religious affairs.

(c) Freedom to establish and administer educational institutions.

4. Freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution under the above headings is, however, not absolute but is subject to certain restrictions deemed essential in the interest of the welfare of the State.  Thus, article 25 (I) lays down that the freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion is subject to “public order, morality and health”.  Paragraph 2 of the same article further lays down that “Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political, or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice.” Similarly, article 26 of the Constitution contains a provision to the effect that “The right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes and to own and administer movable and immovable property acquired for the above purposes and even the right to manage its own affairs in matters of religion is subject to public order, morality and health.” The administration of property is further subject to the law of the land.

5. The State, not being wedded to any one religion, follows a policy of religious neutrality in the matter of education. Article 28 (1) of the Indian Constitution lays down:

“No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.”

Private bodies, however, have been guaranteed freedom to establish and administer educational institutions of their own choice and to impart religious instruction therein subject to the “Conscience Clause”.  Article 28 (3) runs as follows:-

“No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may he conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.”

The doors of both the State and the Government-aided private schools are open alike to all the citizens.  Admission to these Temples of Knowledge cannot be refused on the basis of “religion, race, caste, language, or any of them”.  Article 29 (2) says:

“No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.”

6. The Constitution of India provides against discrimination in administration on the basis of religion.  Article 15 (1) says:

“The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.”

Similarly, article 16 (1) and (2) provides for equality of opportunity to all citizens in the matter of public employment.  It says:

“There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.

In the matter of award of grant-in-aid to denominational educational institutions, discrimination on the basis of religion is ruled out under the Constitution. Article 30 (1) runs thus:

“The State shall not, in ranting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority whether based on religion or language.”

7. In considering the Fundamental Rights given under the Constitution one should not forget its preamble. The preamble is not like the preambles of other ordinary Acts. It is a solemn declaration of our whole purpose. In fact it is the very seed which has sprouted, grown into mighty tree and borne fruits in the subsequent Chapters and Articles of the Constitution.

This preamble, as has been quoted in the beginning, says that:

“We, the people of India……… give to ourselves this Constitution in order to secure to all its citizens Justice, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”

There is no doubt that a Constitution though mainly meant for its citizens has also to provide for foreigners living within its territory.  Our Constitution has also done that.  But a distinction has to be drawn between the rights available to its citizens and those available to a foreigner; even as the duties towards the State of citizen and a foreigner are not the same.  Quite a number of provisions are undoubtedly applicable to all persons residing in. the country irrespective of the fact whether they are Indian Nationals or aliens.  For example, article 14 of the Constitution declares that “the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” The safety of persons and personal property of all persons, citizens or non-citizens, are guaranteed under Article 20, 21, 22 and 31 of the Constitution.  Article 25 likewise guarantees freedom of conscience to all the inhabitants of the State.  There are, however, some other provisions of the Constitution which confer rights exclusively on the citizens of India.  Thus, under Article 19 (1) certain rights regarding freedom of the individual appertain to citizens only.  The article is given below:-

(i) All citizens shall have the right-

(a) to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India 
(f) to acquire, hold and dispose of property; and
(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

The “Seven Freedoms” guaranteed under Article 19 (1) are, however, subject to five limitations contained in clauses (2) to (6) of the same Article.  These restrictions may be imposed by the “State” Legislatures in the interest of the security of State, public order, decency or morality, protection of Scheduled Tribes, etc.

The distinction made in the Constitution between citizen and non-citizen has an important bearing on the rights and duties of the foreigners, and have special significance for the purpose of our enquiry.

8. We have quoted in this chapter constitutional provisions relating to religious liberty in India. In the foregoing chapter we dealt with the facts of religious liberty under the respective constitutions of other countries.  A comparative study discloses that, viewed in the light of religious liberty, the countries of the world may be divided under two main categories, viz.-

(1) Theocratic States, i.e., those having State religion.
(2) Secular States, i.e., those having no State religion.

By the very nature of things there are likely to be discriminations and preferences, whether overt or covert, in favour of the State religion in the States under the first category.  Followers o the State religion enjoy rights and privileges which are denied to others.  The principle of equality of all religions cannot, therefore, fully operate in these States.

An overwhelmingly large majority of Islamic and many of the Christian countries fall under this category

9. Secular States may be further sub-divided into two classes, viz.-

(a) Those where the very idea of religion is hated and discarded as a dangerous thing. 
(b) Where religion as such is respected.

In the former countries it can be said that religions liberty has no place, not for the reason that the State is wedded to any particular religion and therefore, there is leaning of the State in favour of that religion, but for the reason that all religions ate looked upon with disfavour.  There is, therefore, no freedom for any religion.  Communist countries would fill under this category.

In countries under the second heading, there is equal regard for all religions and no discrimination in favour of any one.  The followers of all religions are allowed freedom to profess and practise a religion of their choice subject to certain qualifications (e.g., public order) applicable to the followers of all religions without any distinction.

India falls under the second heading. There is no doubt that there is a multiplicity of religions in India.  But India seeks “unity in diversity”.  It is only through a “reverential approach” to faiths other than one’s own that one can realise “the principle of equality of all religions”.

We can do no better than quote from Mahatma Gandhi’s writings about the need of the hour:

“The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions.  We want to reach not the dead level, but unity in diversity. Any attempt to root out traditions, effects of heredity, climate and other surroundings is not only bound to fail but is a sacrilege.  The soul of religions is one, but it is encased in a multitude of forms.  The latter will persist to the end of time.” (Christian Missions, p. 34, Nova Jivan Press).

10. Following this dictum of the Father of the Nation, the framers of the Constitution, in their anxiety to preserve the secular nature of our State, have guaranteed equality to all religions.  But if the followers of any one religion deny it not only in their mental attitude but in their outward conduct and behaviour, then it becomes the duty of the State to keep an eye on the religions activities of the votaries of different religions and to step in wherever there is any misuse of their rights threatening public order or solidarity of country.  This is an obligation imposed by the Constitution.

11. This is borne out from the discussions that took place in the Constituent Assembly when this Article 25 of the Constitution (Article 19 of the Draft Constitution) was being considered.  Dealing with the scope of Article 25 (then Article 19) Shri K. Santhanam, Lieut. Governor of Vindhya Pradesh, then a member of the Drafting Committee, spoke as follows:-

“Sir, I stand here to support this article.  This article has to be read with Article 13.  Article 13 has already assured freedom of speech and expression and the right to form association or unions.  The above rights include the right of religious speech and expression and the right to form religious association or unions.

“Therefore, Article 19 is really not so much an article on religious freedom but an article on what I may call religious toleration.  It is not so much the words “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion” that are important; what are important are the governing words with which the article begins, viz., “Subject to public order, morality and health.”

“Hitherto it was thought in this country that anything in the name of religion must have the right to unrestricted practice and propagation.  But we are now in the new Constitution restricting the right only to that right which is consistent with public order, morality and health.  The full implications of this qualification are not easy to discover.  Naturally they will grow with the growing social and moral conscience of the people.  For instance, I do not know if for a considerable period of time the people of India will think that purdah is consistent with the health of the people.  Similarly, there are many institutions of Hindu religion which the future conscience of the Hindu community will consider as inconsistent with morality.

“Sir, some discussion has taken place on the word ‘propagate’.  After all, propagation is merely freedom of expression. I would like to point out that the word ‘convert’ is not there.  Mass conversion was a part of the activities of the Christian Missionaries in this country and great objection has been taken by the people to that. Those who drafted this constitution have taken care to see that no unlimited right of conversion has been given.  People have freedom of conscience and, if any man is converted voluntarily owing………… to freedom of conscience, then well and good.  No restrictions can be placed against it.  But if any attempt made by one religious community or another to have mass conversions through undue influence either by money or by pressure or by other means, the State has every right to regulate such activity. Therefore, I submit to you that this article, as it is, is not so much an article ensuring freedom, but toleration for all, irrespective of the religious practice or profession.  And this toleration is subject to public order, morality and health.

“Therefore, this article has been very carefully drafted and the exceptions and qualifications are as important as the right it confers.  Therefore, I think the article as it stands is entitled to our wholehearted support.” (pages 834-835, Draft Constitution-Constituent Assembly of India, 6th December 1948 Debates, Volume II).

N.B.-Article 13 of the Draft Constitution corresponds to Article 19 of the Constitution.

12. Although the question relevant to our enquiry regarding religious freedom has probably not come up for decision before our High Courts and the Supreme Court of India, yet the interpretation of Article 25 of the Constitution came before the High Court of Bombay in a different context.  And it may not be out of place to quote the following observation from their judgment in Civil Application No. 880 and Miscellaneous Application No. 212 of 1952, dated the 12th September 1952, reported in A.I.R. 1953, Bombay, page 242.  Chagla, Chief Justice says:-

“(4) It may be said that both Articles 25 and 26 deal with religious freedom, but, as I shall presently point out, religious freedom, as contemplated by our Constitution, is not unrestricted freedom.  The religious freedom which has been safeguarded by the Constitution is religious freedom which must be envisaged in the context of a secular State.  It is not every aspect of religion that has been safeguarded nor has the Constitution provided that every religious activity cannot be interfered with.” (page 244).

“Article 25 protects religious freedom as far as individuals are concerned.  The right is not only given to the citizens of India but to all persons, and the right is to profess, practise and propagate religion.  But here again the right is not an unrestricted right.  It is a right subject to public order, morality and health, and further it permits the State to make any law regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity, although it may be associated with religious practice, and there is a further right given to the State and that is that the State can legislate for social welfare and reform even though in doing so it may interfere with the profession, practice and propagation of religion by an individual.” (page 244.)

13. In the same judgment, Justice Shah says - 

“Article 25 has conferred upon the citizens and others residing within the State freedom to profess, practise and propagate religion.  That is subject to the legislative power of the State Legislature to legislate so as to regulate or restrict the activity of any person which may be associated with religious practices.  The right, therefore, which is conferred by Article 25 is not an absolute or unfettered right of freedom of professing or practising or propagating religion, but it is subject to legislation by the State limiting or regulating any activity, economic, financial, political or secular, associated with religious practice.  Similarly, that right is also subject to the social welfare and reform legislation of the State. Therefore, Article 25, while conferring a right upon the citizens and other freely to profess, practise, and propagate their religion, does not confer upon the citizens and others an unfettered right to carry on economic, financial, political or secular activities in association with religious practices, nor does it prevent the State from passing any legislation for purposes of social welfare and reforms, even though such legislation might directly or indirectly be inconsistent with the religious beliefs of some of the religious denominations.” (page 252-A).

14. It may also be interesting to quote the following passages occurring in the judgment, dated the 16th March 1954, of the Supreme Court reported in A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 282:-

“We may refer in this connection to a few American and Australian cases, all of which arose out of the activities of persons connected with the religious association known as ‘Jehovah’s witnesses’.  This association of persons, loosely organised throughout Australia, United States of America and other countries, regard the literal interpretation of the Bible as fundamental to proper religious beliefs.  This belief in the supreme authority of the Bible colours many of their political ideas. They refuse to take oath of allegiance to the king or other constituted human authority and even to show respect to the national flag, and they decry all wars between nations and all kinds of war activities.

“In 1941, a company of ‘Jehovah’s witnesses’ incorporated in Australia commenced proclaiming and teaching matters which were prejudicial to war activities and the defence of the Commonwealth, and steps were taken against them under the National Security Regulations of the State.  The legality of the action of the Government was questioned by means of a writ petition before the High Court and the faith Court held that the action of, the Government was justified and that S. 116 which guaranteed freedom of religion under the Australian Constitution, was not in any way infringed by the National Security Regulation”-vide 67 C.L.R. 116 at page 127 (H).

These were undoubtedly political activities though arising out of religions belief entertained by a particular community.

15. “In such cases”, as Latham C. J. pointed out, “the provision for protection of religion was not an absolute protection to be interpreted and applied independently of other provisions of the Constitution.  These privileges must he reconciled with the right of the State to employ the sovereign power to ensure peace, security and orderly living without which constitutional guarantee of civil liberty would be a mockery.” (pages 290-291 A.I.R., Supreme Court, 1954).


The dawn of Independence saw India on the threshold of a new era.  Widespread efforts at political, economic and social reforms were initiated.  The nation’s particular keenness on securing for all minorities including Christians a place of genuine honour and importance was immediately noticed in the Drift Constitution.  Notwithstanding the unpleasant memories associated with the advent of the Western Christian Missionary activities in India and the methods used by foreigners under a foreign Government, notwithstanding that in the fight for Independence Christians as a whole had little or no share, apart from a man here or a man there, in spite of bitter memories of the partition of the country on the basis of religion and in spite of the pleadings of some of the powerful parties in the country, our rich and ancient culture and civilization found natural expression in the words of our Prime Minister, “As long as I am at the helm of affairs India will not become a Hindu State” (India’s Minorities, page 21).  A truly secular and democratic State was set up.  In the land of about 350 millions, most of whom are Hindus by religion, a place of honour was assured to a minority of about 10 millions.

2. It is not without reason that the majority community in India today thinks that the minority sentiments should respond to the large-heartedness and liberal gesture of the framers of the Constitution to make India strong and progressive.  The attitude of the minorities may not have been very helpful in the past, backdoor methods to sabotage the national movement may have been used, but the country expected that after Independence there would be perfect harmony with and trust in the majority.  This hope was further fortified by the withdrawal by Indian Christians of their claim to have separate electorates in certain provinces.  On the ground that reservation of seats implied lack of confidence in the majority community, representatives of the Indian Christians declared before the Constituent Assembly that they were not in favour of such reservations, and consequently on the 28th May, 1949 the Constituent Assembly abolished reservation of seats for all minorities except Harijans and Tribals.  But within a short time of the passing of the Constitution reports of undesirable activities, chiefly at the instance of foreign Missionaries, started pouring in from different parts of India.  On the other bind, it was urged on behalf of the Christian Community that the guarantees provided in the Constitution were not being followed by certain State Governments and that Christian Missionaries were being harassed in the exercise of their rights to propagate their religion.  It is, therefore, our purpose to see what the facts are as disclosed in the oral and documentary evidence gathered by us.

3. We have mentioned elsewhere that a sudden fillip was given to Missionary activities after the passing of the Constitution. We shall deal with the evidence which has been brought before us to indicate the extent of foreign assistance received by the various Missions.

Foreign Money

From January I950 to June 1954 a sum of Rs. 29.27 crores of rupees had been received in India.  The details are as below:-

U. S. A.
... ... ...
... ... ...
... ... ...
... ... ...
... ... ...
... ... ...
... ... ...
... ... ...
... ... ...
Aid received from the non-sterling area
 ... ... ...
From sterling area U. K.
4,83,89,000 }
Rest of the sterling area
25,29,000 }
Grand Total

This was the information supplied by Government of India as based on the figures compiled from the statistics maintained by the Reserve Bank.

4. In the absence of appropriate and requisite material, it is not possible to ascertain the exact proportion of the amount that flows into Madhya Pradesh.  But one can broadly find the heads under which it is presumably expended.

5. In our exploratory tour it was disclosed by Rev. Lakra at Kusmi on the 10th June, 1954 at the morning session that in the year 1953 he had received Rs. 60,000 for five provinces from the Lutheran World Federation at Geneva and that through the American Board of his Lutheran Mission he obtained Rs. 90,000 from U. S. A. to meet the expenses, of one year’s activity in the Surguja area.  Rev. Ekka explained at Ambikapur on the 11th June 1954 that the sum of Rs. 90,000 had reference to a special building programme.  In the Chhindwara district we visited the Danielson High School and gathered that the expenditure of the school was Rs. 33,000 per annum out of which Rs. 9,613 was received from the Church and the rest from Government by way of grant and subsidy.  At Achalpur we were informed that in the Leper Asylum at Kothara the total budget expenditure was met by a grant of RS. 33,000 from the Mission and Rs. 39,000 from the State Government and the income from agriculture.  At Bihar, out of an expenditure of Rs. 1,100 in connection with a school Rs. 600 were the Mission’s contribution.  At Jabalpur the total expenditure of the Girls Training College in 1953 was approximately Rs. 1,02,000 and the deficit amounting to somewhere between Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 15,000 was met by a donation received from the American Mission.  The school had also received a donation for building up to Rs. 4,00,000 between 1949-51 from the Methodist Mission.

6. Dr. E. Emanuel, the Secretary of the Methodist Church of Southern Asia, stated that the Bishops in the Methodist Church were paid out of the Bishop’s Fund which was made up of contributions received from -many countries including America-.  St. Paul’s High School, Raipur, which is run by the American Evangelical Mission received a grant of Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 25,000 from the Government, and Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000 from the Home Board of the Mission in America.  Shri Biswas, Assistant Headmaster of the High School conducted by the Mennonite Mission, Dhamtari, stated that the amount of donation received from the Mission was Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 15,000 for the Church and that it was out of that amount that the school was run.  The donation to the church comes from America.

7.  At Bilaspur Rev. Maqbul Masih (Bilaspur-2) is the Coordinator of the Adhik Jeevan Yojana, i.e., Abundent Life Programme, under which his Mission, viz. The Disciples of Christ, runs a farm and a primary school.  The money required for financing the activities is received from America.  Dr. Donald T. Rice (Sagar 10) informed us that the annual budget of the rural development programme (Jeevan Tara) was Rs. 52,600 which came entirely from America.  Rev. Coleman (Sagar 12) works within a radius of 15 miles and the budget of his Mission is about a lakh, half of which is contributed by Americans.  In the women’s section at Takhatpur, Miss E. Shreive is the treasurer.  At Mungeli, the hospital receives a subsidy of Rs. 4,800 from the Church of the Disciples of Christ in America.

8. At Amravati (Hartman, No. 1), we were told that the Mission gave its subsidy to the synod to the extent that was necessary to meet its deficit.  In Yeotmal district Rev. J. C. Nathar (No. 13) the Pastor of the Church at Umri, told us that the central fund of the Church had been getting some subsidy from the American Board for the expenses of the schools, hospitals and evangelistic work. Rev. Vasast Samudre, (No. 25) the Pastor of the Church at Yeotmal of the Free Methodist Mission, said that the seminary in which he was working as a teacher received a grant from America.  In Buldana district we learnt from Rev. S. J. Bhujbal (No. 15) that 30 churches received subsidies from the Mission Fund in America.  Rev. Raghuwel Chawhan (No. 2 Khamgaon) the Pastor of the Church at Akola, which runs a Mission school at Khamgaon informed us that a subsidy for the school was received from the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and that the deficit which arose in connection with the activities of the Church amounting to Rs. 13.000 had been met through the subsidy received from the Mission.

9. Large amounts were received for evangelistic work in Surguja after it was thrown open for Missionary enterprise as a result of promulgation of the Constitution in January 1950.  The Gossner Lutheran Mission opened a new Mission field in Surguja and employed a large number of preachers to go over the countryside for proselytization.  The rate of proselytization from time to time is described in the issues of Gharbandhu from March 1952 to November 1953.  In the year 1952 the United Lutheran Church Mission gave a grant of 8,000 Dollars and in the year 1953, 20,000 Dollars i.e., Rs. 90,000 (Gharbandhu November 1952, page 13 and November 1953, page 15).  The work was begun in Surguja by the National Missionary Society (Lutheran) in the summer of 1951. Rev. B. J. Kripadanam was posted to Ambikapur and the first congregation was gathered at Ganjadad when 59 persons were baptised.  In January 1952 a special Surguja Board was set up under the auspices of the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India. Dr. R. S. Oberly of the United Lutheran Church Mission was the treasurer and Rev. J. Lakra and Rev. C. J. Tirkey and Dr. R. M. Dunkelberger were the other members.  The United Lutheran Church Mission gave a grant of 8,000 Dollars for the work of this body in 1952. Rev. Kripadanam reported that 12 Uraon congregations had been established with a baptised membership of 1,010.  Three Cossner Pastors, eighteen paid evangelists, four Bible women were put on this work.  To compete with them the Roman Catholics had also thrown into their work a large number of priests and their helpers.  The entire expenses of the Surguja field were met by the U. L. C. M. Board. (Gharbandhu, November 1952, page 12).

10. At the meeting held on 6th and 7th of March 1953, at Parvatipuram in Madras State, it was announced that the number of new converts was 1,200 of both sexes and that there were 100 pracharaks and seven priests working with Rev. Kripadanam and that 23 acres of land had been purchased at Ambikapur.  It was also announced that the U.L.C.M. of America had sanctioned a grant of Rs. 90,000 for the year 1953 (Gharbandhu, April 19.53, page 16).

11. The scramble which arose as a result of competition between the Lutheran, Catholic and the Church of Christ Missions can well be described in the words of the report of Rev. C. J. Tirkey, published in the December issue of Gharbandhu, 1952, page 2. As there has been some disagreement as to the party which advanced money to induce proselytization, we think it advisable to reproduce the original Hindi version here: It is as follows:-

""Xyga{ oXZ dhm§ admZm hm{H{$ oMam[S>m J`{. O¡g{ [hb{ _| Xem©`m J`m h¡ oH$ dhm§ ^{oS>`{ Kwg Am`{ Am¡a M§X ^{S>m| H$m{ oVVa-o]Va oH$`m h¡, AWm©V² dhm§ H{$ 5 KamZ{ H{$ ñdmo_`m| H$m{ Am¡a EH$ àMmaH$ H$m{ ZH$Sw>]H$s ][oVñ_m oX`m h¡. ]rV{ _ohZ{ H{$ Qy>a _| AÝ` ^mB`m| H$m{ `ËZ g{ g_Pm`{ W| Bgob`{ g] Xyga{ ^mB© ]ohZ W§_ J`{ h¢. [aÝVw Om{ AJwd{ garI{ W{ CZH$m{ é[`{ H$s bm{^ oXIm H$a Sw>]m oX`{ Am¡a VwaÝV Vrg Vrg é[`{ Vb[ X{Zm Amaå^ H$a oX`m. A^r BZ AJwAm| H{$ _Z é[`{ H$s _m{h g{ ]ÝYm J`m h¡. ]S>{ [nal_ H{$ gmW CZH$m{ ^r bm¡Q>mZm h¡. MM© Am°\$ ¼mBñQ> o_eZ H{$ ^{oS>`{ ê$[ H$m`©H$Vm©Am| H$m{ A] [ya{ ]ñVr H$s OZVm oH$ d{ H¡$g{ H$[Q>r Am¡a N>ëbr h¢ AZw^d H$a ob`{ h¢. ......................... am{_Zm| Am¡a e{\$a dmbm| H$s Am{a H{$ T>m|J EH$ àH$ma OZVm H{$ _Z _| O§M J`m h¡ Am¡a CZH$m _Z gË` H$s Am{a \{$a ob`m J`m h¡ [aÝVw Vm¡^r K_mgmZ o^S>ÝV Mb hr ahm h¡.''

The gist of it is that the other wolves, viz., competing Missions had entered the field and were scattering away (i.e., misleading) the Lambs.  Some of the householders had been given Nakdubki (nominal baptism) but others who held out on account of greed had to he satisfied with immediate advance payment of Rs. 30 each).

12. How this programme of mass proselytization was inspired and financed by foreigners would be clear from the following extract which purports to be the report of the Surguja Board presented in January 1954 at Rajmundry: “As the informal meeting urged strongly that the Hill Tribe possibilities for which the Lutheran Church had the needed resources and personnel should be taken advantage of with the financial assistance from the West on the basis of “Partnership in Obedience”, the Lutheran National Missionary Society Council put the matter before Dr. F. A. Schiotz, Chairman of the Lutheran World Federation Commission on World Missions.  The appeal was backed by certain influential non-Indian Missionary leaders, notably by the federation President Dr. C. W. Oberdorfer, with the result that the Commission on Younger Churches and Orphaned Missions (C. Y. C. O. M.) sent a timely grant of 1,500 dollars which enabled the Lutheran N. M. S. to secure the services of the needed Uraon personnel……… As C. Y. C. O. M. could only help orphaned Missions and churches and not initiate any new work, the Chairman of the L. W. F. Commission was negotiating with the various Mission Boards and finally the U. L. C. M. Board, under the leadership of Dr. L. A. Gotwald, came forward to finance this work.” (The National Missionary Intelligencer, April 1954, pages 5-6).

13. Rev. Joel Lakra, Principal, Theological College, Ranchi, who appeared before the Commission at Ambikapur, had been closely associated with the World Council of Churches.  In 1948 lie attended the Conference of the World Council of Churches held at Amsterdam as a delegate of the Gossner Lutheran Church.  Mr. Dulles was present at the session at Amsterdam, and read a paper there.  At Geneva the offices of the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches are in the same compound, He said that although Germany was in Military occupation and no one could enter it without a passport he was allowed to enter without it.  He could go to the American zone through the British.

14. It may be recalled that the expression “Partnership in Obedience” came into vogue at the meeting of the Committee of the International Missionary Council held at Whitby in 1947 (page 94, World Christian Handbook, 1952) and it has a bearing on the expression “need of particular churches to be rooted in the soil and yet supranational in their witness and obedience” (page 29, ibid). These particular churches are in the old Mission fields “which are touched by new nationalisms independent in temper and organisation and yet needing help from other churches (page 29, ibid).  The expression “Partnership in Obedience” was being interpreted variously and it was after discussion at a meeting of the Lutheran World Federation Executive and also of the Executive of the World Council of Churches held at Geneva in 1951, that it came to be interpreted as implying full and unreserved co-operation between the old and the younger churches in the effort of extending the Kingdom of God. Rev. Lakra attended the meeting of the Federation and Dr. Manikam, Bishop Mandal and Rev. Yohan Massih attended the other meeting.  The entire expenses of Rev. Lakra had been paid by America (Gharbandhu, October 1951, p. 6).

15. It would appear from the above t hat as soon as Surguja became open for Missionary enterprise, on the promulgation of the Constitution of India, was a veritable invasion of the district by the Roman Catholics, Church of Christ Mission, and the Lutherans who were backed by ample finance from the Lutheran World Federation.

16. It is interesting to see why the Lutherans appeared on the scene.  The Lutherans are the most numerous of all she Protestant bodies, being strong in Germany, dominant in the Scandanavian country and very numerous in North America.  “The Lutherans have permitted a stricter control of the Church by the State than any other Christian body” and that “at times the churches have become more closely associated with political parties and policies than is good for spiritual independence” (pages 15 and 18, Nature and Function of the Church, Part II, S.C.M. Series No. 13).

17. In the world, the strength of Christians according to the various denominations is as below (p. 121, World Christian Hand-Book, 1952): -

Roman Catholics  
    (R. C. Directory, 1952, p. 593)
Presbyterian and Reformed  

The Committee of the International Missionary Council met in 1948, at Oegstgeest in Netherlands, and considered an important paper on the subject of Communist policy, and the Missionary movement and it resolved to extend and continue the orphaned Mission’s fund for another five years (pp. 94-95, World Christian Hand-book, 1952).

From what has been stated above it would be a fair inference to draw that the sums which were received in Surguja came from the I. M. C. Fund.

18. It is also clear that the activity in the Surguja district is not unrelated to the cold war strategy.  The Christian Missions are instructed to present Christianity to Hindu culture “at its points of need” as early as possible in view of the possibility of Communist infiltration from within and pressure from without. (P. 14, World Christian Handbook, 1952.)

19. That foreign money has played a great part, from the very beginning of the Missionary enterprise in India, in securing proselytes from the poor classes, appears from the writings of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, who protested against exploitation “by a body of English gentlemen who were called Missionaries of the poor classes who are prompted by the desire of gain or any other motive” (Christian Proselytism in India, pages 87-88, by Parekh).

20. Richter in his History of Christian Missions at page 171 records that many people became Christians to ensure their own advancement or obtain a higher salary or any other advantage.  Dr. Pickett pays a tribute to the Christian Missions in these words:

“Christian Missions have added to the wealth of India by the large sums of money which they imported from foreign lands……… The economic benefits have come to many participants in Christian mass movement……… This is not a fact that need be bidden or discussed in whispers. Considering how Jesus tried to meet the needs of the poor, healing diseases and other afflictions, feeding the hungry, etc.” (Christian Mass Movement in India, pp. 139 and 140).

Dr. Mott, however, appears, to have taken a different view as he said, “Christ offered no inducement. He offered service and sacrifice” (p. 240, Christian Missions Navajivan Press).  When in 1936 Gandhiji made a remark that “Mammon had been sent to serve India and God has remained behind” Dr. Mott replied that money was stored-up personality. (Pages 235 and 245, Christian Missions.)

21. Roland Allen at page 140 of The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church, says, “it is money, money everywhere, all the time, every thing depends upon money”; and in his Missionary Methods St. Paul’s or Ours, says at page 71 “it is sad to sit and watch a stream of Christian visitors calling upon a Missionary and to observe that in nearly every case the cause which brings them is money”. Even the National Christian Council is largely paid from abroad (page 13, World Christian Handbook, 1952).  Dr. E. Asirvatham in Christianity in the Indian Crucible. page 41, says, “one chief reason why Indian Christians in general still welcome foreign Missionaries is economy; it is an open secret that the Indian Church is not yet out of the swaddling clothes, so far as its economic support is concerned.  To give an extreme illustration, only Rs. 6,000 of the total income of Rs. 1,12,500 of the National Christian Council of India……… is from Indian sources and the rest comes from the Mission Board abroad.”

22. We are told that the Missions are now integrated with the Churches but it is clear from the evidence that the purse strings are in the hands of the foreign Missionaries.  The headquarters of the Missions are stated to be in India and independent of foreign control, but there is a good number of foreign Missionaries on the managing bodies of the Churches.  As the work of the Missionaries professedly is evangelistic, the money received by them from abroad is utilised in engaging a large number of preachers and teachers-cum-preachers.  In our exploratory tour we were told that in the Surguja district the Lutheran Mission had 60 to 70 pracharaks, each getting Rs. 40 per month.  Even in a small place like Basnal there were as many as 36 pracharaks working in three villages, each pracharak getting Rs. 35 to Rs. 40 per month.  In Bilaspur, Tularam (Bilaspur, 14) was a pracharak receiving Rs. 82 per month.  According to him there were 4 pracharaks within a radius of 6 miles.  At Washim, Shri Dongardive told us that there were as many as 48 pracharaks, operating in the area of the Nazarene Church, and that the number of foreign Missionaries was 24, including women, and that all the expense involved in the preaching tour had been met out of the Mission fund.  In Amravati district, there were 26 Missionaries with 12 Indian preachers whose pay varied from Rs. 60 to Rs. 9.90 each.  In Yeotmal, one of the pracharaks by name Moses David received Rs. 157 per month.  John Gardia, who is a Christian Patel of village Jolkot, received as a preacher Rs. 60 per month.  Solomon, a teacher at Dhamtari, said that under the Mennonite Church there were 6 or 7 pracharaks who preached with the aid of flannelgraph, pictures and dramas.  It is thus indisputably clear that financial assistance from abroad has been expanded in far more liberal manner than even before the Constitution of India was promulgated, and that it is mainly with this help that Mission organisations are carrying on prolytisation amongst back ward tribes, especially in areas freshly opened.


23. We will now consider how far this money is being used for religious work only.  It. has been contended that most of the amount is utilised for creating a class of professional proselytisers, both foreign as well as Indian.  We have not been able to get the figure of the salaries which the foreign Missionaries receive for their service in India. Only Rev. Hartman (Amravati No. 1) was pleased to declare that his salary was 63 dollars per month paid from Home, plus free quarters and vehicle allowance.  One can have some idea of the scale of salaries of American Missionaries from the fact that in the American Evangelical and Reformed Church there are 28 Missionaries on the India roll and under the head of Missionary salaries and appurtenances the figure comes to 90,072.23 Dollars (American Evangelistic and Reformed Church Blue Book, 1955, pages 56, 60).  They ire supplied with well-furnished bungalows, and they command resources in vehicles and other things.  That the disparity between the scales of pay received by foreigners and Indians is great will be clear from the following observation occurring at page 101 of Christianity and the Asian Revolution in India: ‘……… all of them (Indians) are troubled by what are often glaring differences between the salaries and allowances given to foreign Missionaries and those received by national pastors, teachers, etc.”

24. “Our evangelism in India” lays Rev. Ralla Ram (Ways of Evangelism, page 25) “rests so much on professionalism and wage earning.  It has not become the natural expression of redeeming live; the cart of Evangelism goes creaking along, propelled and pushed along by gigantic foreign resources.  We have forgotten the carpenters bench of the Master Himself and the tent-making trade of His servant Paul”.  Roland Allen, on page 146, Spontaneous Expansion of the Church, says: “We created this paid professional Missionary class, not to support spontaneous Missionary zeal on the part of our fellow countrymen, but to take the place of it; in the same wav we created a paid professional class of Mission agents among our converts not to support spontaneous expression of Missionary zeal, for we did not dream of it, but to take the place of it.”

25. Thus it would appear that the foreign money, which flows into the country goes not merely to maintain some educational and medical institutions, but is largely shared by professional proselytisers, foreign and indigenous

26. The strength of the foreign Missionary personnel in India in 1954-55 as compared with the previous years was as follows:-

1940 5,417 In India including Pakistan.
1947 5,040 In India including Pakistan (page 404 Directory of Churches and Missions, 1951.)
1950 4,744 In India and Pakistan (Introduction ibid XV-page.)
1951 4,377 In India only.
1955 4,877 In India only (page 210 and Compiler’s introduction, page vii, Christian Hand-Book of India, 1954-55.)

There was an excess of 500 (men 304 and wives and women 196). The increased personnel has occurred in the smaller Missions most of which do not yet have any organised churches associated with them. There has been a decrease in the older Missions and an increase in the newer ones. (Compiler’s Introduction, page vii ibid).

27. At the beginning of 1954, there were 16.8 per cent more educational, evangelical and other workers than were present in India in 1949.  During 1937-1947 there was a 24.7.per cent reduction in the total of those citizens of the United Kingdom engaged in foreign Missionary work.  From 1947 to 1954 a further decrease of 12 per cent is noted. (page 397, National Christian Council Review, September 1954).

According to official information gathered by us in -Malaya Pradesh there are 480 foreigners working in the various Missions as follows:-


They are distributed as follows in the districts


Besides those included in the number given by the National Christian Council in the Christian Handbook of India 1954-55, it appears from the statement of Rev. R. C. Das that there is a large number of unattached evangelists.  Rev. Das’s statement receives support from the remark made in the Compiler’s introduction to the Christian Hand-Book of India 1954-55 that the increased personnel has occurred in the smaller Missions most of which do not yet have any organised Churches.  An organisation known as “Jehovah’s witnesses” at Jabalpur has sent us two pamphlets entitled “Christendom or Christianity” and “World Conquest Soon by God’s Kingdom”.  In a pamphlet which has been widely circulated it is said “Oh how I wish that I could convey to you the desperate need of the hour……… to bring the one billion souls to Christ……… these invasion teams must be sent to all the nations of the world…… 700 churches in India have invited Dr. Wyatt to take a team into that great country and begin to turn its needy millions into the Kingdom of God”.  A pamphlet written by Dr. Thomas Wyatt entitled “Thunder Before Dawn” has come to our hand which shows that these teams are operating in India.

This would show that the number actually in the country exceeds the statistical figures given above.


Schools, Hospitals and Orphanages.

28. The media through which the Gospel is propagated are primarily the schools, hospitals and orphanages.

Richter, in his History of Christian Missions, page 317, says “A new day has dawned for India, the people clamour for education……… Shall Missions keep themselves to themselves and leave this development to itself or shall they enter the lists and make themselves masters of the movement and use it as an instrument in their task of Christianising the whole land?” At page 314 he declares, “Missions have neither a call nor a mandate to teach English literature, history, mathematics or natural science, the preaching of the Gospel to the heathen and the exercise of pastoral care over the relative churches is the head and front of all Missionary labour, and everything must be considered as pure waste which does not directly further this end.” In the same breath he mentions orphanages, Y.M.C.A., Medical Service and Mission to Lepers.

29. Mr. Mayhew at page 160 of “Christianity and the Government of India” states that in the shaping of Government policy on education there was a tendency to identify the interests of the Government and the Christian Missions. In the Educational Despatch of Mr. Wood, known officially as the Education Charter of India (No. 49, dated 19th July 1854), there was a clause in which it was said that with the growth of independent but aided educational institutions, the Government schools and colleges might be closed.  Before the Educational Commission of 1882 Dr. Mackichan, Principal of Wilson College, Bombay, contended on the basis of the above clause that the Government colleges in Bombay and Poona should be closed down.  Principal Wordsworth of the Elphinston College, Bombay, firmly replied in these words: “The place left vacant by the Government would in actual fact be occupied in this country by those powerful religious bodies whose primary objects are rather religious conversions than intellectual improvement.” The Missionaries curiously contended that the Government by continuing its own institutions was violating religious neutrality. Principal Wordsworths’ reply was in terms equally emphatic. “That it (the Government) should close institutions which it has deliberately established for the benefit of the people of this country, because certain number of teachers whose primary object is to detach the people of the country from their ancestral beliefs, think that these institutions are an impediment to the success of their own plans.  If India possessed the-privilege of self-government, would it be possible even to discuss seriously such a proposal? If a strict interpretation of the principle of religious neutrality requires the withdrawal of Government from the direct management of schools and colleges, does it not much more require the withdrawal of all aid from institutions whose professed object is the extinction of the religion of the country?” (pages 234, 252, 253, 254 and 256, “Christian Proselytism in India” by Parekh)

30. In the Report of the World Conference of the International Missionary Council, entitled “The World Mission of the Church” held at Tambaram, in 1938, the importance of schools as a means of proselytization was stated in these unequivocal terms: “Care should be taken to secure that evangelism has a central place in all medical and educational institutions” (page 38).

31. That this policy is literally followed in the schools would be clear from the article headed ""ñHy$b g{ \$m`Xm at page 5 of Gharbaudhu”, January 1952.  H$brem H$m{ ñHy$b g{ ·`m \$m`Xm h¡? ñHy$b H$brem H{$ obE amÁ`-d¥oÕ H$m H$m_ H$aVm h¡ ................................''. (what is the advantage of the school to the Church? Schools are the means for expansion of the kingdom).”

32. In the same strain one finds instructions in the “Catholic Dharmaka Pracharak”, page 60, as follows:-

""ñHy$b OmZ{ H$m [ohbm \$b
ñHy$b _| bm{J ^·V o¼ñVmZ ]Z OmV{ h¢...................''.

(first good result of going to school - The school produces devout Christians).

In the copy of letter No. F.E.-3/137, dated the 15th April 1937, from Lt.-Col. H. W. C. Robson, O.B.E., Resident for the Eastern States, to the Secretary to His Excellency the Crown Representative, Simla, it is found that in spite of restrictions, reports had been officially received that special efforts were being made (by the Catholic Church) to win over young people; and that under the guise of education attempts were made to convert them to Christianity.

33. In the report of the “Church of the Nazerene”, 1954 (page 20), the matter is emphatically stated as follows:-

“Evangelism is our call.  We make no excuse nor ask for any reservation in this period.  Jesus has called us to preach the Gospel to every creature and we mean to do it in every phase of our work, be it educational, medical or distinctly evangelistic.  “Go, teach, win” is the command under which we work.  We cannot lessen this emphasis.”

34. Along with the written statement sent on behalf of the Central India Baptist Mission, Khirkiya (Hoshangabad district), by Miss M. L. Merry, is enclosed a copy of “The Conservative Baptist” of March 1954, in which instructions are contained as below:-

“3. Missionaries and Board members alike are increasingly aware of the need both for a dynamic programme of direct evangelism and the use of medicine and education in the development of the work.”. 

(The above issue of March 1954 came from 352, Willington Avenue, 14, U. S. A.)

35. The importance of schools and hospitals in their bearing, on evangelism is also stressed by W. Harold Storm in “Whit Arabia”, page 93.  According to him the avenues of approach used in Arabia are three, viz., hospitals, schools and direct evangelistic work.

36. Schools.-We shall first deal with the evidence bearing on schools.

The statements made before us disclose that various subtle devices are employed to influence the minds of youngsters in schools.  Ramchandra Tiwari (Khandwa, No. 1), says that the Ballahi children are attracted to the Roman, Catholic Church by the concession of free boarding and lodging; and indirectly their elders are influenced to attend the services in the Church.  Shri C. D. Meghashyam (Khandwa, No. 2), Pleader and President of the Nimar Harijan Sevak Sangh, found that when he opened schools for the Harijans of the Ballahi caste, the Christian Missionaries opened rival schools in the vicinity, holding out allurements of free books and other facilities.  Babulal (Khandwa, No. 3) was in the Roman Catholic School at Mhow and his personal experience lie stated that Ballahi students were given free boarding, lodging and books, and were called upon to attend the Christian prayers, whether they were Christians or not.  All the three witnesses agreed in stating that the names of the boys after admission into the Roman Catholic School were changed.  That the Lutheran Mission also indulges in this device is dear from page 5 of “Gharbandhu”, March-April 1952, where the following occurs:-

""....................ñdamÁ` hm{ OmZ{ g{ gaJwOm _| Y_©àMma H$m Ûma Iwb J`m, .................... Xm{ bS>H{$ gaJwOm g{ B©MH{$bm bm`{ J`{ ...................... CZH$m Zm_ [Vag Am¡a [mdb aIm J`m, ......................''.


“With the advent of swaraj the gates for the preaching of the Gospel have been thrown open.  Two boys were first brought to the Ichkela School for religious instruction.  They were named Peter and Paul.”

Babulal’s own instance proved that to his original name “Walter” was added.  Devi Pushpawati (Khandwa, No. 5), was a Head Mistress in the Roman Catholic School, Khandwa, for 6 years and she also spoke about the change of the names of students.  In the case of most of the Ballahi boys the Catholic Father who was the manager of the school used to sign as Guardian, and that gave, him the opportunity to change the name and the religion of the boys. She cited the example of a boy whose name was Mukund to which was added the name “Nicholas”, when he was admitted into the fifth class.  The name of Vardhaman Ballahi (Khandwa, No. 8), aged 18 years, was entered as Joseph in his application for admission to the matriculation examination.  It was struck off when he protested.  At Ambikapur Hiralal Uraon (Ambikapur, No. 12) produced his primary certificate in which his name was entered as Johan Minz although he was a Hindu.  According to Beohar Rajendrasingh (Jabalpur, No. 5), some such unconscionable methods had been used in the Normal School at Sijhora and they were exposed by Dr. Elwin and Thakkar Bapa.  There were some interpellations in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly with the result that the Normal School was taken over by Government.

37. In spite of the Conscience Clause in the Educational Manual and a clear provision in the Constitution of India, attempts are made to circumvent them by some device or other. Janardan Shankarlal, aged 14 (Jabalpur, No. 3), was in the 7th and 8th class in the Christian Mission High School during the years 1953 and 1954 when the Bible was taught to all students, Christian or non-Christian, and they used to be tested the next day.  Attendance used to be marked before the Bible period and the absence there-from was treated as absence from the class.  Vidyavati Gaikwad (Jabalpur, No. 1), aged 16, was a student in the Johnson’s Girls School from the primary class up to Matriculation in 1954, during which rime the morning prayer was compulsory for all and it was a Christian prayer.  The resident students had to go to Church on Sundays compulsorily for prayers.  On the 15th of August 1954 a drama was staged in the school in celebration of the Independence Day.  The four quarters of the world were represented by actors who brought four flags representing Pakistan, England, America and India.  After some dialogue the It than flag was hoisted.  Then a holy person entered the stage proclaiming peace for the world and then followed a group of girls with a flag bearing the sign of the cross.  That flag came to be hoisted on the top of all the flags.  The Principal of the School explained that the drama was designed to promote friendship between India, England, America and Pakistan.  This drama evoked some public criticism in the Nava-Bharat of Jabalpur, dated 17th August 1954.  Miss Zilla Soule (Jabalpur, No. 2), is the Principal of the Training College and she stated that the Bible classes were not compulsory even for Christian boys; nevertheless non-Christian girls attended it for the special reason that it was an Assembly hour during which the day’s programme of the school was announced.  The girls were attending the prayer in their own interest to hear the announcement.  The same thing was said, more or less, by Shri Robinson, Headmaster of the Christ Church High School (Jabalpur, No. 6).  F. M. P. Singh (Jabalpur, No. 12), Headmaster, Christian High School, Jabalpur, admitted that before September 1954 teaching of Bible and Christian prayer were compulsory.

38. Mahadeo Tukaram (Yeotmal, No. 18), is a student of the Mission High School, Darwha, and he stated that all the students have to join prayers, and on Sundays hear the Sacred Scriptures being read. Sumitra Gaikwad (Yeotmal, No. 19), is a teacher in the India Free Methodist Conference School at Umri.  According to her, Hindu boys attend the prayers as they are addressed to God so that He may help the boys in their study and promote the welfare of the country.  Nandlal Dube, Teacher, Mission High School, Chotapara (Bilaspur, No. 13), said, that after attendance was marked, prayers were offered and a student who was absent was defined one anna. Subhaktibai Fernandis (Buldana, No. 2) is a school mistress who brought to our notice the absence of forms which are specifically designed to give effect to the express provision of the Constitution in regard to the attendance at religious prayers in schools.


39. Shrimati Yengad (Washim, No. 1), is the nurse in the Mission Hospital at Washim run by the Nazerene Mission.  She stated that an Indian lady preacher offered prayers, imploring divine aid for the recovery of the in-door patients.  She herself believed in preaching and healing.  This lady is Sarjabai Yengad, who is described as a splendid Bible woman, who daily gives her witness from room to room.  So also Sampat Shinde who daily comes to the hospital to give his witness (Report of Church of the Nazarene Mission, 1954, page 20).  Hanumant Bhatkhande (Washim, No. 5) is an Advocate of the High Court, who complained that while his wife was in the hospital at Washim a nurse by name Shrimati Sathe tried to influence her to become a Christian, using the name of Rev. Narayan Waman Tilak.  One Zongaji complained to Shri Narayan Kale (Washim, No. 8), that he had been asked to pay either Rs. 35 or hand over his child who had been in the hospital for treatment, for being brought up as a Christian.  Similar complaints were laid before us by Yeshwant Mahar (Washim. No. 10), Shrimati Nalinibai Sathe (Washim, No. 11 and Pramilabai Dabir (Washim, No. 14).

40. At Raipur, one Jharihar (Raipur, No. 2), who had been in the Leper Asylum, Raipur, for 21 years, reverted to Hinduism after the asylum had been taken over by the Government.  He had become a Christian during the time that it was under the management of the Mission.  Along with him about 100 patients gave up Christianity, but a few remained Christian. Hardeo, Mojiram and Mst. Hiro [Nos. 3, 3 (a) and 3 (b) (Raipur)] said that they had become Christians because the hospital was under the management of Christians and reverted to Hinduism voluntarily as the Medical Officer was a Hindu.

41. The doctrine that sickness is cured by faith in Christ is propagated in the market place, as stated by Jatashankar Sharma (Raipur, No. 6).  Dr. Samuel, preaching in the market at Mahasamund, cited the instance of a child which was brought to the hospital for treatment and was saved.  As his father had already lost his two sons, he developed faith in Jesus and became a Christian.  Tarachand (Raipur, No. 17) was told in the Mission Hospital that his wife would be cured by faith in Jesus, and she had to offer Christian prayers.  Similarly, the wife of Narsinghdas (Raipur, No. 19), who was in the Jagdeeshpur Hospital, was asked to attend Christian prayers.  When Hariramji (Raipur, No. 15) visited the Evangelical Hospital, Tilda, to see his mother who was an in-door patient he found the pictures of Krishna and Gopis bathing in the Jumna and Rama going to the forest, and he was told that they were of bad character. One Bideshi (Raipur, No. 27) complained of pressure being brought to bear upon him by one Tulsi Babu to become a Hindu but he admitted that he had affixed his thumb-impression to the general application made by a large number of in patents for being reconverted to Hinduism, and added that he changed his mind before the performance of the Shuddhi ceremony.  Dr. Mukerjee, the Leprosy Specialist of the Leper Asylum, Raipur (Raipur, No. 29), produced the official register to show that all those who reverted to Hinduism did so of their own free-will and choice.  The original application bore the thumb-impression of Bideshi against serial number 14 along with others who reverted to Hinduism in December 1948.  Bideshi continued to be an inmate of the Asylum until 22nd December 1949, when lie left it of his own accord.  The official file contained a letter, dated the 21st June 1949, from Mr. Essabaggers bearing the names of all Christian inmates in the hospital.  Bideshi’s name was not there, as he had ceased to be a Christian.  In the hospital, there were some Christian lepers who did not choose to revert to Hinduism.

42. Turning to the reports of the “Mission to Lepers”, one comes across cases of conversions occurring every year in the Leper Asylums.  The Chandkhuri Leprosy Hospital and Homes celebrated its 50th jubilee in 1947.  On the last page of the printed report, we find the following figures of Baptisms

1898 to 1905
1906 to 1912
1913 to 1934
1935 to 1947

The number evidently includes leper children as well, the majority of whom are shown as non-infectious in the report.

Rev. T. H. Major, Superintendent, Kothara Leprosy Hospital, Achalpur, in his written statement stated that, ill his hospital, out of the total strength of 299 patients, 290 were on the Government roll and only 9 on the mission roll.  Out of these, no less than 100 patients were Christians although only a few were Christians at the time of admission.  He has supplied the following statement of conversions yearwise since 1947 when he took charge of the Asylum:-


During the period of eight years 1.54 patients were converted to Christianity.  Evidently, they are out of those who were on the Government roll and on the maintenance of whom Government was contributing Rs. 26,000 a year as grant-in-aid.

43. Rev. Major produced a letter from the Council of the “Mission to Lepers”, in London, and stated that he had to work within the framework of that letter.  The salient parts thereof are, as follows:-

The object of the Society is to provide for the spiritual instruction and temporal relief of the lepers and their children in India……… While doing this, it has also to safeguard the liberty of the patients for it would be grievous to the Mission for its service to be the occasion of any compulsion in religious matters.

44. In the report of 1952-53 in respect of Madhya Pradesh at Champa, there were 12 patients who had been baptised.  Among them were a youth named Chandus and others were women.  The remark occurs that such baptisms were not isolated experiences but were the outcome of the faithful witness of the Church in the Home such as Evangelistic Meetings, Special Passion Tide and Easter Meetings, the Annual Bible Courses and Sunday Schools.  At Shantipur also during that year, 25 people were baptised and others had expressed a desire for baptism.  There is a remark that spiritual seed has been sown and watered but God alone could give the increase.

45. Shri Manikrao Hanote (Amravati, No. 4), who has been in the service of the Leper Home, Kothara, since he was cured in 1954, stated that at Sunday prayers about 200 people attend without any compulsion and added that from 1947 there were 60 conversions.

46. Mahant Nayandas, M.L.A., and Secretary, Akhil Bharatiya Satnami Sabha (Raipur, No. 23), stated from his personal knowledge holy pressure was brought to bear on the patients in hospitals to get converted to Christianity.  He cited an instance of one Kejha of Modpa, Bilaspur district, who was an in-door patient at Mungeli.  He was asked to become a Christian, if he wanted to be cured.  Similarly, Bodhan Satnami of Dhawra Bata, an in-door patient of.  Bilaspur hospital, was pressed to become a Christian and was actually converted.  One year after he was out of the hospital, he approached Mahant Nayandas to take him back in his own Satnami fold and he was reconverted.  Mahant Nayandas was himself a patient in the Tilda hospital and was an eye witness to all the Christian preachings that went on in the hospital. Dr. Pillay (Sagar, No. 1), said that it was the duty of a good doctor to present Christ to a patient in a Mission Hospital; and Rev. Raman (Sagar, No. 2), added that in illness a patient is in a most receptive mood.  Miss Bijnor, (Sagar, No. 5), stated that a Christian doctor is in duty bound not only to heal the patients bodily but also be a witness for Christ.

47. Now as to Christian Orphanages, they are undoubtedly being run to multiply the population of Christians.  A large number of such orphans were gathered into the Christian fold during famine, natural calamities like the floods and the earthquakes.  There can thus be little doubt that special emphasis on spreading Christianity is given m dealing with young immature minds or those temporarily disabled by physical - ailments.  No wonder that the largest number of converts are from such backward classes living in areas where due to various causes only Mission schools and hospitals exist.  Most conversions have been doubtless insincere admittedly brought about in expectation of social service benefits and other material considerations.

48. Among the various devices employed for proselytization one is money-lending carried on by the Roman Catholic Missions.  In our exploratory tour there was everywhere the complaint in the districts of Surguja and Raigarh that the Roman Catholic Missionaries advanced loans on condition that the debtor agreed to chop off his top-knot (choti) and that those who did not accept the condition had to repay the loan with interest.  In Mandla district also, the loans were advanced to the aboriginals as stated by Rambharose Agrawal, (Mandla, No. 1).  Rev. Dilraj, (Mandla, No. 2), who is a Missionary of the Gondwana Mission operating in the Mandla district and whose main work is evangelistic, received complaints of this nature.  He, however, thought that it might be just to help poor men as the Roman Catholics reached the places where Government help was not available.  He emphatically declared that his own Mission never adopted such methods of conversion.  Rev. A. I. George, (Mandla, No. 5), is the Secretary of the Patpara Mission.  People often approached him for conversion to Christianity with the expectation of financial help.  Shri Umeshdutta Pathak, (Mandla, No. 10), stated that people were converted by offering inducements of loan and help in litigation.  Beohar Rajendrasingh, (Jabalpur, No. 5), was a proprietor of the Malguzari village in Mandla district, inhabited mostly by Gonds.  He was President of Mahakoshal branch of the All-India Harijan Sevak Sangh, as also the. Vice-President of Vanvasi Seva Mandal at Mandla. He claims to have a direct knowledge of moneylending being one of the means of inducing conversions. Daduram, (Jabalpur, No. 7), is a Gond agriculturist who stated that he had been induced by Hansa, Peter and Mohan to become a Christian so that he might get some monetary benefit, but as he failed to get it even after conversion he reverted to Hinduism.  Shri Shankar Datta Shastri, of Dharamjaigarh, (Raigarh, No. 1), had owned as Raj-Purohit two Mafi villages inhabited by Uraons and other Adiwasis To his knowledge one Balchy Uraon went to Ludeg and got a loan from the Padri and became converted.  Dharmadeo Tripathi, (Raigarh, No. 2), and Hisamuddin Siddiqui, (Raigarh, No. 3), Vidyadhar of Ludeg, (Raigarh, No. 5), Ghunu Uraon, (Raigarh, No. 6), and Chhutia Uraon (Raigarh, No. 20), and others spoke about money-lending as being used for conversion.  They also showed receipts relating to payments including exorbitant interest.  Dhupsahai Uraon, (Raigarh, No. 17), stated that his father had borrowed Rs. 100 from the Missionary, but as he was unable to repay he became a Christian.  Subsequently he reverted to Hinduism with his family on repayment of Rs. 118.

49. These statements are reinforced by references made to this practice of the Roman Catholic Missionaries in a pamphlet entitled Christi Mandalika Itihas, written by Professor I. W. Johari, M.A., B.D. of the Union Theological Seminary, Indore, (1943), in these words:-

""am{_Z H{$Wm{obH$ o_eZar Jm§d H{$ H¥$fH$m| H$m{ Hw$N> é[`{ CYma X{Z{ bJ{ Am¡a `h oZ`_ R>ham`m oH$ d{ H¥$fH$ `oX am{_Z H{$WobH$ ah| Vm{ CZ g{ CYma Om{ oX`m J`m gm{ dmo[g ob`m Z Om`Jm. [naUm_ `h hþAm oH$ AÝ` o_eZ H{$ ]hþV g{ bm{J am{_Z H{$WobH$ hm{ J`{''

([¥îR 152)


“The Roman Catholic Missionaries began to lend money to the agriculturists on condition that if they became and remained Roman Catholic, that loan need not be repaid.  The result was that many Christians of other missions turned Roman Catholic.”

50. Referring to Chhota Nagpur, Rev. Pickett says:-

“Roman Catholic Missions are aggressively seeking to win converts from Protestant Christian groups and are accused of offering financial inducements through Co-operative Societies loans, employments, fee or reduced tuition in schools, financing of court cases, etc”……… “The Roman Catholics and Anglicans (S.  P. G. Mission) in these villages were all former Lutherans.  So far as eve could discover the occasions for leaving the Lutheran church and joining one of the others ,were (1) Discipline by the Church or by the tribal brotherhood. (2) (In case of Roman Catholics only) financial assistance.” (Pages 325-326.  Christian Mass Movement in India, 1933.)

This practice came to be exposed in an enquiry made by Lt. Col. A.S. Meek, Agent to the Governor-General, Eastern States, Ranchi, the report of which is to be found in letter No. 751, dated the 20th April 1936, addressed to the Political Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign and Political Department, New Delhi, on the subject of Christian Missions in the Eastern States: “Proselytism in the Udaipur State by the Jesuit Mission”.

In the Udaipur State there was a ban on the entry of Missionaries.  The then Ruler of the State was a minor and the State was being managed by the Political Department.  On receipt of reports in June 1935, that some 6,000 persons had offered themselves for instruction with a view to baptism, Col. Meek had an interview with the Bishop of Ranchi. When Col. Meek enquired whether any inducement had been offered, such as advancement of loans, the Bishop replied that the Mission advanced loans to Christians in need of money and that the knowledge of this fact might certainly be an inducement for others to embrace Christianity.  Then a formal enquiry came to be made, through Col. Murphy, who visited 15 villages in the Udaipur State.  He found that the alleged spontaneity of people in the Udaipur State to embrace Christianity was entirely false; and he concluded that the people had been actuated “by one idea and one idea only, that being the receipt of money from the Mission on loan”.  He further found that information had been disseminated, throughout the State that loans would be readily obtained in Mission Station at Tapkara on a note of hand without any security, on condition that they should have their top-knot cut off.  Some of the people who bad received loans were minors and casual labourers.  It also appeared that when one member of a family had taken a loan, all the other members of that family were entered in the book as potential converts.  The rate of interest charged was 10 per cent and in a large number of cases examined, one year’s interest was deducted in advance.  On being questioned, the people without any hesitation, said that their only purpose in going to the Mission had been to get money; and all said that without the lure of money none would have sought to become Christian.  In a letter which the Bishop of Ranchi wrote to Col. Murphy he tried to explain it in this way:

“The taking of loans is not the motive of conversion, but it is in the eyes of aboriginals a sign of adherence and a pledge of earnestness and sincerity”.

51. The result of the enquiry was that Col. Meek imposed severe restrictions on the activities of Missionaries, and his action was confirmed by the Government of India (letter No. F/751-JMS-35, dated the 9th October 1936).  In spite of these restrictions there were reports received officially that devious efforts were being made to win over young people under the guise of educating them in schools (vide letter No. FE/3/137, dated 15th April 1937).  A similar situation arose in Raigarh State while Dr. Baldeoprasad Mishra, D. Litt., was the Diwan of that State, between 1930 and 1940.  In 1936 the Bishop of Ranchi requested him for a site in that State for erecting a Church declaring that there were 4,000 Christians in the State and that he was responsible for saving their souls.  On an enquiry made by Dr. Mishra, it transpired that the Roman Catholic Mission had made arrangements for lending money to people in the Raigarh State on condition that the debtors agreed to have their top-knot chopped off.  When he inspected the registers he found that not only the name of t e head of the family who had borrowed money but the names of the family members were also entered as debtors.  When Dr. Mishra reported to the Bishop of Ranchi, that there was no Christian in the Raigarh State he received the answer that the names of the debtors were entered as Christians in the register because it was the Christian Co-operative Society which had lent the money. Thereafter an Anti-Conversion Act came to be passed in the Raigarh State.

52. This device of using money-lending to serve religious purpose was fully established by several Uraon witnesses (Raigarh, Nos. 6, 21 to 25), who filed the receipts which they had obtained from the Mission authorities at Tapkara on repayment of their loans.  The story related by them was of the same nature as indicated above.

Other Allurements

53. There is a body of evidence to show, that conversions were induced on the promise of gift of salt, Plough, bullocks and even milk powder received from abroad.  It is unnecessary to recapitulate that evidence in view of the admission made by John Lakra of Pithora, at Dhorpur on 12th June 1954 as follows:-

“I saw in them some sort of willingness to become Christians to improve their lot.  They saw what facilities there were for education, medical help which were given by Christians, paddy bank, etc. I told a good many people that the Christians were happy in other places. I told that we look to the material welfare of the men and not only of their souls…… The first thing is to make them of our faith. Then we open schools and afford other facilities…… We have got a Mutual Aid Society to advance money.  In all the centres at Jashpur there is Mutual Aid Society……. Only Christians are members…… We have got several committees in foreign countries from which amount is collected.  This is received here and spent by the Bishop…… if parents embrace Christianity their minor children are also baptised”.

A Lutheran Pastor who followed also said, “I tell people that if they want to share our improvement they are welcome to Christianity.”

The allurements of material benefits ape also held out in other places as was brought to our notice in Amravati, Yeotmal, Khamgaon and Bilaspur.

Engagement as Pracharaks

54.In the exploratory tours it was brought to our notice that one of the inducements Was to engage new converts as pracharaks on Rs. 40 per month.  In the Surguja district there were 60 to 70 pracharaks.  Shri Gunwant Tayade, (Amravati. No. 9), who belongs to the Mahar community stated that people who are not competent enough even to earn Rs. 20 per month received as pracharak a salary up to Rs. 100 per month. Rev. Grubb, (Amravati, No. 2), admitted that he had 12 pracharaks working under him and that the scale of their pay varied from Rs. 60 to Rs. 90 per month.  Sonbaji, (Yeotmal, No. 6), a Christian preacher converted from the Mahar caste, was receiving Rs. 45 per month as a preacher.  Silas Zingre, (Yeotmal, No. 10), another Christian preacher, was getting Rs. 60 per month and he has converted 100 persons.  The pay of pastor J. C. Nathar (Yeotmal, No. 13), of the Church at Umri was Rs. 98 per month.  As a preacher in the hospital at Umri he had 15 conversion to his credit.  Shri Moses David, (Yeotmal.  No. 22), gets a salary of Rs. 157 per month.  Since 1947 he converted 200 persons to Christianity.  Shri Laxman Bhatkar, (Buldana, No. 5), is M. P. He belongs to the caste of Mahar and has been a social worker for 35 years, and is now conducting a hostel known as Chokhamela Hostel.  He had also been M.L.A. from 1938 to 1942.  From his personal knowledge he stated that almost cent per cent of Christian converts in Berar were drawn from the Harijan caste.  The Harijans who are poor and ignorant become Christians if they are offered the post of a preacher or teacher.  Hiralal Pagare, (Buldana, No. 6), is a pastor who gets Rs. 85 per month; so also Rev. Gophane, (Buldana, No. 7), who gets Rs. 60 per month and Luther Manmothe, (Buldana, No. 11), gets Rs. 81 as a pastor in Mehkar.  Tularam (Bilaspur, No. 14), gets Rs. 82 per month.  He said that 4 pracharaks work wit in a radius of 6 miles.

Use of the influence of Village Officers

55. Ishwarprasad Kotwal, (Mandla, No. 6), is a Government village officer.  He was asked by the Father of Roman Catholic Church to distribute tracts among the villagers and bring them to Church on every Sunday.  He had to incur the displeasure of the Catholic Father as the people did not like to attend the Church. Bhagwansingh, (Mandla, No. 10), who is a Member of the Dindori Janpad Sabha, said that the Roman Catholic Mission got hold of the mukhiya of the village and used his influence in converting other people. Ganjuram Uraon, (Raigarh, No. 12), who is the Patel of Mudekala was approached by group of Christians professing to be directed by the Padrisaheb and asked him to call a meeting and advise the people to become Christians. A similar statement was made by Shri Kashiprasad Mishra, (Raigarh, No. 19). He is an ex-M.L.A. and Chairman of the Janpad Sabha, Udaipur. This seems to be the usual practice, which has come into vogue as a result of regular instructions issued by the Missions.  We find in the Hindi translation of the Missions in Mid India, published in 1938, the following instruction at pages 151-152 under head 6:

""`hm§ [a Om{ B©gmB© [m{obg H$m H$m_ H$aV{ h¢ `m O§Jb A\$ga h¢ `m ñHy$bm| _| [mR>H$ H$m H$m_ H$aV{ h¢, AJa VrZ oXZ H{$ ob`{ BZ bm{Jm| H{$ ob`{ EH$ g^m bJmB© Omd{ Am¡a AÝ` Yo_©`m| H$m Y_mªVa H$m ]m{Pm CZH{$ H$ÝY{ [a a·Im Om` Vm{ ]S>r AÀN>r ]mV hm{Jr.''

(English Translation)

“It would be extremely good if the Christians in Police, Forest or Education Departments hold meeting for three days for converting people of other religions to Christianity.”

In Gharbandhu of July 1953, page 16, we also find a suggestion on the same line. It is as follows:-

""AV: Om{ _grh gaH$mar oS>[mQ>©_{ÝQ>m| _| H$m_ H$aV{ h¢ d{ Bg Am¡a Oam ^r Ü`mZ Zhr X{V{ ................·`m à^w CZH$m{ `h Amkm Zht Xr oH$ "_{a{ gmjr hm{Am{.' ............................. _grh H$m{ àMma H$aZm g] H$m H$V©ì` h¡.''

(English Translation)

“Those Christians who are in Government service do not take any interest.  Did not the Lord command them also to be his witnesses and to spread the Gospel to all people as their duty?”

Various Methods of propagating Christianity

In Burhanpur it came to the notice of the Education Department that the Christian Head Mistress bad been unauthorisedly teaching two books, viz., Little Dutch Girl, and Thumbline, which were designed to encourage girls to go to the Church.  She was a Member of the Original Sectional Church of Scotland.

56. There are various methods of approaching the people indicated in a book entitled Ways of Evangelism, issued by the National Christian Council of India, such as Lay Visitation, Establishment of Ashrams, Rural Service Fellowship Camps, Intensive Village Campaigns, the Jatra, Lyrics, Leaflets in Series, Bible Study by Correspondence, the Newspaper, Books, Posters, Projected Pictures, the Flannel Graphs and the Dramas.  The way in which the preaching foes on will be clear from the following instances.  Rev. Coleman, of the American Friends Mission at Amarmhow, in his preaching round, attacked idol worship in rather offensive terms with the result that a complaint was made to the District Magistrate, Sagar, against him.  He stated in justification that he was only reciting one of the ten commandments which laid down the command, “Thou shall not make unto thee a graven image” (Sagar, No. 12).  The District Magistrate warned him to desist from indulging in objectionable propaganda. Mrs. Alma K. Artrim, belonging to the Missionary Bands of the World, Rajnandgaon, issued some pamphlets condemning idol worship.  She also received a warning from the Deputy Commissioner, K. C. Burdette of Surguja took out a procession in villages Chando, Jodhpur, Khutipara of tahsil Samri, singing provocative songs.  He was prosecuted for offence under section 295/298, I. P. C. He tendered apology. There was a pamphlet entitled “Gurudyan”, containing inter-alia the undermentioned song:-

""YÝ` à^w `rew à{_ àMmaH$, g] OZ H{$ oZñVmar a{$&
gma{ OJV _| amÁ` \¡$bmAm{, H$a bm{ g] AoYH$mar a{$&
ohÝXwñVmZ H{$ ew^ oXZ Amd{, M_H{$ `m CÁ`mar a{$&
^maV Jmd{ Zm_ `rew H$m, b¡ b¡ H$a O¡H$mar a{.''

This pamphlet was banned by Notification No. 146-179-XX-D. dated the 22nd January, 1955.  Dramas are also preformed in which idol worship is ridiculed, (Ujjhalsingh, Raipur, No. 20).  A Christian preacher recited Kirtans and exhibited lantern slides, on the life of Jesus Christ and denounced Hindu Gods. (Tryambak Khanjode, Washim No. 6).  The songs like  ""XJS>{, Ym|S>{, gm{Z{, ê$[{ `m§og X{d _moZVm H$ma{ Vwåhr hH$ZmH$ Vi_oiVm'' are common. At a fair held in Loni, Kunti, the mother of Pandavas, was denounced as an adulteress (Shri Narayanrao Kale, Washim, No. 8).  Another preacher denounced Hindu Gods as stone Gods and dead Gods, (Yeshwant Idhole, Washim, No. 16).  Ramchandra Bhedi, a student in the M.Sc. Class, (Amravati, No. g), mentioned that Rama was described as a God who destroyed Ravan and was contrasted with Jesus who died for the wicked.  He produced an extract from a-book called “Bharatat Alele Preshit” in which it was written that the whole of India should be christianised.  None of the Christian witnesses admitted the existence of this book but we have been able to obtain a copy of it.  Rev. Grubb, (Amravati, No. 2), admitted that in his preaching he had referred to Krishna as one who killed his enemy and to Jesus as one who died to save his enemies. Balwant Ganesh Khaparde, (Amravati, No. 10), retired Professor of Benaras Hindu University, heard Rev. Pawar in July 1955 making a strong attack on Hindu religion in the Kirtan recited by him and emphasised the fact that Jesus Christ was a historical person.  Dattatraya Govind Joshi, (Amravati, No. 11), who played on the Tabla to the accompaniment of the songs sung by Rev. Pawar, confirmed his statement and added that Rev.  Pawar ridiculed Krishna for teaching reverence for the cow.

57. The Christians have now adopted the practice of reciting Bhajans styling them as Yeshu bhajans and reciting the Bible calling it Yeshu Bhagwat, (Rev. Maqbul Masih, Bilaspur, No. 2).  Referring to the passage “Ishya vashyam Idam sarvam” occurring in the Isha Vashya Upanishad, a preacher declared to the people that it meant that the Whole world was going to be Christian (Gulabchand, Amravati, No. 14).  A Christian preacher addressed persons in the market place on what he called “Yeshu Bhagwat”, and the lives of Rama and Krishna were attacked in a way offensive to the Hindus, (Mukund Chitale, Advocate, Bilaspur, No. 5).  At Mahasamund, Dr. Samuel preached that salvation lay only through Jesus, and not through Rama whose wife was snatched away (Jatashankar Sharma, Raipur, No. 6).

58. The expression occurring in Tulsidas’s Ramayan, viz. “Girjapujan” was interpreted to the people as “Girjaghar” i.e. a Church, (Mahant Vaishnaodas, Raipur, No. 1).  At Khamgaon, Rev. Carner assumed the name of Shri Ladakebuwa alias L. R. Carner Saheb Khandeshkar and circulated leaflets inviting the public to attend his Kirtan in Marathi, to be recited like Gadage Maharaj and Tukdoji Maharaj on the subject of Jesus Christ in the Mission House.  One such public notice was produced before us and is on our file, (Shri Narayanlal, Khamgaon, No. 5).  A preacher in a hospital at Tilda was heard telling the patients that Krishna, Rama, Shankar and Vishwamitra had gone for the darshan of Jesus Christ at his birth, (Harriramji, Raipur, No. 15).  In the pamphlets “Gurupariksha, Rampariksha, Chandraleela and Sachha majhab konsa hai”, there are very provocative attacks on Rama and Mohammad.  In Guru Pariksha, the following occurs:

""am_ H¥$îU....... _wp·VXmVm Zht hm{ gH$V{, ·`m|oH$ g] H{$ g]...... ]wamB©`m| H{$ de _| obßV W{'' ([¥îR> 4).

""dh (H¥$îU) Mm{a ..........Wm$& Cg Z{ H§$g H{$ oZa[amY Ym{]r H$m KmV oH$`m$& E{g{ X{dVmAm| [a Amgam aIZm ]S>r _wI©Vm h¡.''  ([¥îR> 5).

""X{dVm g{ b{H$ ]«måhU VH$ g] H{$ g] [m[ H{$ AYrZ h¡.'' ([¥îR> 8).

""am_ ..............[m[r Wm..................Am[ _a J`m Am¡a o\$a Zht Or CR>m............'' ([¥îR> 34).

“Sachha Majhab Konsa Hai” the reference to Hajrat Mohammad is in these words,

""_whå_X.........Xwga{ AmXo_`m| H$s Vah JwZmhJma [¡Xm hþdm.'' ([¥îR> 9).

""_whå_X H$s N>: (6) Am¡aV| Wr..........'' ([¥îR> 10).

""dh AmX_r Om{ _ñVr, Jwñgm Am¡a H$R>m{aVm g{ ^am hþdm Wm..............'' ([¥îR> 11).

""dh _a J`m, JmS>m J`m Am¡a CgH$m ]XZ H$]« _| gS> J`m'' ([¥îR> 12).

59. In the Dharmopadesh (Part II), other religions are referred to as false religions, propounding worship -of Satan.  Catholics are asked not to go to Government schools or to schools where false religion is taught and that if the Government were to pass a law compelling Catholic boys to attend Government schools it would be repugnant to Divine Law.  The protection of cows is also ridiculed on the ground that Christian God has given full power to man over, the animal creation, as over the vegetable kingdom.  There are also references against the Government on account of its secular character (pages 56, 57, 67 and 72).  Some of the witnesses also stated that in the course of the preaching it was sought to be impressed that the Christian rule had made the people happy but that the present Government could do nothing for the.  Harijans, and that it was itself depending upon America for supply of wheat and monetary aid, (Jatashankar, Raipur, No. 6 and Ramchandra Bhedi, Amravati, No. 8).

60. A pamphlet published at Raipur entitled ‘Satyanami Panth’ contained a veiled suggestion that the first Guru of Satnamis, viz., Ghasidas, had derived his inspiration to preach Satnam from a Christian preacher.  As Ghasidas died in 1850 at the age of 80 (page 100, C. P. Gazetteer, 1870), it is very unlikely that he could have come in contact with the Missionaries.

The kind of instruction that the Missionaries appear to receive can be seen from the undermentioned extracts occurring in the Evangelical Christian, September 1955, on page 419, under the head “False God”:-“Any one who has visited India knows the hold that religion has upon the people.  They worship a million Gods, from inanimate sticks and stones to everything that lives and creeps on the earth-cows, monkeys, snakes, etc.  Now a Brahmin priest has come out with a new religion which is the worship of Husband by Wives, etc., etc…… India is surely the world's most striking illustration that religion can never bring peace to the troubled heart of man or wash away the stain or sin that de-files every son and daughter of Adam ……………… India’s trouble is religion, not the lack of it ……………… Her tragedy lies in her rejection of the One Person ……………… It is Christ who can meet her need, etc.”.

61. Such virulent and sinister attacks on Hinduism are in no way a departure from the manner which characterised the Christian preaching in past, which Gandhiji referred to, particularly, Bishop Heber’s famous line “where every prospect pleases and only man is vile”.

So did Alexander Duff attack Hinduism in the Exeter Hall, London, in these polished words:

“Above the spiritual gloom of a gathering tempest relieved only by the lightening glance of the Almighty’s indignation around a moral wilderness where all light dies and only death lives, underneath one vast catacomb of immortal souls perishing from lack of knowledge”.

(Christianity and the Government of India by Arthur Mayhew page 175).

Similarly a journalist, Mr. Harold Begbie, in a work “The Light of Asia”, published by the Christian Literature Society for India, speaks of Hinduism as “A weltering chaos of terror, darkness and uncertainty.  It is a religion without an apprehension of a moral evolution, without definite commandments, without a religious sanction in the sphere of morals, without a moral code, without a God, except a being which is a mixture of Bacchus, Don Juan and Dick Turpin. It is the most material and childishly superstitious animalism that ever masqueraded as idealism, not another path to God but a pit of abomination, as far set from God as the mind of man can go………………” (page 157 Is India Civilized? by Sir John Woodroffe, Judge, High Court, Calcutta).  Much more provoking are cases such as these.  There were two cases of desecration of, Hindu sacred places and the culprits were convicted. (Criminal Case No. 245/1953 and No. 141/53 at Sirpur.)

62. Can any right thinking man assert that such vile attacks on the religion of the majority community in India is part of Christian religion or is conducive to public order or morality?  We are aware that top-ranking Mission authorities have themselves denied such attacks and have assured the Government that it is only the mistaken zeal of some fanatical individuals which is occasionally responsible for such outbursts.  If such instances had been few or casual we would have accepted this excuse.  But the voluminous oral and documentary evidence before us shows that attacks on Hindu religion, its gods and deities, are an important and integral plank of Christian propaganda, and are being indulged in, in a concerted manner deliberately in all parts of the State and by all sorts of preachers and are occasionally sought to be justified by authoritative organisations as a mere explanation of one of the Commandments.  The reason is not difficult to seek.  It has been the case of Roman Catholics and other Missionaries since long that the Adivasis are not Hindus.  In fact, it has been vehemently asserted that to regard Adivasis as Hindus is an instance of “Mass Conversions” by the Government and other communal bodies.  In respect of Harijans, social injustice in their treatment by caste Hindus is considerably emphasised to propagate Christianity.  These two classes are therefore considered to be the most gullible for propaganda against Hinduism.  The resentment, which such an attitude has created amongst certain Hindu organisations, is therefore natural, although we do not appreciate the attempts made by some to retaliate by reviling Christianity or its tenets.  Our purpose is merely to point out that in a predominantly Hindu country such a propaganda is not free from the problems of the maintenance of law and order.  Considering the type of vilification going on in various arts of the State by ill-bred or fanatical pracharaks one is surprised to notice so few instances of actual breaches of peace.  Perhaps the natural tolerance of the villagers, together with, the vigilance of the authorities in charge of law and order, may be responsible for the paucity of such incidents.  But it is indisputably clear that such propaganda has a tendency to disturb public order and the blame must be shared by those who start such attacks on the religion or religious beliefs of others with those who are provoked by them.

Mass Conversions

63. Has there been “Mass Conversions” in any part of the State? Let us first analyse what is really implied by -conversion.  The Christian point of view is that conversion is an act of God and is lot a simple matter.  Only such a person as can satisfy a priest that he has a disposition to be converted is admitted for instruction before Baptism, and only after due instruction is a person baptised or converted.  There is no significance in Baptism or conversion without these precautions.  Christian pastors will not, it is said, dare to baptise or convert without these precautions.  The only motive that brings Christian Missionaries away from their homes, to strange lands, is the urge to carry out Christ’s Command “Go ye into the whole world and teach all nations all that I have commanded you”.  According to this view, religion is an individual matter and is a man’s free choice.  Legally, nothing can be said against such conversions, but the non-Christian plea is that these so-called conversions are brought about by force, fraud or temptations of monetary and other gain, and are, not conversions in the accepted meaning of the term.  The evidence, which has been brought before us, shows that a very large majority of persons who change their religion and become Christians are not converted in the real sense of the term.  If conversion is an individual act one would expect deep thought and study of the particular religion one wanted to embrace.  But what we have found is groups of illiterate Adivasis, with families and children getting their topknots cut and being shown as Christians.  Most of them do not know even the rudiments of the new religion.  To cite a typical instance Beni Madhao, (Bilaspur, No. 8), who was the son of a Malguzar, was unable to say with what book the Bible begins and with what it ends, and was also ignorant of Lord’s Prayer.  Some said that their sins were forgiven. The Government have supplied us with a list of persons recently converted in the Surguja district after the promulgation of the Constitution.  A perusal thereof will show that about 4,000 Uraons were converted in two years.  Persons of varying ages from 60 years to 1 year are shown as converts and the list includes women and children also.  We have met many Uraons in the course of our tours and we were struck very much by their total absence of religious feeling: In the Christian literature itself, it is admitted that the vast majority of converts are but nominal Christians.  At Khandwa, we had the opportunity of meeting a body of Ballahis and we could observe that except those who were in one way or another under the obligation or control of the Missionaries, the Ballahis were averse to the abandonment of their religion.  The situation as described in the “Children of Hari” (1950) is that the great famine towards the end of the nineteenth century (1897-1900) facilitated Missionary access to them and several thousands joined the Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches.  High hopes were entertained about converting the whole Ballahi caste, but there ensued disappointment.  By 1931, it was found that scarcely 30 per cent of the Ballahis could be called Christian as many ceased to practise their religion and returned to Hinduism. “The great majority of Christian converts are Christians by name only and in religious belief and usage are practically Hindus.  The main reason is that their motive is not religion, but mostly social and economic……… So far only such Ballahis have remained practising Christians either those who went through a long training in the Christian schools or are economically dependent on the Christian Missionary Institutions.” (Pages 225, 226, 227).  It is impossible to believe that they could have gone for religious instruction or that baptism was given after a period of probation.  Most of the so-called pracharaks whom we met in the area were themselves thoroughly ignorant of their own religion and were no better than paid propagandists.  We have reliable information that Mission organisations possess up-to-date records of Baptisms.  Nothing would have been easier than to produce those records to show that only individuals, after a period of instruction, were baptised.  It would not be unsafe to presume that the reluctance on the part of Roman Catholic Mission organisations to produce such evidence was in no small measure due to the fear of the Truth being out.  On the other hand, we have been supplied with a complete list of more than 4,000 persons converted in the Surguja district after its “invasion”, persons of varying ages and of entire families.  As a rule, groups have been converted, and to find “individual conversion” has been an exception rather than the rule.  We have come across cases of individual conversions only of persons who are village leaders and they have invariably been followed by “Mass Conversions” of the entire village soon after. We have not found it possible to accept the contention that the immediate material prosperity of these converted leaders bore casual relation to their conversions.  It is true that material inducements are not offered in all cases directly but by a systematic parading of their wealth and power, grants of liberal loans, preferential treatment to Christians in hospitals and schools and various other methods of propaganda, a general impression is created in the minds of simple aboriginal that the only way to escape from penury is to embrace Christianity.  A person in dire need of material assistance will not hesitate to express before outsiders that the only motive for change of religion was “inner conviction”.  One is reminded of the familiar sight of poor debtors under the influence of usurious moneylenders admitting before Courts and registration authorities receipt of amounts in excess of sums actually advanced, to make the whole transaction appear to be one of charging reasonable interest.  How else can one explain the large numbers of quick and effortless return of such converts to their original faith? To say that certain organisations with the indirect support of Hindu officials achieve such “Shuddis” is to admit the simplicity of the aboriginal and his readiness to change faith for reasons entirely unconnected with religion.

64. Rev. Maqbul Masih, (Bilaspur, No. 2), admitted that out of 100 conversions made by him half the number returned to their Satnami faith.  Similar admissions have been made by witnesses in Berar, e.g., Mangalbhai, Evangelist, (Amravati, No. 5), converted 200 but only 50 remained Christians.  It is recorded in the report of the Nazarene Church of the year 1954 that a Anjani there is a Church “but no congregation because the adult members went back into Hinduism” (page 33). There is also an admission that in the previous year statistics at the India District Assembly showed a loss of members (page 19).  There is, thus, no doubt that illiterate Aborigines and Harijans, are being converted en masse to Christianity in Backward and Scheduled areas not because of any genuine love for that religion but on account of material inducements and other temptations held out directly or indirectly by the various Mission organisations.  These mass conversions were especially noticeable in the newly-opened territories o Dharamjaigarh and Surguja areas.  As the conversions are aboriginals, Satnamis and Harijans an occasional attempt is made to show that Brahmins also have embraced Christianity.  At Dharni a man posed himself as a Brahmin convert stating that he was the son of Pandit Ramnarayan Dube (or Mishra).  But on cross-examination he had to disclose that he had been a Bairagi but was then a Christian preacher paid by the Church.


65. An allegation which has been seriously made and more seriously denied concerns the denationalising and subversive trend of Missionary propaganda.  Some evidence has been laid before us which may be considered.  Gandhiji said to the Missionaries that it is not unusual to find Christianity synonymous with denationalisation and Europeanisation (Christian Mission, page 160). The best evidence of denationalisation is found in a book written by an Indian entitled “Heritage of an Indian Christian” in which he seeks to find his heritage in Europe.  How the indoctrination of the denationalising spirit takes place will be clear from the undermentioned instances which have been brought to our notice.

66. In our exploratory tour in the Jashpur area there was a complains that the preachers told the villagers that Jawahar Raj had come and there was no happiness, and they assured them that Jawahar’s Raj would go and that the Christian Raj would come.  This was, however, denied by the Christians who were present there.  Nevertheless that statement receives some support from the written statement received by us from Khirkiya in Hoshangabad District that the expression “Jai Hind” was calculated to hurt the Missionaries and that they would wish it to be substituted by “Jai Yeshu”.  The idea of the unique Lordship of Christ is propagated in the rural areas by the exhibition of the film “King of Kings”, which we had the pleasure of witnessing at Buldana. The supremacy of the Christian flag over the National flag of India was also depicted in drama which was staged in a school at Jabalpur. 

Chhiddi, cultivator, (Mandla, No. 7), who used to receive two bottles of kerosene oil and Rs. 13 per month to learn the tenets of Christian religion and induce others to do so, was asked not to greet others with the words “Rama Rama” but use the words “Jai Yeshu”.  In the letter published by Dr. Elwin in the Hindustan Times, dated 14th June 1944, there occurs the mention of the fact that those, who came under the influence of the Missionaries, began to greet with words “Jai Yeshu” instead of “Jai Rama”.

In the article published in Gharbandhu, Ranchi, June 1952, at page 12 under the heading “Nirala Rajya Aur Useke Karmachari” there occurs the undermentioned passage:-

"".....................AmO h_ma{ gå_wI gwaJwOm H$m odñV¥V amÁ` h¡ oOg{ _grh H{$ gm_«mÁ` _| o_bmZm h¡.''

(English translation.)

“Today we have before us the Surguja kingdom and we have to absorb it in the Empire of Christ”.

In Gharbandhu of September 1953, page 13, there is a passage as follows :-

""JV 7 _ohZ{ H{$ AÝXa ][oVñ_m [m`{ hþAm| H$s g§»`m 1953 OwbmB© VH$ H$s 1570 g{ Á`mXm hr h¡. àmÝVr` àYmZ _§Ìr _mÝ`da Ama.E_. ew·bm H$s Hw$N> odam{Yr Amam{[U hm{V{ hþE ^r àoV _mh Y_© H{$ ^yI{ ß`mg{ OZVm [odÌ ][oVñ_m H{$ Ona`{ Z`m OÝ_ [m H{$ à^y H$s _§S>br _|.....................................''

(English translation.)

“During the last seven months ending July 1953, the number of converts went up to 1,570.  In spite of Chief Minister R. S. Shukla’s opposition, the number of those who are spiritually hungry and experiencing rebirth through Holy Baptism is increasing……”

"".......................·`m| ^maV MmhVr h¡ oH$ [m{Qw>©Jb Cg [a A[Zm AoYH$ma O_m`m aIZm A] N>m{S> X{ oOg [a CgZ{ 400 df© VH$ AoYH$ma O_m aIm h¡ : ]mV Vm{ h¡ ^md-^mdZm H$s.

gÀMr ]mV Vm{ `h oXImB© [S>Vr h¡ oH$ Jm{dm H{$ AoYH$m§e oZdmgr dV©_mZ Xem g{ ]hþV hr g§VwîQ> h¢. Jm{dm H{$ _wÇ>r-^a bm{J Am¡a qhX _| ahZ{dmb{ Wm{S>{ g{ Jm{dZ Jm{dm H{$ qhX _| emo_b hm{Z{ H{$ obE oMëbmV{ h¢ ..............................`h ZroV Ý`m``w·V Zht h¡ Am¡a Om{ bm{J Bg ZroV H$m AZwgaU H$a ah{ h¢, d{ ^maV _mVm H$s AZroV H$a ah{ h¡.''

(""oZîH$b§H$'', 15 AJñV 1950, [¥îR> 124-125 [a)

(English translation)

“Why does India desire that Portugal which has been exercising sovereignty for 400 years over Goa should surrender it?  The fact is that a large majority of residents of Goa are quite contented with their present condition.  Only a handful of Goans resident in Goa and in India are shouting for the merger of Goa with India.  This attitude is not justified and those who are following this course are giving unrighteous lead to India.”

After a villager is converted to Christianity, it is easy to alienate his mind against his society as well as his country and State. Gunwant Tayade, (Amravati, No. 9), says that Christian convert changes his style of dress and assumes the air of a foreigner.  Dr. Pickett also notices this feature of a convert in these words:

“The adoption of European names, European modes of life and European dress has some times been followed by the development of a contemptuous attitude towards those of their fellow-countrymen who have continued to honour Indian traditions.” (Christian Mass Movement in India, p. 332.).

67. In the preliminary stages an allegation was made on behalf of Roman Catholic Mission in Jashpur area that the Christian Missionaries and Christians were harassed by Government officers and that the State Government had deliberately adopted a policy of discrimination against the schools opened by the Roman Catholic Missionaries in Jashpur by withholding recognition.  The complaints against officers in Raigarh district were apparently due to the criminal action taken by the officers against certain Christians and their cases have been disposed of.  In other places, except in Yeotmal, no one complained before us against the conduct of Government officers.  In Yeotmal, a Sub-Inspector of Police is said to have asked somebody the reason for his having embraced Christianity but be did not ask him to revert to Hinduism. (Yeotmal, Shioram Bhonsale, No. 17).  The main complaint of the Roman Catholics of Raigarh district was non-recognition of some of their primary and secondary schools.

We have been furnished a report by the State Government clarifying the position in respect of these schools.  Although Mission primary schools in the Jashpur Sub-Division are rim by the Lutheran Mission as well as the Roman Catholic, it is the latter that has a chain of primary schools throughout the Sub-Division in villages which have predominantly a Catholic population.  The exact number of schools run by. the Catholic Mission was never supplied to Government and at different times different information was given.  The Mission authorities applied for recognition in 1951 and stated that they had 75 lower primary schools and 27 full-fledged primary schools, but in their application made in July 1953 the number of full-fledged primary schools given was 32.  In a more recent application, the Mission authorities have stated that they have one High School, 11 Middle Schools, 42 Primary Schools and 54 Feeder Schools.  It appears that the number of.  Schools run by Mission authorities is not steady and is being decreased or increased according to their convenience.  The Mission authorities claim that they started educational work in Jashpur area in 1910, but that it was only in 1944 that their two Middle Schools and 37 Primary Schools were recognized for the first time by the previous State administration. In his memorandum No. F J/1-2/42, dated the 20th October 1943, the Political Agent, Chhattisgarh States, Raipur, wrote to the Superintendent, Jashpur State, that 37 Upper Primary and Lower Primary Mission Schools and two Middle Schools were recognized in the first instance for a period of three years at the end of which the question would be further examined.  Six conditions for recognition were imposed as follows:-


(1) they are open to inspection by State authorities.
(2) the State is not required to give grant-in-aid.
(3) religious instruction is given only to those who desired.
(4) building of recognized schools should not at any time or under any circumstances be used for any other purpose without the express permission of the Darbar.
(5) the Mission should not open any new Feeder Schools or Classes under trees or in chapels or other buildings in the State without permission.
(6) School Transfer Certificates should be promptly given by the Mission authorities, should any Christian student of a Mission desire to join a State school.

It is obvious that these conditions were imposed because the then authorities, were fully aware of the fact that these primary and other schools were being utilized merely as a medium for conversion.  The provisional recognition expired after three years and there is no evidence to show that the Mission authorities made any application for renewal of the recognition.  Thus, at the time of merger of the State with Madhya Pradesh, no school had recognition.  According to rules prevalent in Madhya Pradesh, recognition is granted if the following two conditions are satisfied :-

(1) The Management of the School should conform to the regulations prescribed by the State for management primary schools;
(2) The school has to maintain a satisfactory standard.

Repeated inspections were made by officers of the Education Department, and it was found that these Mission schools were managed in total disregard of the regulations and in the matter of standards, much was left to be desired. The Educational Officers concerned supplied the Mission authorities with the Education Manual and standing orders of the Director of Public Instruction, but nothing was done to comply with those instructions.  On the other hand, serious irregularities were noticed by inspecting officers which were communicated to the authorities concerned.  Admission registers were not maintained, perhaps because the Mission authorities did not wish to disclose such information as name of the pupil, his father’s name, his caste or religion, date of birth, etc., on the basis of declaration signed by the parent.  Another serious irregularity committed was that the fee was charged in a most unusual manner. Parents were asked to contribute in kind and no account of this payment was maintained.  The inspecting officers, therefore, could not find how much fee was charged.  It was further noticed that these schools did not employ teachers exclusively for teaching work.  All the teachers were “pracharaks” and were paid mainly for preaching work.  In some big primary schools, most of the teachers employed were untrained.  After merger, the Mission authorities were advised to introduce the syllabus approved in Madhya Pradesh and to improve the buildings in which these schools were held.  But it was noticed that no heed was paid.  Schools continued to be held in Chapels and as the teacher was mainly a preacher, most of the time was devoted merely to preaching, and difficulties were created for non-Christian boys in attending the schools.  The Education Department of the State Government has given recognition and grant-in-aid to the Roman Catholic High School at Kunkuri, although this school did not conform to the regulations and did not maintain a satisfactory standard.  In granting this recognition the main consideration was that the school was serving an area where facilities for secondary education were meagre and hence although the school was much below the standard, a liberal view was taken.  We are quite clear that the Mission people know full well what was wrong with their schools and what they have to do to earn recognition for them, but they are not anxious to improve because their main aim is to use them for the purpose of religious propaganda. Considering that a complaint of this type has not been made from any other part of the State and that a very large number of institutions run by Christian Missions has been granted recognition by the State Government, we do not see any reason why the same Government should follow a different policy in respect of Jashpur only.  We have been unable to find any basis for this charge.

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