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PRESS STATEMENT - Evangelical Fellowship of India, New Delhi, India

January 19, 2002

It is unfortunate that the RSS president Mr. K S Sudarshan\'s outburst against Christians has come at a time when the nation is at a critical juncture. The reported statement of the \'Raaj Guru\' of the ruling party has once again exhibited scant regard to the feelings of a community, which has shown great restraint at the face of periodic vituperations based on unfounded allegations by the Sangh Parivar. In the instant example Mr. Sudarshan has chosen to trace the root of communal clashes to conversions. Let me first prove the fallacy of the first part of his statement. A clash occurs when two parties fight. In this case there has hardly been any instance when Christians clashed with Hindus. On the other hand the elements of the so-called \'Hindutva\' forces have always attacked, even physically hapless Christians who have not retorted or resorted to violence. So the whole talk about conversion being the \'root cause of communal clashes\' is uncalled for.

Secondly, conversion is another bogy raised by the Sangh Parivar to sidetrack serious issues facing our nation. Mr. Sundarshan has said, Attempts are being made to covert Hindus with the help of funds pouring in from foreign countries. Had there been such large-scale conversions as alleged by him, using \'foreign funds\', the population of Christians in this country would have gone up by leaps and bounds.

We would request people who make such wild allegations to check the census figures to find out the facts about growth of Christian population in the country in the last few decades. You would find that the growth rate of Christians is probably the lowest among the various religious groups in this country. Christians recorded the lowest growth rate during the 10-year period between the two censuses of 1971 and 1981 -- 16.17% as against the national average of 24.69%. Interestingly according to the 1971 census the percentage of population of Christians was 2.6% and in 1981 it came down to 2.4% and down to 2.3% in the 1991 census.

It is time that all right thinking people in the country realise the nature of wrong propaganda and allegations against Christians. It is sad that the contributions of the Christians in almost every field of nation building is never mentioned while Christians continue to be attacked, abused and falsely accused.

Presently a war on terror has been declared by the civilised world. Even a theocratic State like Pakistan speaks against terror and has banned fundamentalist organisations preaching violence. Are not attacks on Christians, other minorities and the marginalized sections of society acts of terror? No one would deny that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was indeed an act of terror. Mr. Sudarshan and his colleagues need to do a bit of soul searching while falsely accusing Christians.