Reverend Anil Joseph Thomas Couto is in the news for all the wrong reasons. For those of you who don’t know, he is the serving Archbishop of the Roman Cathoilic Archdiocese of Delhi.
Recently, in a letter addressed to fellow Christians, he has called for nationwide prayers starting from 13th May, 2018 which marks the Anniversary of the Apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, to influence 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Hinting towards the Modi regime, he stated that India is “witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation. It is our hallowed practice to pray for our country and its political leaders all the time but all the more so when we approach the General Elections.”
This is a bit rich coming from someone like the Archbishop, considering that members of his own community are a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in the constitution. Mass conversions of poor and uneducated Hindus all across the country through fraudulent means by Christian Missionaries isn’t hidden from anyone. But this isn’t the first time that the Archbishop has cried wolf, and in all probability, this won’t be the last time either.
A few years back, in late 2014 early 2015, six isolated incidents of attack on Churches took place in Delhi. And later, in March 2015 a 72 year old nun was gang-raped in Nadia district of West Bengal. Church leaders including the Archbishop in question, alleged that there is a pattern to these incidents. Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), alleged that these incidents were hate crime. Leftist media and other Hindu baiters were quick to portray these incidents as evidence of rising Hindu intolerance under the new Modi regime.
These incidents became an issue in the Delhi Assembly elections. Consequently, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party (AAP) savoured a landslide victory. Muslim and Christian communities heavily favoured AAP. Archbishop Anil Couto celebrated BJP’s defeat. He told media that the verdict was a vote for change. “The people of Delhi voted against the BJP and its attempt to polarize the voters in the name of religion. The result of these elections is a message to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi: he should think seriously about his behavior,” he said.
But later, it turned out that none of these incidents were communally charged and no Hindu groups were involved whatsoever.
The Churches and Christian leaders had deliberately given a communal angle to these incidents which ranged from window panes of Church at Jasola being shattered as a result of kids playing outside, to Christmas crib being charred due to electrical short circuit.
Moreover, these 6 isolated incidents are nothing in comparison to the ones that happen at other religious places in Delhi. According to Delhi Police’s own statistics, about 206 temples, 30 Gurudwaras and 14 mosques were attacked in 2014. Furthermore, it was revealed that a group of Bangladeshi Muslim men raped the 72 year old nun in Nadia- yet again, no Hindu group involved.
Archbishop Anil Couto and his likes fell flat on their faces. Their cries of victim-hood were a sham as revealed by police investigations.
But this embarrassment has not stopped them from crying wolf again. As mentioned earlier, Archbishop Anil Couto has issued a letter calling for Christians to pray to save democracy which is under threat from “a turbulent political atmosphere.” Various Christian organisations worldwide have lend credence to his boohoo.
The Christian network is powerful. In fact the Christian NGOs in India, receive one of the highest amounts of foreign funding which they use for mass proselytising mass and pushing their propaganda.
One of the most powerful evangelical organisations in India is, Samaritan’s Purse. It receives support from the US government. Both, Democrats and Republicans, have helped this organization. Franklin Graham the head of this organization, is openly Hinduphobic. He once said, “hundreds of millions of people locked in the darkness of Hinduism… bound by Satan’s power”. The organization uses numerous shady means to proselytize the unsuspecting innocent Hindu children. Under one of their programs active in India called “Operation Christmas Child” they lure small kids to accept Christianity by offering them gifts.
But this shady business of harvesting innocent Hindu souls is nothing new. Mahatma Gandhi had expressed his concern regarding Christian proselytisation long ago, when he said, “I hold that proselytising under the cloak of humanitarian work, is to say the least, unhealthy. It is most certainly resented by the people here.” Christian and even Muslim Missionaries of India have been receiving thousands of crores of rupees from abroad for decades now, and the funds they recieve have multiplied manyfold over the years. For instance, according to the official figures, back in 1984, various missionaries received, ₹254 crores and in 1986 this almost double to ₹434 crores. Now, keep in mind these are only official statistics. The real amounts could be much higher.
Fortunately, following a recent crackdown by the Modi government, the foreign funding of non-government organisations (NGOs) has dropped down drastically from 17,773 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 6,499 crore in 2016-17. Though not all, but many of these NGOs are Christian organizations, including Coimbatore Christian Charitable Trust. This crackdown has given the Christian organizations more incentives to spew venom at the Modi Government. But, nevertheless this has weakened the missionary activities to some extent.
Unfortunately, a lot of damage has already been done. Untill and unless, a large scale counter strike is launched against these crooked missionaries, and penalties against fraudulent means of proselytisation are made harsher, Archbishop Anil Couto and his likes will thrive. And, they will cry wolf to demonise us heretic Hindus whenever they can.
Here is the letter of the Archbishop and the prayer he wants Christians to recite:
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation. It is our hallowed practice to pray for our country and its political leaders all the time but all the more so when we approach the General Elections.
As we look forward towards 2019 when we will have [a] new Government, let us begin a Prayer Campaign for our country from May 13, 2018 which marks the Anniversary of the Apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, consecrating ourselves and our nation to the Immaculate Heart.
I request that we observe a Day of Fast every Friday of the week by foregoing at least one meal and offering our penance and all our sacrifices for our spiritual renewal and that of our nation. Moreover, I earnestly request that we organize an hour of Eucharistic Adoration every Friday at a convenient time in all our parishes, religious houses and institutions, specifically praying for our nation. During this Adoration the enclosed Prayer may be recited.
With kind regards.
Prayer for our nation
Oh God of freedom and love, let your light of truth shine on our Nation, dispelling all darkness and untruth. Let the dreams of our founding fathers and the values of our Constitution – Equality, Liberty and Fraternity – be always held in highest esteem. Let the people of all castes and creeds, all denominations and persuasions live in harmony and peace steering far away from hatred and violence.
Protect our legislatures as a place of discerning minds. Raise our judiciary as the hallmark of integrity, prudence and justice. Keep our print, visual and social media as the channels of truth for edifying discourses. Protect our institutions from the infiltration of the evil forces.
Let the poor of our country be provided with the means of livelihood. Let the Dalits, tribals and the marginalised be brought into the mainstream of nation building. Let justice and integrity prevail in every sphere of our life. May the ethos of true democracy envelop our elections with dignity and the flames of honest patriotism enkindle our political leaders. This is our cry, Heavenly Father, in these troubled times as we see the clouds eclipsing the light of truth, justice and freedom.
Almighty Father, bless our nation with the revival of the Gospel values in the name of your Beloved Son Jesus Christ by sending forth your Holy Spirit. Oh, Mary our Blessed Mother, who appeared at Fatima, give hope to the struggling nations and intercede for our beloved country. Amen.
*Archbishop of Delhi