Dialogue

 
 

The Dialogue

Correspondence

Mail to Canada Temples

Post On:14th July 2020

Namaste,
 

Who owns the leadership of Hindu leadership of Canada?
 
The last time Hindu leadership was in public domain was during the Toronto star event at which Dr. Doobey demonstrated Hindu resolve. That was almost a decade back.
 
When interacting with a respected Hindu Temple, the chief was borrowing the word Kingdom and introduced a new term Templedom as a synonym for Temple managements. That sounds so factual. We also notice that few temples have compromised on their “Dharma” leadership. (Will discuss it in person)
 
Taking a cue from Islamic, Jewish, and Christian leadership many Hindus believe that Temples would take the initiative for Hindu issues. However there seems to be a concern about the absence of visible Hindu leadership in Canada. And that perhaps explains a proliferated number of organizations that claim to represent Hindus. Each one vents their concerns on social media.
 
In our opinion there are pressing issues concerning Hindus of Canada. We do not wish to blind side you with unilateral thoughts and actions from our end. And we do not wish to be surprised at a later stage that we did not communicate to you on this subject.
 
Perhaps you are occupied with tasks of Temple management and are not inclined towards expending your energies on Hindu activist issues. We do not intend on confrontation with no one. We aim at dialogue to Canadian standards of ethics, courtesy, and civil communication.
 
We would respect your inputs on decisions and actions we intend to make.

Mail to Canada Temples

Post On:25th May 2020

We wish to bring to your kind attention a few developments of Canada.
 
Corona and response of Temples:
We notice on websites of Temples of Canada that they have taken special initiatives towards reach out to Hindus during this corona crises. While its highly appreciative, it is disappointing to note that the Canada media has chosen to ignore these initiatives by Hindu temples of Canada. On the other Hand Islamic, Christian effort in this direction has been reported in Canadian main stream media
 
Azan controversy;
The permission to let the Islamic Azan on loud speakers is a grim reminder of “things” that have happened in India. More than one time those loudspeakers have been used for non-religious purposes. Wish to ask your thoughts on that sensitive subject. For example, the Islamic leadership has demonstrated unity in action on securing these permissions. Would this be of concern to you?
 
Hindu leadership in Canada:
Two law suits are in works by individual initiatives,
1) Against the Mississauga city on the Azan
2) A suit in defence of a Hindu who was terminated from peel school board for his tweet.
 
Wish to ask if they approached you for support or have you reached out to them offering support. Is this trend of Individual activism good or should there be a co-ordinated centralized approach?
3) Would you as a Temple and centre of authority, restrict yourself to Temple administration and Devotional work or would you be kind enough to extend your leadership to Hindu issues of Canada?
 
Perhaps you have already taken some initiatives and we would be happy to be advised accordingly.

Complaint letter regarding "Christ for Villages"

Post On:14th Jan 2020

Christ for Villages

In reference to the above the below was sent,

To
Water of Life – Corporate Office
333 Wade Hampton Blvd
Greenville, SC 29609
Attn: ROLAND BERGERON | SARAH KELLEY | KYLE A. MELESKI | DREW SULLIVAN | AFTON SCHIPPER | CLAIRE WALTERS | REBEKAH MINTZ |
This is in reference to the video released by a pastor associated with your organization in India,

That is a violation of 1, 2,3 & 5 of SPHERE code of conduct standards: ¹ & The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and (NGOs) in Disaster Relief ²
1. The humanitarian imperative comes first.
In the case referenced above religious conversion seems first imperative
2. Aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.
Aid in the form of water was being given on the basis of faith alone
3. Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
Aid of water was used to further the Christian conversion religious standpoint
5. We shall respect culture and custom.
Cleary this code of conduct was violated as it was disrespecting Hindu culture and custom
The points above confirm that people associated with your organization indulged in multiple violations.

We ask for the following
1- Open your pastor training modules for inspection by our team
2- Issue an apology &
3- Confirm that such religious hostility will not be practiced / encouraged by your organization in future
We also ask for details on number of borewells you have dug in India and has there been excess exploitation of resources to the advantage of evangelical objectives and detriment of non-Christians. India has been welcoming to evangelicals and we believe it’s your duty not to misuse the hospitality.

The Dialogue – Toronto: www.thedialogue.ca & Legal Rights Protection Forum – India – 14th Jan, 2020

Copy to:
-U.S. Commission on IntL Religious Freedom, 732 N. Capitol Street, N. W. Suite A714, WA, DC 20401 :
Kindly take note of the above violation while preparing your next report on India
– Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN- Geneva, 8-14 avenue de la Paix, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
This is an initial compliant and we shall follow the protocol of your office in filing a formal complaint after hearing
– Indian High commissioner office: Washington
Let us know of what safeguards does the High commission has in place to prevent such violations

References
1: https://spherestandards.org/handbook-2018/
2: https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/assets/files/publications/icrc-002-1067.pdf

To Temples of Canada

Post On:15th March 2019

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Namaskar Shriman ji,

We take responsible pleasure in writing to you. This mail is to address some key issues that relates to Hindus and Hinduism in Canada. You may have received our email in Feb 2019. This is a snail mail version.

Hindu – Christian dialogue : There is a series of initiatives happening in Canada under the banner of “Hindu Christian dialogue” or “Hindu -catholic dialogue”? Few temples are already “engaged”. We are writing to provide you an alert on the key result of such dialogue.
1)Situation is created where Temple managements feel obliged to open doors for evangelicals
2)No reciprocal privileges are given, while Christian messages are introduced into Hindu temples

Dwarapalakas: We are a group of independent Hindus that are free of any affiliations. Our objective is to engage in communication keeping in view the self respect and interest of Canada Hindus.

Our area of work includes
1] Positive and Canadian way of responding to Hindu catholic dialogue,
2] Right of freedom of religion to Canadian Hindus,
3] UN laws on religious freedom &
4] Hindu heritage

Racism targeting Hindus of Canada: One cannot deny the existence of subdued racism against Hindus and Hindu institutions of Canada. Many do not seem to have adequate training on how to respond to the challenges of a multi-racial society like Canada.

Canadian School text books: Inputs from non-Hindu leaders is being factored while preparing text books syllabus for schools in Canada. Both Indian & non-Indian children should receive factual information.

Canadian Media: As Canadian Indians we owe it to our self to have a positive image of Hinduism on TV/ Radio, web and print media of Canada. Though we come from various parts of India with different languages, Negative press for Hindus in Canadian media impacts us adversely at family, school & career.

Information kit: As a first step, we wish to enquire if your temple has been approached by any Church under the banner of Hindu – Christian dialogue? If so, please do not feel isolated. You can reach to our experts who can be of help. You can receive a free information kit. Please include relevant information in your response.

Dialogue: We are successful in establishing dialogue with professors of religious studies, community / political leaders & Government at various levels. We hope to work with good will, and blend faculties.

Sincerely
The Dialogue Team
www.thedialogue.ca

To the Honorable President Mr.Donald Trump

Post On:11th Feb 2017

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Dear President Mr. Donald Trump,

Congratulations on your stupendous victory. We want to thank you for acknowledging the positive role of Hindus in the run up to the election. In fact you are the first president to have done so. I am one of the many Hindus who supported you and now that you have become the president I have a request to make. Can u release one official statement?

“Evangelicals from USA who visit India should respect Hindu sentiments, customs, and traditions and acknowledge the fact that India is a Hindu country as is USA a Christian country.They should let go their aggressive evangelical objectives”.

In support of our request to you we present the following points
-Hindus were never the persecutors, even in India they were the persecuted
-Hindus are very friendly towards Christians in India
-Hence the number of churches have grown without any opposition of any kind in India
-However in their pursuit to gain more converts, Evangelicals from USA who visit India are indulging in practices that are against Christian values of kindness, respect and courtesies,
-Hindu tolerance is interpreted as weakness and Hindu space is being violated
-Hindus of India are groaning under such undue interference and are keeping mum so as not to offend anyone.

We wish to provide your supplementary points:
-The 2.3 million Hindu population of USA is very respectful of USA its people, faith constitution and are very law abiding citizens
-Hindus of North America do not indulge in acts that question the government or institutions
-Hindu religious leaders from India who visit North America always ask followers to respect the adopted country, traditions and be good citizens

We were not happy with what Mr. Barak Obama did. When India honoured him as a special invitee and chief guest on Indian Republic day celebrations he reciprocated the hospitality by speaking ill about India. We wrote a letter to Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime minister of India on that.

By virtue of being good citizens of North America, Hindus have acquired a right to request that evangelicals of USA visiting India reciprocate the good behaviour of Hindus of North America.

Best Wishes
The Dialogue Team
www.thedialogue.ca

Letter to His Holiness Pope Francis

Post On:8th November 2016

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His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City
Your Holiness,

Introduction: We write this letter with respect to the leader of the 1.272 billion Catholics of the world. Congratulations on your excellent work. Your predecessors have worked to fix many things in the interest of world peace and harmony. Your holiness has also

– Issued an apology to the Bolivian natives
– Issued an apology to the LGBT community
Some key aspects of the Church are still providing fertile grounds for re-enactment of the church excesses of the past. In their quest to win new converts, Evangelicals in India are doing two things,
1- Competing with each other in eroding the norms of civility.
2- Planting hate amongst Hindus by a sustained propaganda against their way of worship

The stated evangelical agenda in India is “Conversion of all Hindus and erasing Hinduism from the face of earth” Such an extreme agenda is what organisations like ISIS or the Taliban adhere do. However I believe that the Church headed by you stands for world peace and harmony.

Request to you:
The genesis of this “hate planting” work is the statement of Pope John Paul II, in 1984 asking for conversions of Hindus. In pursuit of that call, some evangelicals are losing track of civility.
Our request to his holiness for 2 things

1-Issue an advisory to Evangelicals of India & visiting India on the need of adhering to basics of a civilised society, like being civil, courteous and polite towards Hindus
2-Repeal the statement of the Pope John Paul of 1984, and or issue a fresh statement asking for an end to conversions in India

Let’s assume that the church eradicates Hinduism from the face of the earth. What next? The world becomes an oasis of peace? Not really, because your holiness would acknowledge that both the world wars of the last century were Christian Vs Christian. On the contrary if you drop in a Hindu in a conflict zone, peace descends naturally. The world needs the needs the healing presence of a Hindu.

Hinduism has not preached in me hatred against other faiths. The inherent strength of my religion like love and respect to other faiths makes me to reach out to you. I am hoping this letter will reach the attention of his Holiness.

Respectfully yours
From the religion of Peace
Gopala R.Krishna

Letter to The Honorable Prime Minister of India

Post On:2nd January 2015

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Dear Modiji,
Congratulations on inviting Mr. Barak Obama, as the chief guest for Republic day celebrations of India. It was magnanimous on your part to extend a hand of welcome, friendship and good will. You invitation was in the true Democratic and Dharmic Indian spirit where the guest is considered as an avatar of God. However his statements after his return to US did not go well with many. As we are involved in Hindu – Christian dialogue, we thought we should write to you on this.
Why is President Obama wrong?

    • The President statement meant that life is tough for religious minorities in India. We know that the fact is the opposite. As a Hindu who has lived and walked on the streets of India, I like millions of fellow Indians am a witness to aggressive approach of evangelical Christians. (kindly refer to sections of this website for examples)
    • The president may not be aware that the evangelical methods in India are outright offensive. Looks like they are designed to invite retaliatory response. (Such retaliation is obviously good for their fund raising activities),
    • The president may not be aware that 5000 new churches have come up in India in the last 5 years. (This speaks of the absolute freedom of the Church*),
    • The president’s reference to Mahatma Gandhi is fundamentally flawed because this is what the great Mahatma said on conversion, “I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ’s Christianity. I cannot conceive Jesus, if he was living in flesh in our midst, approving of modern Christian organizations, public worship, or ministry.”
    • The president talks about the splinter of India!? That was offensive! Splinter of India can happen due to two factors, 1- External influence (read colored revolutions) & 2- The hostility that is planted on the streets of India by new age business minded Evangelicals.

 

When India is providing absolute freedom to evangelicals, it is quite difficult to comprehend the reasons as to why they are repaying hospitality with hostility? Statesman to Statesman you may have to face it head on.
These are the risks involved in not addressing it head on,

  • Unethical evangelicals will assume that you are endorsing their practices,
  • It can open doors to more aggressive evangelism on the streets.

Our request to you:

We need a simple but direct response to Mr. Obama’s statement. These are the burning issues in India,

  • Proselytizing on the door steps of Hindu religious places,
  • Cultural plagiarism of Hindu motifs, symbols & practices,
  • Bad mouthing Hinduism & its practices,
  • Turning Hindus against each other in the name of religious freedom.

You have delivered many powerful messages in the run up to your election. Your one right message of now has the power and potential to communicate peace, harmony and mutual respect to all parties to this issue, – The Hindu voters of India -The Hindu NRI’s – The Christians of India – The Christians of the west -The Evangelicals of India and abroad – and the liberal left press both in India and abroad.
Kind Regards,
Gopala Krishna
* http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/independent-churches-mushroom-across-india-attracting-foreign-funds/1/136664.html

Letter to Canada office of Religious freedom

Post On:30th April,2014

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Dear Dr.Andrew P.W.Bennett,

Congratulations on taking over as the chief of the Canada office of Religious freedom. This letter is being addressed to you as it concerns religious freedom. “One’s freedom to practice and the other’s freedom to preach.”
Evangelism is a fact in India. Unlike neighboring Pakistan and China, the democratic nature of India and the benevolant spirit of Hindus have welcomed Evangelicals. As a result the numbers of evangelicals have grown exponentially. However In the recent decade the focus seems to have shifted from JC’s message of love to a purely “number’s” game.
Christian workers of multiple denominations working in India are engaged in fierce competition between themselves. In the process they seem oblivious to the fact that they are encroaching onto the religious freedom of Hindus. I bring to your attention a few samples,

– Evangelical propaganda and activities are done steps away from Hindu places of worship!
– Christian pastors “camouflage” themselves with Hindu appearances to gain “access” to Hindu hearts!
(The images below provide a reference)

When such acts are questioned, the new age evangelicals use the persecution card as a tool to silence Hindus. They are well aware that the “persecution” story resonates well in the western media, governments, and public. If the act of Mr.Jason above is an isolated one, it can be dismissed, but its not. If you wish me to provide more instances of such acts please let me know.
A Christian evangelical cannot preach without being monitored in China. We are not sure if he / she can even preach in Pakistan. The fact that they have free access to India and a Hindu is a peaceful human being, does not mean that Evangelicals can indulge in “free for all”!The desperation of the new age Evangelicals is evident in the fact that they consider “poaching” from respected Catholic churches a fair game as well.
Considering the fact that evangelical organizations based in Canada are working in India, We wish to enquire if the commission has guidelines that can help them to stay on course in ethical evangelism!
Best Wishes
Gopala Krishna

This following people are co-recipients of the above mail: The office of the Right Honorable Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper, Members of Parliament, Canada, Members of Provincial government of Ontario, Members of the Journalist profession of Canada.

Letter to Mr.Dave Toycen - World Vision Canada

Post On:July 2013

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Dear Dave Toycen,

The few Evangelicals with whom we interacted in Canada seem to follow the code of Ethics for ethical Evangelism.* They include,

  • Disavow any efforts to influence people which depersonalize or deprive them of their inherent value as persons,
  • Disavow the use of any coercive techniques or manipulative appeals that bypass a person’s critical faculties,
  • Play on psychological weaknesses, undermine relationship with family or religious institutions, or mask the true nature of Christian conversion,
  • Respect for human integrity means no false advertising, no personal aggrandizement,and no overly emotional appeals which minimize reason and evidence.
  • As Christian evangelists, you accept the obligation to admonish one who represents the Christian faith in any manner incompatible with these ethical guidelines.

 

However we see that the situation in India is in contrast to the principles of ethical evangelism. Since you have a visible base in India, we are writing to enquire if your affiliates in India are trained in ethical evangelism.
Regards,

Gopal R.Krishna


(* As revised by Doug Whallon from “A Code of Ethics for the Christian Evangelist,” © InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/ USA, 1989)


This following people of Word Vision are co-recipients of the above mail, Hon.Patrick Boyle, Dr.Beth Cummings, Ms.Sharon Dymond, Mayor Peter Fassbender, Mr. Dan Fortin, Mr. Michael A. Gartner, Dr.Jeannie L. Haggerty, Mr.Kevin Jenkins, Ms. Cheryl Leonhard, Mr.Ron McKerlie,Rev. David Morehouse, Ms. Catherine Morris, Mr. Gerry J. O’Mahoney, Rev.Dr.Carson Pue, Ms.Sharon Y. Ramsay,Rev.Karen Reed &Rev.Dr.Don Scott.

 Reply from Mr.Dave Toycen

Dear Mr. Krishna,

Thank you for writing to me and for the chance to address your concerns. As you mentioned, World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children and families to overcome poverty and injustice. As such, we hold ourselves to stringent ethical principles in order to best support real and lasting change for children and their communities.World Vision globally – including our offices and operations in India – are clear about the following:

  • 1. We are committed to the poor and reject any tactics that could manipulate their vulnerability, including on matters of faith.
  • 2. Our strong support of religious freedom means that we do not proselytize. Proselytism takes place whenever assistance is offered on condition that people must listen or respond to a message, or as an inducement to leave one and join another part of the Christian church and/or one religion to join another religion. We respect the dignity of those with whom we work, and do not exploit vulnerability or use the power of development and humanitarian programs to coerce conversion.
  • 3. We serve all people without discrimination and aid is provided regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or religion.
  • 4. We comply with international standards including the SPHERE standards, and the Red Cross Code of Conduct. It is unfortunate that you have had negative interactions with certain Christians in India but I assure you that the staff who work with us are committed to showing the love of God in a way that is respectful, dignified and always ready to lend a hand where there is greatest need. I trust this has been helpful. Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.

 

Sincerely,

Dave Toycen
President
Executive Office