Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Vatican: Forced Conversion Impossible
A Vatican official, amid mounting accusations against Christian conversions, affirmed Monday that it is impossible to forcibly convert anyone to another religion."There can be no coercion in religion. No one can be forced to believe. Neither can anyone who wishes to believe be prevented from doing so," Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who heads the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, said in a message to Hindus for Diwali, the Festival of Lights.The appeal from the Vatican is believed to have come as a response to vehement attacks by Hindu radicals against Christian missionaries and institutions in India.The message also comes as anti-conversion laws that have been introduced in many states by the Hindu nationalists have recently flared up tensions between the two groups.[[[[Christian groups say these laws are aimed at curbing religious freedom and are against the Indian Constitution.]]]AMEN TO THAT....In his greeting for the Diwali, which will be commemorated by some 890 million Hindus in India starting Thursday, Tauran said that the Church had been faithful to the teaching on freedom of belief.He urged both Hindus and Christians to focus on educating their communities, warning that faithful could easily be misled by deceitful and false propaganda.The official also expressed the Vatican’s hope that its “Hindu Friends” would “overcome” many obstacles during the five-day Festival of Lights.[[[[["I sincerely hope that your search for the Divine, symbolized through the celebration of Diwali, will help you overcome darkness with light, untruth with truth and evil with goodness," ]]]](a blind guiding the blind....)Tauran wrote.In India, Diwali is considered by many as a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith.
As in the days of Noah....