Source: The Hindu
BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, June 19, 2002: The Global Council of Indian Christians has demanded an enquiry into the alleged conversion of 143 tribal Christians into Hinduism by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Orissa's Sundargarh district on June 16. In a statement issued today, the national convener of the council, Sajan K. George, alleged that the conversions were done in contravention of the provisions of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act and "connivance" of the government machinery. Before conversion, the tribals belonged to Oram, Munda and Khadia tribes and were not Hindus, Mr. George claimed. HPI adds: It has been a tact developed in the last few years for Christians to claim that the tribal people of India are not Hindus, as they have been traditionally regarded, but of another, "tribal," religion. By a calculation made in one Hinduism Today article (www.hinduismtoday.com/1989/02/, "The Big Business of Evangelizing:), it costs the missionaries about US$6,000 to convert one Hindu to Christianity. The 143 tribals, then, would represent a loss of $858,000, and the VHP's claimed total of 5,000 reconverted tribals, $30 million.