11 September, 2008

Punjab are you Listening… it is a Wake-Up Call!


By the mid-1990s, when "spying missions" were despatched to India by US-based transnational missionary organisations (TMOs), it was part of the larger conversion mission, AD2000 and Joshua Project. Abraham's commentary in a film produced by Agape reveals that "by the mid-1990s, a growing realisation for the need for a systematic church planting effort covering the entire state was gaining momentum. We held a systematic grassroots level harvest force research in 1998 and the results were an eye-opener for us. There were 262 pin code areas in Punjab without any churches in 1998. In the next three years, however, all the 491 postal code areas in the state gained entry into the church map." This was possible due to the research and survey conducted by Brother Issac Dutta, research coordinator, Punjab, Operation Agape. "God gave me the burden of Punjab in 1997. I started my research in 1997. My team and I visited 1,100 Christian workers in the whole of Punjab, collecting data from them on who was working in different villages, blocks and districts," Dutta explained.

The North India Harvest Network, also started by Abraham, used the 'Pin Code survey' conducted by the Indian Missions Association, Chennai, to generate ethno-graphic data in the North Indian states. The data has armed the US intelligence agencies for they now have unparalleled access to the remotest corners of India and are-again, pincer like-bringing areas into "the fold" by secretly unleashing pastors in different blocks and districts.

Operation Agape has, for example, been instrumental in producing over 3,000 'house-churches' in Madhya Pradesh in the last six years. Their conversion figure stands at a record number of "60,000 to 70,000" converts. "Our methods have become a model for churches all across India," says Abraham. "The house-church movement does not strive for buildings. We do not believe in buildings. Traditional churches are dying. The Anglican church in England is dying. The house-church movement is the spirit of God. Ludhiana is a city where the church has done really well. Now we are dreaming of a church in every colony. Fifty percent colonies in Ludhiana and 60 percent villages in Punjab have churches now," he told Tehelka.

Planting churches in India

Operation Agape is supported by Christian Aid, a US-based conversion-funding agency, run by Rev Bob Finley, a loyal supporter of President Bush. The mission headquarters of this operation is Agape Bhawan, located within the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana. Abraham was extremely evasive about answering questions on Operation Agape, but a video CD produced by AGAPE foundation, which is in Tehelka's possession, is explicit about the movement.

The film on Operation Agape interviews Rev C George, who claims to have begun the church planting movement in Punjab: "I had great concern for Punjab…Then the Lord very definitely, specifically asked me to go to the state of Punjab and do whatever possible so that the people will come to know that Operation Blue Star or Operation Black Thunder did not help, but operation of God's love will be the solution to the problem of Punjab."

Simply put, the strategy is to plant a church in every village and urban colony and notch up a figure of 100,000 churches in the state by 2010. "We cannot say we have any challenge here because Punjab is open. All religions are respected and we can go freely to everybody. The most difficult states to evangalise are Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh because extremist Hindus are there," says Simon P George, manager, Punjab Bible College, Hiran (near Ludhiana).

URL: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main.asp?filename=ts013004qaeda.asp

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