Yep, this is bad. Yep, it’s an exception to the rule. No, it doesn’t mean that all of Christianity, or all organized religion, is evil. There are bad apples in every bunch. Secular charities pull the same kind of crap, only towards different ends.
What am I going on about? I’m just a little sick of seeing some misbehavior by an isolated group posted under the heading “this is why I think all organized religion should be abolished”. And I just went straight from reading status emails from my dad, who by dint of being in the right place at the right time has become a coordinator of his denomination’s relief efforts for a large chunk of India, to seeing this little nugget being singled out as representative of all Christian relief efforts. Perspective, people. A little goes a long way.
I’m a little suspicious of the fact that the story doesn’t mention where the missionaries came from, or what group they were with, too. Based on my experience in India, I’m sorry to say that this sounds more like the behaviour of a local church than a foreign missionary group. There are numerous accounts of locals using equally dubious tactics to pad their conversion scores – often without the knowledge of the Christian missionaries they are “assisting”. And then the article mentions “nuns”… and while I’ve been known to call catholics crazy, if Mother Theresa’s order is at all representative of Catholic charity in India, this is wildly out of character. The Missionaries of Charity were known for their lack of conventional prosyletizing, to the point of summoning Hindu or Muslim clerics to administer last rights to the dying, rather than trying to convert them to Christainity in the last moments of their lives.