Tuesday, December 22

Churches agree to end 'sheep stealing'

This made me go WTF. HT: Ashok Chowgule. And I am quoting from the Union of Catholic Asian News. Fully, before they know what they put up.

BHOPAL, India (UCAN) -- Churches in Madhya Pradesh have agreed to stop poaching each other's members, saying this threatens Christian unity in a state where Christians already face sporadic violence.


Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal leading 
prayers at the ecumenical gathering

The practice of "sheep stealing" also confuses Christians and helps groups hostile toward them carry out their designs easily, concluded some 100 leaders of various Churches who met Dec. 12 in the state capital, Bhopal.

Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal, head of the Catholic Church in the central Indian state, chaired the meeting organized by the archdiocese's commission for ecumenism and dialogue.

The prelate urged participants to refrain from trying to attract members of other Churches to their own. This creates divisions among Churches, he noted.

The prelate also appealed for all denominations to refrain from badmouthing one another or other religious communities, especially during preaching, since this violates Christ's teaching of love, harmony and peace.

Asked about the gravity of the "sheep stealing" problem in Madhya Pradesh, Archbishop Cornelio told UCA News that no official survey has been conducted so far, but "it is very visible and threatening to Church unity."

He said there is also a worrying trend of small Church groups suddenly appearing in the state. These preach against other groups and then disappear quickly, leaving "enough fodder for trouble."

He said the main victims of these groups are the mainstream Churches.

Reverend C.D. Singh of the Disciples Church, who attended the meeting, told UCA News that conversion attempts from other denominations were the "biggest challenge" he has faced so far. People keep moving from one Church to another, he noted.

"I went to the Churches where some of my parishioners had joined and I found the prayer services there very effective. So I changed the prayer service in my Church to deter believers from leaving," he said.

Reverend Singh blamed priests and pastors for people changing their Church affiliations. Priests and pastors, he said, should lead exemplary lives and understand their people's spiritual needs. Otherwise they will look for an alternative, he warned.

Church of North India pastor Reverend Timothy Bankhede noted "a dangerous trend" of people setting up small sects and encouraging people to join them.

The Protestant pastor says Churches should work together to fight extremist groups that want to destroy Christianity in the state, instead of creating confusion among their people through the pilfering of followers.

Preaching the Gospel should target people who have not heard Christ's message and not those who are already Christians, he asserted.

Meeting participants agreed to set up a four-member committee to formulate measures to end interdenominational conversions and strengthen ecumenical harmony.

Madhya Pradesh has witnessed many instances of anti-Christian violence since the pro-Hindu ruling Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the state in December 2003.

Well, its nice to hear that they consider their brethren to be sheep. Lol. Well, i have to be blunt here, anybody who converts is a sheep anyway, from any religion to another other. I am an equal opportunity joker to any convert. They are usually all silly. So its ok to steal souls from Hinduism but not ok to steal souls from other Christian churches? These people are STOOOOPID. MASSIVE FAIL

But check out what the church is doing? But I suppose its better than paedophilia and child abuse which seems to be the lot of the western churches. Goodness, how far the mighty have fallen. This is another reason why I hate organised religion. As soon religion gets organised, all the charlatans and morons seem to pop up in the positions of priestly power.

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