CHURUMURI POLL: Are all conversions voluntary?

The Vatican has delivered a stinging Deepavali message to India. In response to persistent and even growing accusations that poor Hindus were being pressured to convert to Christianity by missionaries using a variety of blandishments, including money, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church has said it was 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.

Questions: Is the Vatican right or wrong? Are Indians converting to Christianity out of choice and on their own volition? Or are they being forced into it with money playing a not insignificant role especially among the poor in the vast tribal belts? Is the good work of Christian missionaries, especially in health and education, being undermined by the false and deceitful propaganda of Hindu fundamentalist groups raising the conversion bogey?

Also read: Should conversions be allowed?