– by Shenali D Waduge –
When the armed forces sacrificed their lives to give Sri Lanka peace it was expected that the governing establishment would take over the task to ensure incursions and challenges to Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and the rights of the people were not threatened. The Government is well aware that over 3000 NGOs/humanitarian agencies and charity organizations prevailed throughout the conflict for reasons best known by them with little to show of money being spent on the people or the areas they claimed to have developed. Yet, both Buddhists and Hindus found themselves converted and these numbers are shocking to say the least. It is no surprise that virtually all of the LTTE suicide cadres were converted by these holy hearted people, indoctrinated into laying down their lives for a non-existing God and not Prabakaran, Eelam or Tamils. Once dead, LTTE could use any reason to justify the deaths.
The Huffington Post’s Valerie Tarico wrote an article ‘Many Don’t Know of World Vision’s Evangelical Mission’ in October 2009. She was quoting from an article in The Seattle Times wherein World Vision International was seeking help for quake victims in Sumatra. Valerie accuses the article of not mentioning that World Vision is an Evangelical Christian Organization with their mission as ‘serving as a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ’ but they explicitly states that they ‘do not proselytize or work with those who insist on proselytism. Proselytism takes place whenever assistance is offered on condition that people must listen or respond to a message or as an inducement to leave one and join another part of the Christian church.” Having said that World Vision remains committed to the Church and has $2.79 billion to make heads roll.
World Vision makes a Statement of Faith corresponding to that of the National Association of Evangelicals committing towards incorporating Christian belief into their development work. Does this not work within the theory that Eelam was a Christian project to create a Christian foothold in Asia? Valerie says ‘consider the plight of Hindu parents who have a choice between a bare local school or a Christian school that provides paper, pencils and books’ – is this not the likely outcome by once again inviting World Vision to Mullaitivu and should the leading conglomerate in Sri Lanka partnering this not wonder about this too? Is this our version of religious tolerance? If so are we looking at creating another set of ‘freedom fighters’ with a ‘mission’ of ‘salvation’ and allow political missionaries to thereafter take over to bargain with the Government while we send another batch of poor Sinhala Buddhist soldiers as cannon fodder?
In India the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has accused World Vision India of spending money on Christian evangelism in India and of the murder of Swami Lakshmananda.
Yet when the Island newspaper of 11 October 2013 wrote ‘John Keells – World Vision collaborates in developing Mullaitivu’ to uplift and rehabilitate the livelihoods of communities in North Sri Lanka, given the vision and mission of World Vision we just have to wonder whether we are creating future calamities. The two villages selected are in Puthukudirirrupu and Puthumathalan key strategic spots for Sri Lanka politically.
Founded in 1950 as a small American evangelical agency with a mission of evangelism and orphan-care in Asia, it now has offices in nearly one hundred countries with 40,000 employees and an annual budget of 2.6 billion dollars to provide emergency relief, community development, and advocacy alongside the world‘s poor and oppressed. But its mission of ‘human transformation’ means changing people’s religions, their cultural identity, their thinking and according to the wishes of the Church.
There has to be some reason why World Vision is accused of being a CIA front and to wonder if its Evangelism has other agenda. When World Vision Chief Dr. Robert Seiple is made the US Ambassador for International Religious Freedoms by Bill Clinton, and World Visions Vice President Andrew Natsios is made administrator of USAID which was thrown out of Russia for attempting to destabilize the country one just has to wonder.
Its well and fine to be involved in development work, education, healthcare etc but on what grounds do organizations think they have a moral right to use their ‘development’ status to carry BIBLE classes? Moreover, what World Vision cannot escape from is that while holding consultative status in UNESCO, partnering with other UN Agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, ILO etc, its financial records reveal it is funding evangelical activities. So how fair is it for a ‘charity’ organization to use its international clout, linked with Western governments, networking with corporate entities all in an attempt to denationalize the majority populace, convert natives and use them as foot soldiers for future blood wars which they themselves help create. Development cannot be mixed with evangelical missions which invariably include conversions but organizations like World Vision are extremely careful not to include this mission knowing it will create protest. Now the Islamic charities are learning from the West’s agenda and carrying out almost the same agenda. So both Abrahamic religions are now on a mission to convert people to Abrahamic faiths. The question posed to politicians of these non-Abrahamic nations is what are they doing about these incursions or are they simply willing to take the money being given for their silence and allow nations with proud civilizations to be completely transformed? There is a moral imperative for politicians who they cannot escape from simply for political existence or political advantage. Ancestors who protected, preserved and built the civilization did not do so for a handful of people to sign on dotted lines in exchange for handsome rewards that lead to a total civilizational change.
So when India awards the Mahatma Gandhi Award to World Vision for Social Justice in 2003 and this award is hosted by the All India Christian Council, we have to wonder what has happened to Hindu India. If there is no better prize catch than a Brahmin converted it cannot be any different in Sri Lanka either. Hindus and Buddhists can now find something they commonly share which should be enough reason for the two ethnic groups to merge together and defend their religions and their people.
Scandals involving World Vision
- World Vision Somalia is said to be the most corrupt organization in the country. http://somalilandpress.com/world-vision-somaliland-is-the-most-corrupt-agency-in-the-country-10829
- World Vision accused of corruption in a $1million fraud case in Liberia with 3 officials accused of stealing food, construction material and masterminding a scam in which food aid was sold for profit in local markets.
- In 2007 lawsuit challenged the Christian-based aid organization’s practice in the U.S. of hiring only those who share its faith – employees have to sign a statement of faith. But the US Supreme Court affirmed the rights of World Vision to hire ONLY Christians. Thus, if World Vision can recruit ONLY Christians why do Christian organizations go up in arms against Non-Christians for doing the same?
- Rosanna Barbero of Agent Orange Justice explained how Monsanto works with aid agencies, for example World Vision, under the banner of providing livelihood support and “food security”, but actually enforcing dependence.
- Kang Kek Iew, aka Comrade Duch was the head of Khymer Rouge’s special branch had become a Born Again in 1990 and was found working for World Vision. 1.7 million people met their deaths at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Duch was responsible for 12,000 or more deaths.
- Jathika Hela Urumaya accused World Vision of using the tsunami disaster to carry out conversions. JHU cited The Presidential Buddhist Commission indicating World Vision as one of the organisations carrying out conversions in the country
- In 2007 The Parliamentary Select Committee on NGOs summoned two representatives of the World Vision. Giving evidence before the Committee, a former employee of the organization said programmes had been launched in areas such as Lunugamvehera in the Hambantota district targeting rural people
- Mahinda Gunasekera, President of the Sri Lanka United National Association (SLUNA) of Canada has told the Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development that a Presidential Commission of Inquiry had revealed that the Canadian-funded World Vision had launched operation ‘Mustard Seed’ to convert poor Buddhist and Hindu communities in Sri Lanka to Christianity. World Vision modus operandi was to set up Day Care Centers for pre-school children in villages, placing them in the care of recent Christian converts to indoctrinate the children using pictures of ‘Baby Jesus’ in boxes filled with goodies then empty boxes with pictures of Buddha – thus making these little clueless children disillusioned with their ancestral religion taught by their parents. World Vision is also accused of offering government sector doctors in rural hospitals special payment to assist in World Vision run medical clinics.
Should non-Christian countries especially Sri Lanka which has been a victim of Christian conversions ever since the arrival of the Portuguese not be aware of the mechanisations of organizations like World Vision when their underlying motive for all World Vision’s work is Christian teaching. Are the authorities of Sri Lanka not concerned what the ultimate outcome would be?
Is it not clear when World Visions only employs Christians or those who believe in the Old Testament and any Christian employee who loses faith is simply fired? Why should non-Christian Governments involve entities like World Vision knowing it funds Christian Schools and education programs that openly distributes the Bible and becomes a part of all food-aid? Is there no hypocrisy in World Visions own lines ‘Accepting Christ must be a free decision based on consideration and judgement’ – well the little child considering and judging the empty box with Buddha and the goodies filled box with Jesus has made his judgement thanks to World Vision. There is no real charity involved. If US courts in legal terms defines World Vision as a ‘religious corporation’ and its heart-stirring adverts collects funds and plenty of it too but it is wrong to raise funds for a multi-religious corporation that shamelessly discriminates against non-Christians and subtly attempts to through money and on the guise of development convert non-Christians into Christians. Is there a reason for even the US defence department to classify Evangelical Christians and Catholics as extremists!
The choice before any Government is simple. Organizations such as World Vision do not enter countries without a gameplan (long term / short and mid term) and for these plans they are backed with cash to influence, silence and buy over all those stumbling blocks. There is a moral duty that any Government is bound to. Is development to be sacrificed and compromised for the loss of a country’s indigenous culture, race and religion for none of these faith-based organizations will dole out a penny unless they are 100% positive of a return on investment. That investment is to carry out their mission, add to the number of Christians – how far are Governments willing to court these entities for we should be now well aware of all the friends that the LTTE had and still do and these friendships have never soured.
“THOSE WHO DO NOT REMEMBER THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT.”