Mechanics of Evangelism: Strategies for Proselytizing in Non-friendly Environments and Closed Countries

Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World by David B. Barrett and James W. Reapsome…

Seven Hundred Plans to Evangelize the World by David B. Barrett and James W. Reapsome lists down broad strategies for conversion activities in non-friendly environments and closed countries – where conversion is formally disallowed. We present an excerpt from the book.

Ministry by Foreigners

There are eight possible types of foreign evangelizers in closed countries. First are four categories covering foreigners resident in the country.

  1. Tentmaker: This widely misunderstood term refers to a Christian worker who, because it is not possible to be a full-time residential, foreign Christian worker, takes full-time secular employment in the target country. He or she hopes to have numerous opportunities for Christian witness and service. Many agencies serve those who chose this option. Tentmakers International, Seattle, Washington, USA has a list of 15,000 secular job profiles, many in closed countries, for which they seek to recruit tentmakers.

The tentmakers basic problem, as far as world evangelism is concerned, is that he or she must in good conscience devote most of his or her time and energy to the full-time secular job. Tentmakers are not full time professional Christian workers. Usually, they do not have a large mission board or Christian Agency behind them for support and guidance. Though they may have fellowship with other tentmakers, they usually work as lone rangers. In most cases, tentmakers do not have the time to learn the local mother tongue in depth, which is the key to penetrating people’s souls, especially where understanding the gospel is concerned.

  1. Residential: A residential missionary is a full-time professional employee of a foreign mission board who obtains government permission to reside and work in an otherwise closed country. Usually this person is a doctor, agriculturalist, or some other technical specialist.
  1. Clandestine: A clandestine missionary is a full-time professional who resides in and operates in a country illegally. In many cases, this missionary may have started out legally, but because of a change in government, he finds himself pronounced illegal. Nevertheless he decides to stay back, hoping he will not get caught. He must carry on his ministry secretly.
  1. Mole: By mole, we mean a part-time Christian worker, an illegal, residential alien. He may have once be a clandestine missionary employed by his board, but later left his board and stayed on to follow his own interests without the restriction of the board. Or, a mole may have been a legal tentmaker who became illegal. Moles in missions have a long and noble history. In past centuries, many Morovian missions sold themselves as gallery slaves in Morocco so that they could evangelize across the Muslim world.

Next there are non-residential categories, covering foreigners who are not residents of the target country.

  1. Tourist: Every year more than 100 Million Christian foreigners enter countries closed to foreign missions, entering as tourists. While there, perhaps up to six months, they discreetly undertake witness in various ways.
  1. Courier: A courier is a visitor from abroad who illegally carries messages to, from, and between local Christians, clandestine workers, and so on. He may also take in documents and Bibles and bring out messages and documents. Hundreds of tourists are persuaded to act as couriers by Western agencies. Some of them have been caught, deported, or even imprisoned.
  1. Smuggler: The smuggler is the full-time professional and seasoned Christian worker who operates illegally as an itinerant. One of the most famous is Brother Andrew, author of the best-selling book, God’s Smuggler.
  1. Nonresidential: This person is a professional, full-time career missionary who operates legally, but who works from outside the country, distant from the unevangelized segment. Because his base is an open foreign country, it’s possible and safe for him to network extensively with other Christians, churches, agencies, providing documentation, information, names and addresses, and so on.

Ministry by Citizens

  1. Part-time: A Christian who takes a secular job and salary, to give opportunity for Christian witness and part-service in a particular target population.
  1. Underground: This person is the citizen equivalent of the foreign mole. Both patiently burrow into the residential situation and then emerge months or even years later to exercise a part-time ministry.
  1. Pilgrim: No country has been able to stop the mass movement of religious pilgrims within their borders, or even across their borders. The cases of Albania, China, the Soviet Union, and Ethiopia attest this fact. As a result, most governments do not even try and instead ignore this problem. Therefore large number of Christian citizens deliberately utilize the pilgrim mode (or international tourist mode) specially to evangelize target people. Their great numbers show the great potential. Domestic as well as international numbers now show 3,500 million tourists a year, more than half of them are Christians. A nucleus of these are genuine, earnest, full-scale Christian pilgrims visiting sacred sites. Determined citizens can blend with these masses and visit target populations.
  1. Messengers: Huge underground evangelizing networks exist operated by messengers utilizing solely word of mouth – no letters, no writing, no telephones, nothing except face-to-face messages.
  1. Guerrilla: The guerilla is a full-time professional worker who operates permanently as an illegal itinerant. Determined and committed, he often risks his life and many have died for the sake of Christ. Around the world there are many thousand guerrilla Christian workers of this caliber.

A Case Study of Illegal Work

To cite one of several examples of the illegal categories, we refer to Operation Pearl. The largest smuggling operation ever, it was organized in 1981 by Open Doors out of the Netherlands. Some 200 tons of Bibles, one million volumes in all, were landed illegally at night off Swatow, China. They were quickly taken away by some 20,000 Chinese Christians. Some analysts think that Operation Pearl is one reason for unusual growth among Christians in China from 15 million in 1981 to 52,152,000 by 1987. In our terminology this operation was masterminded by alien smugglers and citizen guerrillas, using a network of foreign couriers, citizen messengers, and clandestine workers from different countries.

IndiaFacts Staff articles, reports and guest pieces
  • Balakrishnan Hariharan

    The foregoing is also presented as an Appendix to Shri Ram Swarup’s classic : ” A hindu View of Islam and Christianity “. Good it is coming out in the public domain. Well done. Regards

  • Shubhangi Raykar

    Islam is aggressive. Christianity is fraudulent. . Both are closed religions of the book and believe in the external entity called heaven as well as the hell hole. Has anybody come back to give the exact address of heaven?

  • Cybil Peril

    Both Church n Mosque shall go to any length for conversion, fair or foul. All foul means are fair when proselytisation is concerned. But onl;y difference in Church is, there is no death, zizya, etc to kafirs like in Islam.

  • Brabantian

    Even in what had been ‘Christian’ Europe, many laws were passed prohibiting extremes & excesses of Christian activity, in some cases entirely banning militant Christian groups, such as the Jesuits, seeking conversion-type following for their schemes & sects

    India can thus follow Europe’s own example. Religious ‘freedom’ means the freedom to believe & do what you like in private practice that does not harm innocent others … but as Europe has clearly shown, religious freedom is NOT a right to engage in public practices which the larger society finds unsettling or disturbing

    India has a total right to prohibit & expel & deport these foreign Christian schemers, & can justify this based on Europe’s own precedents … & can likewise prohibit any deceived Indians from publicly acting as agents of these practices

  • I have worked enough on the ground to understand the christian crimes and modus-operandi. Here are some types of conversion activities:

    * Type A of Christianity conversion: pastor and activists go to underprivileged area armed with atrocity-literature – i.e.,
    hate-literature on who is responsible for their problems. They convert the aspirations of the people to anger and hate and succeed in conversion – these are the breaking-India forces.

    * Type B of Christianity conversion: pastor and activists target sections of the community with freebies. Become a Christian and get an identity-card that will give free service at Christian hospitals and free seats and fees to Christian schools, and low-level menial jobs such as mali, cook, ayah, driver, watchman, etc. Almost all of this section of society in every Indian city is now converted.

    * Type C of Christianity conversion: pastor and activists pretend to be Hindus – dress in saffron, with vibuthi, rudraksha-mala, pretend to do Vedic-homas, but are really deceptively attacking Hinduism among the ignorant masses, and promoting a false notion of bhakti, praising Christ. The target is illiterate villagers, vulnerable communities, and other less-literate section, mostly women.

    * Type D of Christianity conversion: In Christian schools – disallow any Hindu expression; in so-called moral-science classes, the apparently-secular-texts are filled with ideas against Hinduism and promoting Abrahamic cults. If any student or their family has a tragedy, target them with false sympathy and prayers and convert them. If there is an illness that got better, pretend that it was a miracle from Jesus and convert them. If the student wants admission to a Christian
    professional college, convert them first.

    * Type E of Christianity conversion: Christian-love-Jihad – the Christians sexualize and parade their girls and women to lure Hindu boys and men. It is downhill after that.

    * Type F of Christian conversion: plain and simple charlatanism and miracle-mongering: claims that they can faith-heal,
    prayer-heal, touch-heal, claims that their god is superior because some silly sleight-of-hand tricks fools illiterate villagers, etc.

    * Type G of Christian conversion: take advertisements in newspapers with Hindu names expressing so-called “thanksgiving” for “favors” received. This is disinformation propaganda, aimed to confuse and sway newspaper-readers.

    If conversions are to be outlawed, do these:

    * Possession of any atrocity-literature should be grounds for immediate imprisonment and confiscation of church properties. Atrocity literature should include pamphlets, posters, books, CDs, DVDs, films, internet-links, videos, podcasts, radio-casts, analog, print and digital materials.

    * Offering of free services and such allurement should be grounds for immediate imprisonment of the offer-er, as well as
    confiscation of church properties.

    * Claims of any miracles or non-medical healing should be grounds for imprisonment and confiscation of church properties. This includes newspaper ads (notice how congress state-governments that brought in anti-superstition laws, carefully worded their repressive-laws by giving christians and muslims a free ride.

    * Any marriage that involves a conversion or between two different religions should involve an undertaking that both will be imprisoned if either converts. All children of mixed-marriages involving Hindus should be brought up as Hindus.

    * It is critical to confiscate the assets of the offending church and their associated NGOs. They get foreign funding to
    unbelievable amounts – that after church corruption, is still a formidable amount to break-India.

    • JRK

      wow. just wow. we need to post this on Facebook.

  • You have forgotten a few vital components of the evangelism strategy – undermine, discredit and demonize the targeted religion so that its practitioners are demoralized, illiterate, and stand in awe of christianity’s false propaganda. Here is a classic mechanism followed by the church and their minions in the media:

    The greatest lie being foisted by the church is that whenever a Hindu isfound guilty of any crime against christians, then it is immediately conflated to the entire spectrum of Hindu groups, Hindu society, Hindu theology, all the way to the prime minister – EVERYBODY is complicit. This – mind you – when the Hindus have ZERO organizations, ZERO mobilization, ZERO cooperation among themselves. And the accuser – the church – is the world’s GREATEST organized cabal/mafia/corporate, portraying themselves as weak, persecuted victims.

    Next strategy: Christianity thrives on playing “victimhood” to the core. It is not sufficient to just have a savior – you need him to have suffered and died and created a fantastic example of a prime victim. The christian terrorists who burnt Circus Maximus and were consequently punished by Nero forms a fantastic opportunity to retaliate – “christians were thrown to lions and burnt!”. The image of a passive praying martyr when being persecuted is a powerful propaganda tool, isn’t it? When the christian aggressors came to India – Portuguese, French and British, they could not unfortunately play weak, praying victims – they were the aggressors. So their methods swiftly turned to “white man’s burden of civilizing the natives, praying for the heathen’s souls” – during which the ancestors of today’s Indian christians were persecuted and forcibly converted. In today’s India, it works VERY WELL to play victim again, playing to the evangelist lobby and dollars overseas with spokesperson-liars like John Dayal. Today’s activist christians are a bunch of immoral liars.

    • Shubhangi Raykar

      The religion itself is fraudulent and subtly aggressive. The goans were converted by force and further persecuted under inquisition.

  • (1) Hinduism NEVER threatened the survival of christianity. However, christianity THREATENS the SURVIVAL of Hinduism.

    (2) A Hindu’s beliefs do not impinge in anyway upon christians. However, a christian’s work strongly impinges upon Hindus, destroying Hindus, their culture, their traditions, their beliefs, their way of life, and their very existence.

    (3) When the Hindu survival is threatened, it is no longer the Christian’s “fundamental freedom” to continue killing Hinduism.

    (4) Today, every church is a foreign outpost, serving the needs of various countries and their foreign policies. There is NOTHING spiritual about the activism of these cultists. Their activities are CLEARLY against the autonomy and unity of India. They seek to make India a third-rate pliant vassal state of the West, aligning with every cause of the West, and becoming a market for their goods and a source of cheap labor and nurses and nuns, and human trafficking.

    (4) My views: The christian cult has to be reined in. The flow of foreign finance should be throttled. A church of India should be set up much like the church of England, to which every church in India – mormons, seventh day adv, baptists (ugh!), RCs, orthodox, etc., should be under. This church should be under the administration of a secular body, much like the temple board of Hindus is run by muslims and christians. All money inbound to any church should be processed thru this central church, taxed, and confiscated if found to be used for breaking India. All activities of every church should be regulated thru this central church – visas, seminars, workshops, revivals etc. Now THAT is freedom to worship, without undermining the territorial, economic and integral unity of India.

    (5) The christian cultists should learn to internalize the need to “bear witness” with a perfunctory dissemination of the articles of their faith, rein in the need to convert, reject the political activism and retreat to whatever spirituality they think they can find in christianity. Is this so hard to do?