The caption ‘Assam cabinet introduces bill to ban Magical Healing’ has  spotlighted fraudulent magical healing practices under the guise of medical  treatment. Besides, the remarks made by Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma that ‘We  believe that there should be a religious status quo. Whoever is Muslim, let them  be Muslims, whoever is Christian, let them be Christian and whoever is Hindu,  let them remain Hindu. So that a proper balance can be achieved in our state.  So, we want to curb evangelist activities to prevent conversion in our state’ is an  unwelcoming step committed as it threatens the harmonious co-existence of  religions in a pluralistic India.

Healing has physical, social and spiritual dimensions. As responsible citizens,  irrespective of our religious affinities, we have a vision to collectively fight  against societal ailments. Mission works undertaken by the Christians are not for  force conversion as conversion is understood as change of heart which is solely  under the domain of God. Evangelists are mere facilitators in the activities of  God.

The Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM) strongly denounces the claim on  Christian evangelist(s) indulging in magical activity in the whole healing process  of an individual or society. Magic is an alien term in Christian activity as Magic  is widely understood as a specialized art, having system of rules and rituals,  mantras (chants), and special worship, which includes offerings and blood  sacrifice, in order to manipulate supernatural powers (including destructive  spirits) to accomplish things the magician wishes to do. There is imitative magic  with precise formulas used by the magician to achieve a specific end by imitating  them, and include both ‘white’ or ‘socially not harmful magic’ and ‘black’ or  ‘socially harmful’ and thus come under the term sorcery and witchcraft.

Black  magic is used in bringing about torture, sickness or death of an enemy. Besides,  the contagious magic is done mostly for the purpose of harming someone. It is  called exuvail magic because it involves the use of human exuviae. Magic  supplies an individual with ritual of ready-made number with definite technique,  its procedures tend to be mechanistic and to function automatically if one knows  the proper formula.

Let us be reminded that it is ignorance which is caused by a misapprehension of  the difference between the Self and higher intelligence resulting all sorrow and  pain. When humans are ignorant about oneself and about the mechanism of mind,  it produces fear of losing one’s identity and creates the illusion of life, freedom  and responsibility. Likewise, when religion strives for power and identity  whether at the community or national level, violence is beyond doubt.

Apparently, the assorted acts of criticizing other religion’s teachings and practices  in the name of one’s religion, conspiring to kill prominent saints and teachers of  other religions, engaging in the name of one’s own religion in subversion,  indulging in activities which create and cause loss of unity, harmony, cooperation  among the people of a country etc., are the visible seeds of fundamentalism. Such  principles do not reflect religion, but yearnings for material interests, power and  politics, leading to communalism, even terrorism.

We are saddened that leaders of our times have unleashed insensitive remarks  resulting chasm and rift among culture, race, and creed. We yearn for approaches,  not perpetuated by specific political ideologies and nuances, but by God-Human  participation in the way of life.


Rev. Dr. Prof. Mar Pongener,
Executive Secretary, ABAM

Rev. Dr. L. Lima Jamir
President, ABAM

February 23, 2024

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