From time immemorial the Christian missionaries have tried to convert tribal people around the world to Christianity. In some regions they have been successful but in some other their success rate has been below average. The methods of convincing the tribes used to be rigid beforehand but now the missionaries are ready to try newer tactics to impress them. In India a group of missionaries dressed the Virgin Mary statue in a sari and styled it just the way tribal women wear it. The baby Jesus in her arm also looks like a tribal child. The tribesmen have severely protested against this conversion ploy and threatened to destroy the statue if the clothes are not immediately changed.
The Virgin Mary statue clad in traditional tribal clothes is located at Singpur in Jharkhand. The tribe who has protested against this is known as Sarna. Mother Mary is wearing a typical white and red sari as a common Indian woman and she is carrying her child in the same way a tribal woman does. The baby Jesus has been placed in a yellow piece of clothing tied like a sling around her shoulder. The Sarna tribe has worshipped Mother Nature for as long they exist but the Christian missionaries have made a cunning attempt to get them to worship Mother Mary. The tribal leaders found it outrageous that the missionaries would try to lure away their tribesmen in such a way.
The missionaries have been attacked numerous times for trying to spread Christianity by different tribes in India. The threats given by Sarna leaders are nothing new for them. Braking traditional beliefs can be a very tough task. The Sarna tribal people who have converted to Christianity have received threats as well. The tribe’s authoritative figures see such transformation as a great insult to their culture and religion. According to the leader of Sarna, Bandhan Tigga, they are not against the missionaries or the religion they preach but the tactics that the missionaries have resorted to has hit them below the belt. They do not like the fact that the missionaries have used Mother Mary to wearing tribal dress to make an impression on guileless tribesmen. Police is providing protection to the Mother Mary statue ever since threats were ensued by tribal leaders. Indian religious groups have started campaigning against the statue.