Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 22, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On November 22, 1999, The Boston Globe reported that about 60 people gathered outside the Beacon Hill Baptist Church on Cambridge Street in Boston to protest the SBC prayer guide to convert Hindus. The rally was organized by the New England Hindus Against Religious Intolerance. The prayer guide states: "Hindus seek power and blessing through the worship of gods and goddesses and the demonic powers that lay behind them...Hindus lack a concept of sin or personal responsibility...they are slaves bound by fear and tradition...and the darkness in their Hindu hearts that no lamp can dispel." David Draper, pastor of the Beacon Hill church, apologized to the group for the prayer guide: "I am embarrassed by the guide. Several statements about the Hindu faith were offensive and insensitive...While there are differences in our traditions and convictions, we should not be intolerant of other faiths." Sheila Decter, regional director of the American Jewish Congress who attended the rally to support the Hindus, stated: "The price of democracy is the right to spread the good news about one's faith to others...But this guide crossed the line from being a statement of faith to denigrating another religion."