Christian Missionaries: The Vanguard of Western Imperialism-I

Whenever they seek to take over a country, they employ the same method. By trading with that nation, they learn about its geography and defenses. If they be weak, they dispatch troops to invade the nation; if strong, they propagate Christianity to subvert it from within. Once our people’s hearts and minds are captivated by Christianity, they will greet the barbarian host with open arms, and we would be powerless to stop them. Our people would consider it an honor and a privilege to die for this foreign god, and this willingness to die, this fearlessness, would make them fit for battle. Our people would gladly cast their riches into the sacrificial coffers of this foreign god, and those riches would finance barbarian campaigns. The barbarians believe it their god’s will that they seduce other peoples into subverting their respective homelands; they borrow the slogan “universal love” to achieve their desired ends. Barbarian armies seek only plunder, but do so in the name of their god. They employ this tactic in all lands they annex or conquer.

– Shinron (New Theses) by Aizawa Seishisai, 1825 CE

First the Bible, then the trading station, then the cannon

– Prithvi Narayan Shah, founder of the Hindu Rajya of Nepal & expeller of Christian missionaries

Separated by time and space the words of the two heathens should give one pause for thought for they seem to be saying the same in regards to missionaries acting as the vanguard for European imperialism. This is an image at odds with the one cultivated by the Indian movie industry which involves loving padre’s and missionaries like the late Theresa who were supposedly serving us while the “evil” Hindu pujari’s are merely salivating over their expected offerings. The astute of course know that the record of Christian missionaries in general has been one of destruction, genocide, and acting as the vanguard of Western imperialism. In this article we focus on some examples of missionaries acting as spies, subversives, and destroyers of native culture all over the world. We will focus on examples from around the world, not so much on India specifically (though we will briefly touch on India in part II) because we wish to demonstrate that this is a global phenomenon hardly unique to India and part of a time-tested Western strategy for conquest.

“Let us invade Japan for Christ”

In 1587 Hideyoshi after taking control of most of Japan passed the first anti-Christian edicts banishing missionaries. Hideyoshi’s reasons included destruction of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, selling Japanese into slavery, and forcible conversions of the populace by Christian daimyo (warlords).

The Jesuit response was led by one Gaspar Coelho, the Vice-Provincial of the Jesuits in Japan and is summarized by the following quote:

Daft Coelho in the meantime brewed the plan to take up arms, stand a siege in Nagasaki, and wait for aid from abroad. 52

52. See Boxer, Christian Century, p. 149: Coelho “endeavored to get Arima to induce the other Christian daimyo to unite in armed resistance against the expulsion edict. In this he failed, so he fell back on a more temporizing policy. But he still had not learned his lesson entirely, since he wrote to Manila, Macao, and Goa begging for two or three hundred soldiers and firearms wherewith to stiffen the Christian daimyo. The Spanish authorities contented themselves with referring his request to Madrid, and the Jesuit Superior at Manila sent him a severe reprimand for his imprudence. The Portuguese sent him some weapons but no troops.”

The precise nature of Coelho’s plans is unclear; and Matsuda Kiichi laments (Taiko to gaiko, p. 86) that although the existence and place of repose of voluminous Jesuit correspondence on the topic are known the material’s confidential nature has kept it from publication.

– Deus Destroyed The Image of Christianity in Early Modern Japan by George Elison, p. 133

Note the fact that even after 400+ years the Jesuits were hiding records of these events at the time this book was published in the 1970’s. Indeed considering that the Vatican is the longest operating and largest crime syndicate in history, this is not very surprising. We hold that the secret archives of the Vatican if they are ever cracked open will reveal far more shocking details than Wikileaks.

To get back to the issue at hand, this was hardly the first time that Coelho had proposed such schemes. In 1584 & 1585 he addressed the following pleas:

That the Jesuits had their military adventurist faction is all too well established. Gaspar Coelho was one of its members. In 1584 he had addressed to the Spaniards in the Philippines a plea for the dispatch of “four ships laden with men, artillery, and food . . . to succor the Christians of Japan that are pressed by the heathen,”

– Deus Destroyed The Image of Christianity in Early Modern Japan by George Elison, p. 115

In 1585, Gaspar Coelho had already requested a Spanish fleet to ‘evangelize’ East Asia…

– When Pre-Westphalian Europe Meets Sinocentric Order: The Jesuit Order, Christian Samurai, and the Imjin War (1592-1598) by Myongsob KIM

To his credit Alessandro Valignano his higher up in Japan condemned his actions and secretely disposed off the arms the Portuguese sent. But his condemnation seemed more motivated by the reprisals it would bring on the Christians if Hideyoshi found out and less by any moral objections. It must be remembered that Pope Alexander VI himself divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal with the Treaty of Tordesillas on 7th June, 1494 CE.

Finally it must be mentioned that in 1614 the Spanish seemed to have planned another invasion of Japan from Spanish Manila to save the Japanese Christians, though this never seem to have got off the ground and we can’t find much details about this proposal.

As a side note, it might interest Hindus know that according to Ishwar Sharan, this same Gaspar Coelho was also involved in perpetrating the “St.” Thomas fraud in India (

“Let us colonize Ming China for Jesus”

While Padre Coelho was proposing his hare-brained schemes to invade Japan, the Spanish who had meanwhile colonized parts of what is now Philippines began to put forward a scheme to invade and colonize the weakened Ming empire. The scheme itself was idiotic and had little chance of success but more interesting are the reasons given. The following quotes summarize the issue:

 At precisely the time of Coelho’s arrival in Sakai (April 1586) Padre Alonso Sanchez SJ was in Manila submitting his project for the conquest of China, of which C. R. Boxer has to say: “The report has to be read to be believed.”10 The Padre, “a person of very holy life, much learning, prudence, and excellent judgement” (as he was touted to Philip II) envisioned that the modest objective would be obtained easily enough, with a motley force of Spaniards, Filipinos, and Japanese auxiliaries conducted by “the fathers of the Society of Jesus, who are to act as guides.” It would be interesting to know whether Coelho was aware of the project (or, better yet, Hideyoshi).

– Deus Destroyed The Image of Christianity in Early Modern Japan by George Elison, p. 115

But the cause of conquest was far from lost. The change back to a military stance was largely inspired by a strong and determined Jesuit, Alonso Sánchez, who set off for what he called the “kingdoms of China” in March 1582. When he returned to Manila he reported that it was impossible to preach the gospel in China without military backing. He talked constantly of the startling benefits which the enactment of the “China project” would yield Spain. But he thought that his predecessors in the debate had probably underestimated the numbers of combatants necessary. He, in fact, thought that 10,000 men would be needed to complete the conquest though a mere 200 would be adequate for the capture of Canton.

– Spain and the Conquest of China by Hugh Thomas, March 2012

While this was ongoing, the Coelho fellow seems to have been brighter than the Spanish in Manila and proposed the following plan:

In 1585, Gaspar Coelho had already requested a Spanish fleet to ‘evangelize’ East Asia. He argued that when the 66 states of Japan had been converted to Christianity, “King Philip could use the sharp and aggressive Japanese army to easily conquer China.” This Jesuit missionary estimated China could be easily conquered for four reasons. “First, the people are idle and effeminate, especially the aristocracy. Second, there is not a single musket in the whole country. Third, the government has forbidden the people from arming themselves out of a fear of revolts. Fourth, the conditions are ripe for revolts due to harsh rule.

 – When Pre-Westphalian Europe Meets Sinocentric Order: The Jesuit Order, Christian Samurai, and the Imjin War (1592-1598) by Myongsob KIM

It must be emphasized that the Japanese armies’ of this time were some of the best in the world thanks to nearly 100 years of civil war which made the Samurai a disciplined and lethal fighting force on land. The Japanese had mastered the mass production of arquebus’ introduced by the Portuguese and even made some improvements allowing them to fire in rain & implementing standardization. They also figured out the technique of volley fire, first implemented on a large scale by Oda Nobunaga at the Battle of Nagashino (depicted here: All these factors came into play in the performance of the Japanese army during the two massive invasions of Hideyoshi into Korea (known as the Imjin War), a prelude to his ambition to conquer Beijing. More often than not, the Japanese simply overwhelmed the combined forces of the Chinese & Koreans with their superior firepower and discipline on land. The weakest points of the invasion force were inferior cannon and ships which combined with the brilliance of Korean Admiral Yi Sun ultimately doomed Hideyoshi’s plans. Why do we narrate all this you ask?

Consider Coelho’s scheme & imagine that Japan had indeed been converted, and then imagine the massive Christian army from Japan augmented by Spanish-Portuguese naval power & cannon. Then it is not unlikely that the Spanish mleccha’s would have had some success regarding their China scheme, a nightmare for all heathens.

Fast-forwarding a few centuries, in 1825 the brilliant Japanese heathen political thinker Aizawa Seishisai penned his magnum opus Shinron (New Theses). Shinron was to have an explosive impact on the men behind Meiji restoration and beyond. Therein he claimed:

Russia and Britain then would subvert Japan proper by Christianizing its “stupid commoners,” and would beguile a new generation of “Japanese raiders” (wako) into attacking and weakening China. With the Ch’ing thus crippled, Russia, could deliver the coup de grace from the north.

– Anti-foreignism and Western Learning in Early-modern Japan: The New Theses of 1825 by Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, p. 112

Thus he anticipated the time-tested strategy of the Leukosphere in using the converted rabble of ex-heathen nations as cannon fodder to advance the cause of Jesus and their imperial interests into new territories. Douglas MacArthur and the American mlecchas would later try to repeat this project in trying to Christianize post-war Japan (failed), South Korea (success), and Vietnam (remember the self-immolation Bauddha monk Thich Quang Duc & persecution of the majority Bauddhas by the US backed Catholic Diem regime? Also see: One can substitute Spain for Russia and Ming for Ch’ing in Aizawa’s words and it would be a recapitulation of Coelho’s plan centuries earlier. We doubt Aizawa had any inkling about Coelho’s plans and he seems to have come upon this idea independently thanks to his own brilliance and intuition about the evils of the Jesus cult and its primary custodians.

Finally, it may well be likely that Lafcadio Hearn writing some 80 years later after Aizawa in the Meiji era had these Jesuit conspiracies in mind, when he commented thus on the failure of the effort to Christianize Japan:

Yet this religion, for which thousands vainly died, had brought to Japan nothing but evil disorders, persecutions, revolts, political troubles, and war. Even those virtues of the people which had been evolved at unutterable cost for the protection and conservation of society, – their self-denial, their faith, their loyalty, their constancy and courage, – were by this black creed distorted, diverted, and transformed into forces directed to the destruction of that society. Could that destruction have been accomplished, and a new Roman Catholic empire have been founded upon the ruins, the forces of that empire would have been used for the further extension of priestly tyranny, the spread of the Inquisition, the perpetual Jesuit warfare against freedom of conscience and human progress. Well may we pity the victims of this pitiless faith, and justly admire their useless courage: yet who can regret that their cause was lost? … Viewed from another standpoint than that of religious bias, and simply judged by its results, the Jesuit effort to Christianize Japan must be regarded as a crime against humanity, a labour of devastation, a calamity comparable only, – by reason of the misery and destruction which it wrought, – to an earthquake, a tidal-wave, a volcanic eruption.

– Japan An Attempt at Interpretation by Lafcadio Hearn, 1904 CE

We could not agree more.

In part II, we hope to explore Jesuit industrial espionage in India & Qing Empire, their spying for the Russian empire against the Qing empire (they saw the Russians as fellow Christians as against the heathen Manchu & Han) their role in the colonization of what is now Zimbabwe, the genocide of natives in Guam, and more.