Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Controversy over conversion raises alarm...

Email:

Controversy over conversion raises alarm among Christians in India

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Controversy over conversion raises alarm among Christians in India

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

A senior leader of a Hindu extremist group in India has demanded a new constitution that allows for “anyone who converts Hindus to be beheaded”, while there are fears for the safety of a Christian pastor over accusations of the forced conversion of Muslims.

Praveen_Togadia_4X3.jpg
Praveen Togadia, General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad
Arpit_Bakshi / CC BY 3.0

Praveen Togadia, General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), made the inflammatory statement at the conclusion of a three day conference for VHP workers from across the country, held in Gujarat last week.

It sparked concern among Indian Christians, who fear it will stir up Hindu extremists to commit attacks against them and other minority groups.

A Christian human rights group in India said the speech “clearly promotes enmity, hatred or ill-will and disturbs public tranquillity. It also implies that minorities, especially Christians and Muslims do not bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and must be denied or deprived of their rights as Indian citizens.”

Togadia’s statement follows an article in July by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy that recommended a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion.

Conversion is a sensitive issue in India where, despite the constitution guaranteeing religious liberty, a number of states have introduced “anti-conversion laws” under which non-Hindus are liable to penalties for converting someone by “force”, “fraud” or “inducement”. Christian communities have come under attack by radical Hindus because of unsubstantiated accusations about conversions.

Pastor threatened

There is also pressure on Indian Christians from Muslims over the issue of conversion. Last week, the Grand Mufti of Kashmir called a Christian pastor, Rev. Chander Khanna, to a sharia court to explain the alleged forced conversions of young Muslims.

The grand mufti claimed to possess a video that showed Rev Khanna urging young Kashmiri Muslims to embrace Christianity. He issued this threat:

I will take all necessary measures in exercise of the powers vested in me by Islamic sharia. It is a matter of grave concern that Christian missionaries active here should be running an organised and integrated campaign to convert young Kashmiri Muslims to Christianity.

Bishop Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy of the Church of North India (CNI) said the allegations of inducing conversion were “bogus and baseless” and expressed concern for Rev Khanna.

Police have received a complaint against the pastor and have asked him not to move from his home for his own safety.

Bishop Samantaroy said that the converts in question had attended the church for more than a year and had expressed their desire to be baptised. They have denied the allegation of inducement in police interviews.

The bishop added:

Our founding fathers ensured each of us citizens of our country the free will to choose their religion and if one wants of his own free will to choose or change his or her faith it is his or her constitutional right.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Controversy over conversion raises alarm among Christians in India

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Heavenly Father, we lift up to You today the heartbroken family of Mary Sameh George, a young Christian woman who was killed in an Islamist attack on a church in Egypt. We pray that You will comfort them and give them Your peace. We thank You that Mary was not ashamed to make her allegiance to You known, even taking the risk of provoking murderous anger against herself. We pray also for the families of three others who were killed in this attack at a church in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, on 28 March. Lord God, may the hostility of Muslim Brotherhood supporters towards Christians in Egypt be restrained. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 16 hours ago

    • Give thanks that as believers in some areas of Egypt continue to be at risk of violence from Islamists, Barnabas Aid is able to provide various kinds of practical help for needy Christians there, especially those most affected by the political turmoil. We are supporting Christian families in Upper Egypt with housing costs, medicines, food and schooling for their children, and 30 Christian students who were on the verge of dropping out of education because of lack of money have received funding to complete their education. Pray for all those receiving this help, that they will also be encouraged spiritually. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that the authorities in Egypt are pursuing justice for the Christian community following widespread violence against them by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood last summer. Christians were scapegoated by the Islamists for the downfall of President Mohammed Morsi. On 14 August, mobs torched scores of churches, Christian institutions and private property in what was described as the worst single day of violence against the Egyptian Church since the 14th century. Over 100 Muslims have been charged in connection with the attacks; at the time of writing they were due to stand trial for rioting, attacking citizens and targeting the churches and homes of Christians. Pray that justice will be done and restitution made to churches and individuals who suffered material losses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “I was so happy and treasure this Word of God. It brings me so much peace and hope.” Uu Dee KoMang, an elderly woman in Burma (Myanmar), was one of many Christians who recently received a Kachin Bible through Barnabas Aid. Two years ago the Burmese army entered her village and ordered everyone to leave within the hour. Uu Dee took some clothes and food and ran, but her Bible was too heavy to carry. Now living in a relocation camp, she regretted not taking it, until the Bibles from Barnabas arrived. Pray that God’s Word will comfort and strengthen these believers who have lost so much and will give them encouragement for the future. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Pray for three Christian prisoners of conscience in Vietnam who are being denied access to Bibles and other sources of spiritual support. Prison guards in Hanoi and Thanh Hoa province have refused to allow Le Quoc Quan, a lawyer and activist, and bloggers Maria To Phong Tan and Paul Tran Minh Nhat to receive visits from their church leaders and have prevented them from receiving Communion. Maria is serving a ten-year prison sentence in a harsh labour camp; she has been beaten by other inmates. Pray that the Lord will sustain and build up the faith of our brothers and sister as they cry out to Him in their need (Psalm 142:6). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Jul 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark