March 20-22, five attacks on Christians on allegations of “conversion” across five states A burial stopped, stones pelted, prayers disrupted, groups of Christians driven out of village homes over allegations of “religious conversions”; were incidents reported from Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh

23, Mar 2023 | CJP Team

The start of this week, March 2022 saw five incidents reported that targeted the miniscule Christian minority. Incidents occurred across Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh revealing that the political party in power regardless, the pernicious reach of sustained propaganda is being weaponised across the country. “Conversion” through incentives (for  Christians) and by seductive marriage (for Muslims) is an dual-edged allegation made against India’s religious minorities without substantiation never mind that figures show that the largest conversions have been to Hinduism not the other way around.

It bears emphasis that such threats and physical attacks violate the Constitution (Article 14, 15, 21 and 25) and sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) too, yet law enforcement agencies and the district administration –police and collectorate etc.—have failed to enforce the rule of law and constitutional and legal morality.

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Over the period of the last two days, five incidents of forcible eviction, attack and abuse were reported. These happened over two days, March 20 and 22. While in most of these incidents, extremist Hindutva outfits and locals were involved, often the police –sworn under oath to protect the Constitution –were also found to be silent spectators or even supporting the perpetrators.

On March 20, 2023, a group of far-right extremists linked to Bajrang Dal disrupted a Christian prayer meet, heckled congregants and accused them of religious conversions. This incident was reported from Shivamogga, Karnataka. A video showing the Bajrang Dal goons heckling and fighting with the Christians praying have been doing rounds on social media. Little is known about whether a case has been registered, any investigation is on or protection given to targeted sections.

The said video can be viewed here:

In another instance, reported from Shahpur, Himachal Pradesh, a group of Christians living on rent were heckled by the locals over accusations of religious conversions. The locals even asked the Christian family to leave the village. In the video uploaded from the said incident, the president of the Gram Sabha can be seen standing with a group of people behind him, conversing with the family of Christians. One of the individuals from the group, a member of the Gram Sabha, then speaks to the person recording the video and says that the mother and son have been misleading the people by saying that there is no Vishnu, Ram or any other Hindu god. As this spread, the locals started opposing the Christians, accusing them of conducting forced religious conversions. The man then goes on to say that they have gathered today to make the Christian family leave, and they have also issued a warning to the landlord of the flat that the Christian family were residing in. The man informed that the Christians have been given two days to vacate the flat. The man further informs that they have also clarified the Christian family that if they refuse to leave, the Gram Sabha will not be responsible for what happens to them.

The fact that such eviction from home or banishment is clear violation of the rule of law appears to be something that those in power fail to respond to, never mind that presently Himachal Pradesh is being governed by the Indian National Congress.

The video can be viewed here:

From Jodhpur, Rajasthan, an incident was reported where the members of the far-right Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal disrupted a Christian event, again over allegations of “religious conversions”. They forcefully entered the venue, St. Andrews Hall, and prompting organisers to cancel the event. The goons had also filed an FIR stating the same, accusing the Christians of conducting forced religious conversions. Pursuant to which, the police had also reached the spot. Again, the right to expression (Article 19) right to faith (Article 25) and Articles 14 and 21 (the right to life and equality before the law) are clearly violated. Trespass (section 441, IPC), criminal Intimidation (section 503,506 of the IPC) and use of force (section 350) are offences under criminal law too!

The video can be viewed here:

Stopping to another low, a news video has been causing uproar on social media wherein locals of Jagdalpur in Bastar, Chattisgarh stopped the burial of an elderly Adivasi woman, who they claim had converted to Christianity. Reports of stone pelting also came from the area. In the video, a large group of people can be heard sloganeering and fighting with the Adivasi group. Police can later be seen controlling the opposing mob. It has been reported that while, under the protection of police, the body of the deceased had been buried, the local are not giving up on this issue. It bears mentioning that all the fundamental rights of the Constitution mentioned above outlined above are clearly violated in this incident as well as also criminal law.

The video can be viewed here:

In the fifth instance reported, reported from Khorabar, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, the police stopped a Christian prayer meeting and arrested a pastor over allegations of “religious conversion”. It is being alleged that more than 50 women were being offered money and undergoing religious conversions.

The video can be viewed here: 


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