Nuns, pastor and Christians arrested in India for "forced conversions"

“The incident took place in Mau, a district in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Around noon, a mob of extremists attacked a group of Christians gathered for the Sunday celebration. "

On Sunday October 10, seven Christians were arrested in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Among them, Pastor Abraham Shakil. They are accused of having recourse to the practice of "forced conversions". Taken to the police station, they were joined by two nuns, arrested for the same reason, while they were waiting for the bus to visit a sick person.

The seven Christians were forcibly taken to the police station by members of the radical Hindu groups Bajrang Dal and Hindu Yuva Vahini. Radheshyam Singh, a Hindu, filed a complaint. He accuses them of not respecting the health measures linked to Covid-19, but also of "being involved in the conversion of other people to Christianity by illicit means such as the provision of labor and money. ".

Father Anand Mathew of the Indian Missionary Society explains the facts toAsia News.

“The incident took place in Mau, a district in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Around noon, a mob of extremists attacked a group of Christians gathered for the Sunday celebration. "

The nuns, Sister Gracy Monteiro and Sister Roshni Minj, were at a bus stop when they were taken to task by the police. They wanted to go to the bedside of the father of one of them, who was ill. While asking for information on the route, they were verbally assaulted and taken to the police station where the other seven Christians were. They would have stayed there for 18 hours.

Sister Monteiro ensures that she does not resort to forced conversions.

“We were shocked when we were taken to the police station on the pretext that we were part of a Christian community involved in forced religious conversions. This is completely wrong. "

Father Anand Mathew denounces "attacks based on pretexts to harass and abuse Christians".

For Sajan K. George, president of the World Council of Indian Christians, "the fact that nuns have also been targeted testifies to a new grim development in the current wave of anti-Christian persecution."

“In the current political climate in India, wearing religious dress means being labeled a 'target' or 'agent of conversion' by right-wing vigilantes. Last March, in Uttar Pradesh, two nuns were forced to get off a train. […] The new local anti-conversion law is a tool for political abuses that aim to stir up feelings of hatred against the small Christian community for electoral purposes in view of the 2022 elections. ”

Uttar Pradesh has 230 million inhabitants, including a small minority of Christians, around 350.

MC

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