07/03/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – In a recent article published by the Times of India, the VHP President of North Gujarat claimed that religious conversions to Christianity and Islam do major damage to Hinduism and the nationhood of India. This statement continues to perpetuate a false narrative that Christianity and Islam are foreign religions in India and must be controlled and regulated.
“Hindus need to be aware against religious conversion by various tactics,” Dilip Trivedi, VHP President of North Gujarat, told the Times of India. “Christian missionaries are converting Hindus in the name of social services while the Muslims are doing so in the name of Love Jihad. Conversion to Buddhism, Jainism or Sikh religion is not a conversion. One can change panth (sect) in Sanatan Hindu religion but converting to Islam or Christianity does major damage to the religion. Their idea of nationhood also changes with their conversion.”
Trivedi’s claim was made as a part of a Times of India article that reported on the number of religious conversion applications being fielded by the Gujarat State Government. In Gujarat, individuals looking to change their religion must seek permission from the state government prior to being allowed to change their religion.
Trivedi’s claim also perpetuates a false narrative often leveled against Christians and Muslims in India. Hindu nationalists claim that conversions to Islam and Christianity are widely being done by illegal means. These nationalists claim that Christians use social services and aid to allure unsuspecting Hindus into converting.
In response to this false narrative, several states in India have passed Freedom of Religion Acts which make religious conversion by allurement, force, or fraud illegal. Unfortunately, these laws are widely abused by Hindu radicals to harass Christian leaders or justify brutal assaults.
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