10/14/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – Article 25 of India’s Constitution protects Indian citizens’ right to religious freedom. According to that article, Indian citizens have the “freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.” However, a recent statement by a BJP government official seems to contradict the rights protected by this article for Indian Christians.
Recently, Renuka Singh, the “in-charge” at the Ministry for Tribal Affairs, claimed that, “The anti-socials, supported by foreign funding, are luring the Hindu tribals in the name of good education and better health services to carry out conversions. All this is sad and offensive.”
The “anti-social” elements Singh mentioned in her speech was a clear reference to India’s Christian population. This statement represents only the most recent claim that India’s Christian community is engaged in a nationwide conspiracy to fraudulently convert Hindus to Christianity.
Speaking to Asia News, Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council for Indian Christians, condemned the false statement, saying, “The false propaganda of forced conversions is used on a regular basis by far-right forces. The groups that support Hindutva in Madhya Pradesh fabricate accusations of forced conversions.”
Radical Hindu nationalists often used the specter of mass religious conversions to pass laws and regulations that limit religious freedom. Indian Christians are falsely accused of conspiracies where poor Hindus are fraudulently converted to Christianity.
However, according to India’s own population data, the conspiracy of mass conversions to Christianity does not hold up. In 1951, the first census after independence, Christians made up only 2.3% of India’s overall population. According to the 2011 census, the most recent census data available, Christians still only make up 2.3% of the population.
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