Archbishop in Northern India Confronts False Claims of Forced Conversions
02/05/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – The Archbishop of India’s Uttar Pradesh state, Bishop Gerald John Mathias, his publicly denied the allegations of radical Hindu nationalists that Christians are committing forced conversions in his state. According to Crux, this statement by the Archbishop comes only days after a Hindu nationalist organization claimed they had discovered many instances of forced conversions.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) claimed that it had identified 30 places in eastern Uttar Pradesh were forced conversions by Christian missionaries were taking place. The VHP went on to say that they would lead a door to door campaign to “reconvert” individuals back to Hinduism.
Speaking to Crux, Bishop Mathias said, “I deny this report, that forced conversion is taking place in Uttar Pradesh or anywhere in India. Any conversion is voluntary, and everyone has the freedom to follow the religion of his own choice.”
“Christians in India have constitutional guarantees to practice our faith, share the Good News and the message of Christ, which is for all humanity,” Bishop Mathias continued. “This is not conversion nor is anyone forced.”
“Our churches and convention centers are open to everyone, all are welcome, we do not stop anyone coming to our churches,” Bishop Mathias added. “I categorically deny the false allegations of forced conversion.”
Radical Hindu nationalists often use false accusations of forced conversion to pass regulations restricting religious freedom or to justify attacks on India’s Christian minority. Unfortunately, these false allegations are often accepted by India’s police and governing authorities. This acceptance gives radicals a blank check in their anti-Christian activities.
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