02/26/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), police in India’s Madhya Pradesh state have charged a nun with violating the state’s new anti-conversion law. Police filed the charges against the Christian after a Hindu teacher falsely accused the nun of attempting to allure her to Christianity.
On February 22, police charged Sister Bhagya, the principle of Sacred Heart Convent High School in Khajuraho, of violating the state’s anti-conversion law. The case against Sister Bhagya is based on a compliant by Ruby Singh, a Hindu teacher who was let go by Sacred Heart Convent High School last year during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Singh claims she was terminated because she refused Sister Bhagya’s pressure to convert to Christianity.
“It is absolutely a false charge,” Father Paul Varghese told UCAN. “Sister Bhagya is innocent and she is falsely accused by someone taking advantage of loopholes in the new anti-conversion law. The case is the result of her termination. The woman unsuccessfully staged a protest in front of the convent and school demanding to be reinstated.”
On January 9, the Madhya Pradesh state government enacted a new anti-conversion law. The law allows the state government to regulate all religious conversions and criminalizes fraudulent religious conversions.
In states where similar anti-conversion laws are enacted, including Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, they are widely abused. Radical Hindu nationalists falsely accuse Christians of forcefully converting individuals to Christianity to justify harassment and assault. Local police often overlook violence perpetrated against Christians due to false accusations of forced conversion.
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