03/26/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, a Catholic nun falsely accused of violating Madhya Pradesh’s anti-conversion law was granted bail and released from jail earlier this week. Sister Baghya, a principle at a Christian high school, was falsely accused of attempting to forcefully convert a Hindu teacher who was terminated due to poor performance.
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 clear that Ruby Singh falsely implicated the principle, Sister Bhagya, by leveling allegations of forced conversion against her and her family,” Judge Atul Sreedharan said in announcing the court’s decision to grant Sister Bhagya bail. The court released Sister Bhagya on bail of 10,000 rupees and adjourned the case until April 7.
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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