Harassment of Christians over forceful conversion allegations; prayers obstructed

In this month alone, February 2023, four-five such incidents have been reported in northern India, mainly Chhattisgarh, MP, UP and Jammu

attack on christians

Attacks on Christians and blaming them for ‘forced religious conversions’ has unfortunately become commonplace in many parts of the country. Many such incident have been reported in this month alone in states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Uttar Pradesh (UP) as well as Jammu and Kashmir. While MP and UP are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and both Jammu and Kashmir are union territories now, Chhattisgarh that has seen several attacks on Christians in past months is ruled by the Congress (INC).

In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, in an incident reported on February 7, some members of groups owing allegiance to Hindutva, reportedly barged into a home and stopped people from Christian community from praying whilst accusing them of forceful conversions



In Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, February 10, a Mahapanchayat, was organised where Ishan Anil Vaishnav, Hindutva far right leader, called for violence against Christians for allegedly ‘forced conversions. He said that no person conducting religious conversion will be allowed into this area.



In UP’s Badlapur in Jaunpur district, February 14, 16 Christians were arrested for alleged forced conversions. Hindu Gaurav Mahasabha’s President, Pramod Kumar Sharma informed the police that St Xavier’s school’s principal Thomas Joseph and Fr. Dinesh Maurya were conducting religious conversion at an event. The police fell in line and made arrests! The incident took place on February 12 and a police personnel, while speaking to media said that the accused were conducting religious conversion by allurement.



As reported on February 21, in Vijaypur, Jammu some Christians from Punjab were visiting their relative  when some Hindutva group members allegedly barged into the house and accused them of religious conversion

Another incident was reported from Murragaon in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker on February 7. An extremist Hindutva mob flogged members of the #Christian community over religious conversion allegations. Sunday prayers at church were stopped and the congregation members were beaten up. As per local news report, converted families from 10-12 nearby villages were brought together and beaten up and prevented from attending Sunday prayers.

One of the victims who was beaten up, Lakshman Gota, spoke to the media and said that after Sunday prayers he went to work. He said that a meeting was called and Gurwana community members were present and started beating people up and he was also dragged away from his work and beaten. He said this had happened for the first time and that earlier everyone was living peacefully.

Another villager from Manikpur, Ram Sahay Korram said that whatever happened was wrong and anyone can follow the religion they wish to and there should be no restrictions on that. He said that we are a peace loving community and if such incidents are happening it means that RSS is involved. “There is no doubt that when we are fighting amongst ourselves, RSS is responsible for this”.

The victims approached the District Collector and requested strict action in this matter.





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