After it faced massive criticism for its proposed survey of Churches and Bible societies in the state, it is now being reported that the Karnataka government may put said survey on hold for now. According to news reports, the state government “is waiting for the verdict of the state High Court on a PIL in this regard”. The Committee on Welfare of Backward Classes and Minorities had proposed the contentious “survey” in response to allegations of “forced conversions” and had empowered the Deputy Commissioners to carry the survey out.
According to news reports, “only five of the 20 members of the Legislature Committee were present for the meeting on Wednesday and it could not take place for want of quorum” and the issue may now be discussed on Thursday. It has been reported that government officers “explained that the survey is not feasible as it goes against the Constitution”. Archbishop Peter Machado has maintained that this survey of Churches, as well as any anti conversion laws in the state will only empower radical mobs.
It is also crucial to note that Pope Francis will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Vatican this Saturday, October 30. A Modi-Francis meet will get eyeballs on the issue of persecution of Christians in many states in India. The Vatican is acutely aware of the human rights and freedom of faith situation in India. The proposed survey of churches in Karnataka has already made global news. The Archbishop of Bangalore, Peter Machado, had also warned that data leaked after such a survey was likely to fan further persecution at the hands of extremists.