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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Church accused of converting minors using intoxicating substances, police inaction alleged: AP

It is a well-known fact that the church has been aggressively involved in proselytization and conversion across Bharat. Its evangelisation in Andhra Pradesh has now crossed the line. The church has been accused of using intoxicating substances such as wine to convert children.

Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF), an organization fighting for the rights of indigenous people, has raised the issue. LRPF has written to NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) highlighting the case and the inaction of the police. It has asked the child rights body to direct the Andhra DGP (Director General of Police) to register an FIR (First Information Report) against the accused under relevant sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code), Juvenile Justice Act, and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

The incident has been reported from the Maravapalli village of Penukonda Mandal’s Ramapuram Panchayat in Andhra Pradesh. The villagers along with local Hindu organizations including Shiva Shakti karyakartas and Vishwa Hindu Parishad confronted the Church Pastor after they came to know that Hindu children were being used slyly by him.

“The Church targeted minor children to use them for its conversion agenda. It made them consume intoxicants after the pastor got them to the church through his sweet talk and allurement such as chocolates”, reports the local news channel Nijam Today. The channel spoke to the children as well as their parents. One of the children informed them about the strategy adopted by the pastor.

The channel highlighted that Hindu children were taken to the church for prayers without the knowledge of their parents. The children were lured using chocolates, biscuits, and other allurements. When the villagers learned about this, they warned the pastor not to undertake such activities.

However, the church did not change its ways as it wanted to convert Hindus by hook or crook. The pastor took them to the church where there were fed chocolates, biscuits, and cakes allegedly laced with intoxicants such as wine. They were caught red-handed by the locals and karyakartas of Hindu organizations when they were about to make the children consume wine.

The bottle along with small glasses into which the drink was poured were seized and handed over to the police. It must be highlighted that although the incident took place at the beginning of December, local police are yet to register a case against the church. Nijam Today questioned whether the samples of the intoxicant contained in the bottle and the contents of the drink served to the kids were sent for narcotics testing.

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