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Varanasi
Monday, October 18, 2021

Conversion racket by Christian missionaries busted: Ayodhya, UP

A case of attempted mass conversion has been reported from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, in which officials and police conducted a raid at the suspect’s residence.

The incident has been reported from Chandpur village situated near the Prayagraj Highway in proximity to the Bikapur Nagar Panchayat area. The house, where a large number of people had gathered, was raided by Bikapur Deputy District Magistrate Anurag Prasad and CO Satyendra Bhushan along with a contingent of police officials.

Around 60 men and women had gathered there for ‘worship’ and were taken into custody for questioning. The number of women was more than that of the men. They belong to different local villages and are from SC communities.

Christian religious material and several mobile phones have been recovered. As per sources, the organizers of the meet were attempting to convert the large group of people. The house where the mass conversion was being attempted belongs to one Kesha Devi, a woman from Patupur who has also been taken in custody by police for further interrogation.

Similar cases of mass conversion through ‘prayer meetings’ have been reported from other parts of UP such as Azamgarh etc.

Last year, UP introduced a new anti-conversion law which is being misrepresented by the usual Hinduphobes in media and activist world. Incorrectly dubbed the ‘anti-Love Jihad law’, the new law aims to tackle the problem of mass conversion along with that of Grooming Jihad aka Love Jihad. As per Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021 (parts relevant to the present case have been highlighted in bold):  

SECTION 3 : No person shall convert or endeavour to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, nor shall any person abet, convince or conspire such conversion.

SECTION 2:

a.)“Allurement” means and includes offer of any temptation – (i) any gift, gratification, easy money or material benefit either in cash or kind. (ii) employment, free education in reputed school run by any religious body; or (iii) better lifestyle, divine displeasure or otherwise.

b.)“Coercion” means compelling an individual to act against his/her will by the use of psychological pressure or physical force… 

e.) “Fraudulent means” includes impersonation of any kind, impersonation by false name, surname, religious symbol or otherwise. 

        f.) “Mass conversion” means where two or more persons are converted…

j.) “Undue influence” means the unconscientious use by one person of his/her power or influence over another in order to persuade the other to act in accordance with the will of the person exercising such influence.

k.) “Unlawful conversion” means any conversion not in accordance with the law of the land.

Missionary Tactics

It is a common strategy of the missionary mafia to lure poor and vulnerable people into Christian prayer meetings, promising to cure them or solve their problems. Fake healings, exorcisms, fraudulent stories of change in fortune for converts, promises of heavenly afterlife are used to manipulate the targets. Gradually, promises of financial help, schooling for children etc. are made to induce conversions. Some Hindu symbolism like calling Jesus as paramatma might be used to allay suspicions.

Once a person becomes a regular at such meetings, they are brainwashed against Hindu Dharma (which is disparaged as ‘Satanical’, ‘worship of false gods’, ‘bound for hellfire’ etc) and their ancestral traditions and culture. If a critical mass of converts is obtained in a locality, they start pressurizing others around them, using both allurement and threats. The missionary mafia doesn’t hesitate to use underhanded means like foisting false SC/ST Act cases, targeted violence and objecting to Hindu festivals in Christian-majority areas.

Missionaries receive covert support from ‘secular’ parties, who unleash the administration machinery against any Hindu who protests. As their power on the state apparatus grows, the missionary mafia resort to outright fraud like abuse of SC quotas (converts retain their Hindu caste certificate), Christian-only schemes and naked bias in govt. appointments. The mafia is well-oiled through foreign funds routed via FCRA NGOs from Western nations. The same West provides cover fire to missionary activity by bullying Bharat using buzzwords like ‘religious freedom’, ‘minority rights’, ‘social justice’ etc.

Several cases of illegal religious conversions and syndicates running these rackets in an institutionalized manner have come to light lately. Both Christian and Islamic rackets are flourishing.

A couple of months ago, Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorism Squad had busted the massive conversion racket being operated by Mohammad Umar Gautam. Even an IAS officer was found to be involved in conversions. As part of the same investigation, Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui has also been arrested by the ATS; the racket run by Siddiqui and Umar is allegedly one of the biggest conversion rackets in the country and receives funds from Pakistan.

Such missionaries have cropped up in every nook and corner of the country and are attempting to convert socio-economically underprivileged Hindus, and in the case of Islamists, targeting Hindu girls through grooming jihad. The missionary menace has taken deep root in Punjab, AP, Telangana, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and is fast spreading all over the nation. Now Uttar Pradesh is also seeing an uptick in such activities.

An anti-conversion law must be passed at the national level, and Article 25 of the Constitution must be amended to put a stop to proselytization by Christian and Islamic missionaries.

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