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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Pastor accused of conversions in house church: Telangana

A pastor has been accused of carrying out religious conversions of Hindus in Vanasthalipuram, Telangana. G.Chandra Mouli, a pastor at Jerusalem Church in Hasthinapuram at Vanasthalipuram, along with his wife went to their the house of one Jayamma to ‘pray’.

At that time a few persons from the group “Hindu Dharma Protectors” came there and confronted him. Subsequently, Chandra Mouli lodged a complaint at the Vanasthalipuram police station and a case under Sections 295(A), 323, and 506 of the IPC was registered.

The case is now under police investigation. The next day, activists from various organisations including BJP, RSS etc. protested at Vanasthalipuram police station accusing the police of remaining silent on rampant religious conversions by those spreading religious hate and sowing discord in society, and instead booking cases against those protesting such conversion activity.

It has been seen that church planting, including the use of house churches (private homes used to gather for worship), is one of the strategies used by Christian missionary organisations to aggressively proselytise their religion. The ‘prayer meetings’ held in such centres involve denigrating Hindu religion and practises such as murti puja, labelling it as ‘dark and satanic’, asking the believers to pray for ‘condemned souls’ of their Hindu neighbours and use of quack healing/fraud techniques or outright allurement to coerce people into converting.

As per Lok Sabha MP Raghu Raju, 25% of the population in Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have converted to Christianity but these numbers don’t reflect in official census as the neo-converts are coached to hide their Christian identity in order to fraudulently avail the Scheduled Caste reservation benefits in jobs, education and other government schemes. State governments like that of Jagan Reddy, himself a Christian, have been accused of accelerating conversions through a deluge of pro-Christian schemes and by turning a blind eye to anti-Hindu acts and the misappropriation of funds meant for poor Hindus.

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