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Religion (Page 3)

Man alleges forced conversion in Madikeri, Christian couple from Kerala booked Accused have been booked under IPC section 295 (A), remanded to judicial custody Police official said they have not received circular on Anti-Conversion Law On May 17, an ordinance on the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill (2021) or commonly known as Anti-Conversion Law came into effect, on the same day, a Christian couple was arrested by the Madikeri district police over allegations of forced religious conversion. Based on the complaint filed by a man, an FIR was lodged under IPC section 295 (A). The accused were produced before the court and sent to judicial custody. On Tuesday afternoon, chaos prevailed at Manchalli village of Madikeri district as members of the Bajrang Dal barged into a house belonging to a man named Paniyeravar A Mutha and questioned the motive of a Christian couple, who were inside the house. After arguments between the Christian couple and the right-wing group members, the couple was handed over to the Kutta police. Speaking on the issue, local Bajrang Dal leader Sajjan Ganapati told News9 that, he along with other members went to the spot after they received the information about forced religious

Karnataka state plans to bring in an ordinance after failing to steer an earlier bill outlawing religious conversions The Catholic Church in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has criticized the government for its attempts to keep the pot boiling on the contentious issue of religious conversions. The May 12 announcement by Law Minister J.C. Madhuswamy of the state government’s plan to usher in an emergency law to counter religious conversions and interfaith marriages by issuing an ordinance has alarmed Christians. The state's legislative assembly passed an anti-conversion bill — Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021 — last December but failed to present it in the upper house or legislative council for final sanction, perhaps because the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is one seat short of a majority there. An ordinance comes into effect with the signature and seal of the state's governor but has to be ratified by the elected legislative house within six months. “The pro-Hindu BJP wants to keep alive the bogey of conversions ahead of the crucial elections,” said J.A. Kanthraj, public relations officer of Bangalore Archdiocese, while referring to the local polls to be held in a couple of months followed by provincial assembly elections next year

USCIRF religious freedom report recommended designating India as "country of particular concern" Washington:  A Hindu body in Washington has called the USCIRF report on religious freedom a work of "Hinduphobic" commission members while Muslim and Christian groups hailed the observations made in it, demanding that the US declare India as a "country of particular concern". The US Commission for International Religious Freedom or USCIRF report recommended to the Biden Administration to designate India, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and 11 other nations as "countries of particular concern" in the context of religious freedom. The recommendations are not binding on the US government. HinduPACT, an initiative of the World Hindu Council of America, in a statement alleged that the USCIRF has been taken over by "Indophobic and Hinduphobic members". The American Muslim Institution (AMI) and its associate organisations applaud the USCIRF recommendation, saying religious freedom conditions in India "significantly worsened" in 2021. The Federation of Indian-American Christian Organisations and the Indian-American Muslim Council in separate statements reportedly applauded the USCIRF recommendation. During a special virtual congressional briefing, a day after the release of the report, USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava had alleged that Indian government officials were tolerating and engaging in religious persecution of Muslims and Christians with prolific mob violence. India has

While it awaits the school’s response, the government has directed all state block educational officers to monitor schools for religious teachings and issue notices The state government has issued a notice to Clarence High School in Richards Town in East Bengaluru to explain its decision to mandate teaching of the Bible. Considering complaints from parents and media reports, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education issued a notice to the school on Tuesday, with Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh confirming that the government will take confirming that the government will take action after the school’s response. The minister told a press conference on Tuesday that the school’s action is a violation of the Karnataka Education Act. “While issuing a No Objection Certificate to other board schools, we insist that they stick to the provisions of the act,” he said. Although minority educational institutions may get administrative relaxations, they are not allowed to teach religious books. “There will be no special provisions in the curriculum to teach or preach religious books in schools. All these were mentioned while issuing the No Objection Certificate,” Nagesh added. While it awaits the school’s response, the department has directed all state block educational officers to monitor schools

The arrests were made after a raid was carried out at a church in the Hariharganj area on the information provided by members of a Hindu organisation, it is learnt. Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh news, Uttar Pradesh Police, Religious conversions, unlawful religious conversion, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India News. All those arrested were later bailed out. The drive against bootleggers was also conducted on Friday night. (File) Twenty six persons were arrested on Friday for alleged illegal religious conversions in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district, police said. The arrests were made after a raid was carried out at a church in the Hariharganj area on the information provided by members of a Hindu organisation, it is learnt. Besides the anti-conversion law, the police also invoked charges of promoting enmity between two groups against the accused. “Those arrested, all men, were produced in a local court in Fatehpur. The court dropped anti-conversion charges since the complainant was not party to the alleged conversion as the case was filed by a Hindu organisation member. The court granted bail to nine persons while others were sent to jail,” said circle officer (city) Dinesh Chandra

A federation of Indian American Christian groups says it documented at least 761 incidents of violence against Christians, including lynching and armed assaults last year. It is recommended that the U.S. and European governments impose sanctions on officials who promote violence and exclusion of religious minorities. “The year 2021 has proven to be the most violent year for Christians in India,” said John Prabhudoss, the chairman of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America, at a press conference in Washington, D.C., this week. Prabhudoss said FIACONA documented and analyzed all the 761 incidents, adding that the number of anti-Christian attacks is likely to be much higher because most of the incidents are not reported. Christians and other minorities, he explained, do not trust the police, especially in rural areas. “The current hostile environment in India amplifies that distrust.” Prabhudoss added that a survey by FIACONA in states where the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is governing showed that 72% of Christians believe that the police will not protect their lives, liberty, property or their way of life. The report by FIACONA said India’s judiciary is also not viewed as being independent and impartial. “The higher courts in India have been passing judgments favoring

03/23/2022: The northern Indian province of Haryana has joined other pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state governments in passing a legislative bill criminalizing religious conversions. The Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2022, was adopted in the state legislative assembly amid protests and a walkout by Congress, the main opposition party, on March 22. The bill preventing religious conversions and interfaith marriages “through force, undue influence or allurement” has a provision of imprisonment of one to five years and a fine of not less than 100, 000 rupees (US$1,310) for the guilty persons. “There is no second opinion that the bill was passed to check the activities of so-called minority religions or groups in the state. The bill was uncalled for as there was a similar law in the state [preventing conversions],” said Father Felix Jones, who heads Delhi Archdiocese's Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue. Divine Word Father Jones told UCA News that “the bill will send a wrong message among minorities as there are possibilities of its misuse. People can use the law as a tool to settle their personal scores.”   The priest pointed out the already existing differences among Hindus and Muslims in the state on the issue of Friday

02/17/2022: Two days after a 20-feet Jesus statue was demolished by the Kolar district administration of Karnataka, Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, has alleged that it was pulled down in violation of court directives, and no written notice was served on persons concerned before the impending action. According to locals, the district administration accompanied by nearly 400 policemen reached Gokunte village – which is just two kilometres from Andhra Pradesh border – in the wee hours on Thursday, February 15, to pull down the statue which had been existing since 2004. Except for the four families in the village, which has a population of around 600, the rest in the village follow the Roman-Catholic faith. Machado alleged that the administration went ahead with the demolition despite the fact that the said land (of two acres) on which the statue stood belonged to a church, which had necessary documents to that effect. The demolition was carried out because the “local authorities considered them as not proper or incomplete”, he added. The archbishop also alleged that the demolition was carried out even though there was a stay order on the demolition from a trial court. “In spite of stay order and best efforts to help

02/13/22: Thousands of people cutting across religions have demanded the repeal of all anti-conversion laws in India. The demand comes ahead of February 14 when the Karnataka government plans to table the Anti-Conversion Bill in the state’s Upper House. Prominent signatories of the petition to the Indian president of India included among others Admiral L Ramdas, former Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Mallika Sarabhai, accomplished dancer and choreographer, Medha Patkar, social activist, Anand Patwardhan, film Maker and Mani Shankar Aiyar, former federal minister. They assert the new anti-conversion law is unnecessary, since the Indian Constitution has enough provisions to curtail fraudulent religious conversions. `Wherever the anti-conversion law, ironically officially called Freedom of Religion Act, was passed, it became a justification for the persecution of the minorities and other marginalized identities” the petitioners explain. They also say the attacks on the minorities has grown sharply in recent years since this law was used as a weapon targeting the dignity of Christians and Muslims particularly belonging to Adivasis, Dalits and women. The petition urged people to join the campaign to defend the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution and protect human rights of the minorities and other marginalized sections in India. The petition was initiated

(FIACONA NEWS SERVICE) Jan 31, 2022, New Delhi: Thousands of Hindu holy men who are attending the annual 47-day religious festival called Magh Mela have demanded that the Modi government make way for declaring India officially a Hindu nation-state by removing the word "secular" from the preamble to the Constitution of India. They also have resolved that the Modi government in Delhi must pass legislation that makes religious conversion of any Hindu to another faith is an act of treason, a crime deserving capital punishment reports Times of India. The conference is held during the 47 day festival on the banks of the Ganges river. The demand of the holy men, for whom Mr. Modi and his government have a great deal of respect, and whose support they need to stay in power, comes at a time when attacks against Christians are becoming a normal occurrence every day across India. The Hindu nationalists of the BJP party accuse the Christian families and pastors of converting the local people even if they hold a private prayer meeting at a home or at a church. Such prayer meetings are branded as conversion attempts and are subject to attacks and violence. The supporters of Mr. Modi's

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