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All the bank accounts of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity have been frozen on the behest of the central government, according to various reports. The central authorities have issued orders to cease all transactions through these bank accounts across India, leaving 22,000 patients and people without any treatment and food. The news was also confirmed on Twitter by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who said, “Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in India! Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food and medicines. While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised(sic).” According to a report by ABP (a national news daily), officials of the Charity in Kolkata said that they were aware of the order but refused to comment on the matter. However, there has been no confirmation from the centre or the Home Ministry at this time.

India’s famed Emperor Ashoka was an ancient convert from Hinduism to Buddhism. He demonstrated that a person is NOT forced by others to convert from one religion to another. Today, “religious conversions are forced,” is the flawed premise of all anti-conversion laws of India. Who could have forced mighty Emperor Ashoka to change his religion? The Emperor’s famous religious conversion was his choice. His accomplishments are recognized both inside and outside India. In his book, The Outline of History (1920), H.G. Wells wrote, "Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star.” India is proud of its celebrated religious convert Emperor Ashoka’s famous religious conversion, which occurred about 2400 years ago, is proudly recorded in Indian history books and is taught in every Indian school. Between 268-332 BC, Ashoka the Great, an Emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent, except parts of the southernmost states of India. After a successful but bloody victory in the Kalinga (Odisha/Orissa) war in the year 260 BC, the realization of the extent of cruelty and

Read the story on New Delhi: Incidents of anti-Christian protests, ruckus, and misdemeanor perpetrated by rightwing Hindutva organizations were reported both on news outlets and across social media in the lead up to and on Christmas Day, across states. Uttar Pradesh 1. On Christmas eve, members reportedly belonging to the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and other rightwing groups set an effigy of Santa Claus on fire in the middle of a street in Agra while shouting “Santa Claus Murdabad”. According to a report in India Today, this was a protest against “using the ruse of Santa Claus during Christmas”. The main instigator appears to be one Ajju Chauhan, who reportedly said, “Santa [Claus] does not come bearing any gifts, his only goal is to convert the Hindus to Christianity. It’s not going to work anymore. Any attempt at conversion will not be allowed to succeed. If this is not stopped, then there will be agitations at missionary schools.” In 2015, Ajju Chauhan, whose real name is Avnindra Pratap Singh, and who was then a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, made headlines for organising a ‘ghar wapsi’ (return home) programme to convert ‘1,500 Muslim families’ to Hinduism. He was later reportedly sacked from the VHP

A Catholic church was vandalized in the southern Indian state of Karnataka even as lawmakers were debating the enactment of a law to prevent religious conversions. “A statue of Saint Anthony was found broken in St. Joseph Church in Bangalore Archdiocese on Dec. 23 morning,” said J.A. Kantharaj, archdiocesan public relations officer. “We have no clue who could be behind the attack,” he told UCA News, adding that the parish priest had already lodged a complaint with police who visited the church. St. Joseph Church is more than 150 years old and it is suspected that Hindu vigilantes may have been behind the attack as part of a well-orchestrated strategy to corner the Christian minority across Karnataka. Indian news agency ANI said a first information report has been registered by the rural police station against unknown persons for vandalizing Saint Anthony’s statue in Chickaballapur district, about 65 kilometers from state capital Bengaluru, known globally as the information technology capital of India. Of late, the southern state ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become one of the hotspots for anti-Christian violence, with Hindu groups accusing the minority community and its institutions of carrying out religious conversions. Karnataka has witnessed many churches and prayer houses

Read the story in SCROLL.IN The Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, will still need to be approved in the Legislative Council, where the BJP does not have a majority. Amid strong opposition, the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, was passed by the state Assembly on Thursday by a voice vote, NDTV reported. The anti-conversion Bill was approved by the state Cabinet on Monday and tabled in Assembly on Wednesday despite criticism from the Opposition. The Bill proposes maximum punishment of a jail term of 10 years for forcible religious conversion of women, minors and people from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. It says that “conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, fraud, undue influence, coercion, allurement or marriage’’ is prohibited. Even after the Bill’s passage in the Karnataka Assembly, it still needs to be approved by the state’s Legislative Council. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party does not have a majority in the 75-member Upper House. The BJP has 32 seats in the Legislative Council, Congress has 29, Janata Dal (Secular) 12 and there is one Independent candidate. Bill brought in by Congress: BJP During the discussion in the Assembly, Law Minister JC Madhu Swamy placed

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