Church refutes conversion charge

A forum in Gujarat had claimed that 32 dalit children were proselytized by a Catholic Church in Khambat.
Posted on March 29, 2012, 5:56 PM



The Church in Gujarat has termed a probe into proselytization charge against it as “intimidatory and harassing” tactics by the state government.

A forum for Peace and Justice based in Petlad town of Anand district had alleged that 32 minor dalit children were converted into Christianity by a Roman Catholic Church at Khambat taluka.

Father Cedric Prakash, convenor Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace described the charges as “baseless, misleading and mischievous,”.

He said the forum was referring to the ceremony where some Catholic children were conferred sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation at the Khambat church.

Forum coordinator Dharmendra Rathod had claimed that on January 2, 17 minors were converted to Christianity at Roman Catholic Church of Nagra and on February 12 nearly 15 other minor children were converted at the denomination’s Church in Cambay.

He alleged that the schedule caste children, who belonged to the weavers’ community, were converted without their parents’ knowledge.

However, three church officials including Frs. Andrews Silvera, Vinay and Piyush from the Cambay church have rubbished the claims.

“All the children whose names have been mentioned are Christians by birth so there is no question of conversion. Their parents were present during a ceremony that was held,”said Fr Silvera.

He said they have made their statements to the police on Tuesday.

“This is another clear instance of how minorities in Gujarat continue to be intimidated and harassed by right-wing forces in nexus with powerful vested interests,” said Fr Prakash.

Source: Press release
Conversion , Indian Constitution , Vishwa Hindu Parishad


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