Churches threaten protest if ‘home coming’ programs not banned


All the heads of churches would soon hold a meeting and take up the issue of conversions at the national level.

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Amritsar: Churches in Amritsar have threatened to take to streets if the government doesn’t impose a ban on the practice of ‘ghar wapsi’ started by the right-wing forces.

Church of North India, Roman Catholic Church and the Salvation Army Church have also declared to take legal action against communal forces trying to convert the people forcibly.
In a joint press conference by Diocese of Amritsar Church of North India, Jalandhar diocese of the Catholic Church and the Salvation Army Church, P K Samantaroy, bishop of Amritsar and moderator Church of North India, said Narendra Modi should give a clear-cut statement on the “ghar wapsi” program of RSS and tell the nation why the government has not been able to stop “forcible” conversions.
“Keeping silent on such a sensitive issue construes his silent approval,” he said.
Samantaroy added that all the heads of churches would soon hold a meeting and take up the issue of conversions at the national level.
“We will also write to chief ministers and governors of all the states regarding truth of reconversion programmes,” he said.
He alleged that communal organizations like RSS, Dharam Jagran Manch and Vishwa Hindu Parishad were carrying out forcible conversions through coercion in the name of “ghar wapsi” to meet their political ends, which may benefit some vested interests, especially in the ruling party.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Catholic church in Jalandhar alleged that conversions was merely a tool in the hands of communal and fundamentalists forces to divide the dalit communities to indulge in communal violence for their political gains.
Divisional Commander of Salvation Army Church Major Manuel Masih said there were many dalit families in which half of the family members were Mazhbi Sikhs and the other half were Christians and the same was true in case of Balmikis.
Fr. John of the Catholic Chruch said that religion was adopted by the inner voice and not under any external pressure or monetary allurements.
Director of Socio Economy Development Programme, Diocese of Amritsar, Daniel B Das said, “We all are Indians and we never left home. So, there is no question of ‘ghar wapsi’.”
Samantaroy demanded that “ghar wapsi” programs be banned, failing which the Christian community will be forced to take to the streets.

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