National Commission for SC takes note of rampant Christian conversion in Andhra Pradesh

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh seeking a report regarding the action taken against the forceful conversions targeting the Scheduled Caste (SC) community in the state.

In January 2020, the Hindu legal-activist group – Legal Rights Protection Forum and SC-ST Rights Forum, a non-profit legal activism organisation that works for Dalit rights, had written a letter to National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) over rampant forced conversions activities by the Christian missionaries and Church.

In the complaint letter, the Hindu activist groups had alleged that the Churches have been targeting people belonging to the Scheduled Caste community in the state and had contended that there has been a misuse of reservations for the Scheduled Caste community. The group had sought a Fact-Finding Committee for remedial action.

According to the report by Commune, in the complaint written by the activist group, they had said the large scale religious conversions are leading to social strife, law and order issues in the villages, and families are getting torn apart.

The letter stated that the situation is such that the term “Scheduled Castes” and “Christians” have become synonymous. Citing an RTI query about the selection of beneficiaries for the Andhra government’s scheme “Chandranna Christmas Kanuka”, the complainant said that the government officials in Andhra Pradesh had said that they consider the entire SC population as Christians even as the scheme is meant only for Christians.

The complainant also pointed out the anomaly in the demographic data of the number of Christians in the state based on the report titled “What happened to the Christians of Andhra Pradesh?” published by the Centre for Policy Studies. The data showed a sharp decline in those who declared their religion as Christianity between 1971 and 2011.

According to the complainant, even though they practise Christianity, the Christians are obtaining Hindu caste certificates to take advantage of the reservation benefits. The activist group said that Christian missionaries indulge in aggressive proselytisation and incite the Scheduled Caste people towards secessionism by forcing the converts into swearing loyalty to extra-constitutional and extra-territorial religious heads.

In response to the complaint, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken cognizance of the letter and has assured to look into the matter and take necessary action against the rampant conversion activities by the church in Andhra Pradesh.

The NCSC has asked the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh to submit a report on the action taken against the large scale conversion activities in the state in the next 15 days.

Source : OpIndia

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