Chhattisgarh: Four pastors lure Hindu villagers to convert to Christianity, arrested

A video has gone viral on social media, wherein a group of non-Christians are seen being encouraged to convert to Christianity by pastors. The video, first shared by BJP leader Prabal Pratap Singh Judev, is believed to be from the Rajpur block division in the Balrampur district in Chhattisgarh.

According to reports, on Wednesday, November 23, in the dead of night, a group of four evangelists were attempting to persuade vulnerable and innocent Hindu villagers to embrace Christianity by offering various kinds of allurements such as money, medicines and the promise to revive their deceased family members.

When locals and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) members learnt of the incident, they went to the house where the illegal conversion was taking place, detained the four pastors, and handed them over to the police.

According to media reports, the incident occurred in the village of Paharkhadwa in the Rajpur district of Balrampur. More than two dozen Hindus were congregated inside a house on Wednesday night. As part of the conversion program, the villagers were offered money, medicines and various other facilities. They were guaranteed that their deceased family members would be revived within two days, and in exchange, they were urged to convert to Christianity.

A resident of the same hamlet, Rajesh Yadav, alerted the members of the Yuva Morcha and Vigilance Group about this. The programme was halted after a large number of people arrived at the location late at night. Later, the Rajpur police station was summoned, and the four accused, including a priest, were arrested. The police also recovered Christian literature from the house where the conversion program was underway.

The police, who have registered a case and begun an investigation, stated that the village was in chaos for some time after the occurrence.

In the video shared by BJP leader Prabal Pratap Singh Judev, several women and men are seen sitting on the ground while a man is seen addressing them.

Suddenly, some protestors storm into the residence and confront the facilitator. When they ask the facilitator to introduce himself and explain what’s going on, he begins bickering with the protestors. At this point, the villagers in the room respond by addressing the facilitator as a pastor.

The owner of the house where the conversion programme was held was also heard supporting the accused.

The BJP leader hailed the Dharma Sainiks for the prompt action taken against the evangelists. He has also declared the appointment of Dharma Sainiks in every hamlet, in addition to demanding harsh action from the administration against the culprits. Prabal Pratap, who has labelled the people involved in the conversion as heretics, has advised them to get themselves insured.

Anil Kujur, Shisan Vashil Tigga, Dharamlal Tiki, and Jeevit Lal Tiki are the names of the four evangelists named in the FIR. All of them have been charged under Section 295-A of the IPC. This event sparked outrage among Hindu organisations, which have sought harsh punishment for the accused. The members of various Hindu outfits have claimed that the man whose home was being used to conduct the conversion program is being pressurised to change his statement.

SDPO Ritesh Chaudhary has, meanwhile, assured the members of the Hindu outfits and locals that the perpetrators will be investigated and prosecuted.

Chhattisgarh has recently become a hotbed of forced religious conversions, wherein Christian missionaries lure susceptible and marginalised Hindus and other non-Christians with enticements like money, medical aid, education, food, clothes etc to bring them into their fold. Only last month, OpIndia, in a series of ground reports, exposed the nexus between the state government and Christian missionaries in land grab operations and the menace of forced religious conversion pervasive in the state.

Source: OpIndia

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