In a major development on forced conversion, a Gujarat court sentenced a Christian pastor to 3 years imprisonment in a case related to forceful conversion. It is alleged that the pastor forced the 17-year-old minor girl and her family to convert to Christianity by blackmailing her to make her obscene photos viral.
Apparently, this is the first time in Gujarat that a pastor has been sentenced for forceful conversion. Apart from 3 years imprisonment, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the pastor.
As per media reports, the minor victim lives in the Amraiwadi area of Ahmedabad and is studying in class 11th. A woman living in her neighbourhood introduced the victim to the pastor. After developing an acquaintance, the minor went to church once along with the pastor.
Subsequently, the accused pastor Gulaban Parikhan Masih started brainwashing her. He used to tell the minor that there is no religion other than Christianity. He also started pressurising the minor to convert to Christianity. But this didn’t go well with the minor victim and she discontinued going to church.
Obscene photos were taken to blackmail her
Even after the victim stopped visiting the church, the accused pastor did not stop pursuing his evil intentions of forced conversion. He used to do video calls with the minor over her father’s phone. It was alleged that over the video call, the pastor used to blackmail the minor and ask her to take off her clothes and take obscene photos of herself. He was also forcing her to read the Bible.
It is alleged that the accused pastor Gulaban Masih used to send messages like ‘I love you’ to the minor victim. But when the minor refused to convert, he started threatening her. He used to blackmail her claiming to make her obscene photos viral.
The accused pastor also forced the family of the minor to convert by showing these indecent photos.
It was further alleged that pastor Masih sent 2 of his men to the victim’s house when she discontinued going to church. When his men saw the temple in the victim’s house, they said ‘There is Satan in it’. Subsequently, they took the temple out of the house along with the idol of God and broke it.
In its judgement, the court noted that in this case, the pastor has threatened to convert the minor girl by force. The court added that this criminal-minded pastor who misled society should be punished as an example.
Afterwards, the Ahmedabad Sessions Court sentenced the pastor Gulaban Masih to 3 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of 10 thousand rupees.