Chhattisgarh: House converted into a church, 25 tribals convert to Christianity

A shocking case of mass religious conversion has come to light from Chhattisgarh’s Bemetara area where more than 25 members of the tribal community converted to Christianity. As per reports, the religious conversions took place in houses built under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PM Housing Scheme). The Christian symbol ‘cross’ has been marked outside some of the houses.

Following the incident of mass religious conversion, several Hindu organisations expressed outrage and lodged a complaint with the administration. It is alleged that the tribals were converted with allurement as they were promised better healthcare and economic benefits. Notably, conversion by force or allurement is punishable by law.

According to media reports, the case pertains to the Khamhariya area of the Bemetara police station. The members of Hindu organisations discovered that five families from the Gond community, residing in Ward Number 13 had changed in terms of their worship practices and lifestyle. It was also noted that earlier these families used to go to Raipur for prayers. However, they have started visiting a house built under PM Awas Yojana which is near their own home.

It is alleged that all of them have converted this house into a church and hold daily prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. It is said that the converted families previously earned their livelihood through scrap dealing along with dancing and singing. Although their occupations are still traditional, they have all changed their lifestyle.

Hindi outlet Hari Bhoomi’s ground report reveals that those who converted to Christianity claim that going to church has helped a sick woman named Guddi. According to them, prayers at the church also helped them in increasing their income and overcoming addiction. As per Hari Bhoomi’s report, some of the individuals who have converted to Christianity are Lambha Sonvani, Basamund Jogi, Murli Jogi, and Devki Chhedaiya.

Earlier, all of them used to go to churches in cities like Durg, Raipur, Bhilai, and Kawardha for prayers. Later they turned a house built under the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme into a church. This is said to be the only ‘church’ in the entire tehsil area. Further, some books associated with the Christian faith, along with the symbol of the cross, were seen in this house.

The 25 people from five tribal families who have converted to Christianity claim that they haven’t got their caste certificates yet. They also claim that they haven’t received any benefit from government schemes. They believe that after converting, the loans they get are because of Jesus. With this money, they’ve paid for their car. They claim life has gotten better for them since they converted.

As soon as the case came to light, Hindu organisations demanded action against the group responsible for converting 25 members. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has also demanded the sealing of houses built under the PM Housing Scheme where cross symbols are present. Bemetara’s District Magistrate Ranveer Sharma has assured an investigation into the matter and appropriate action.

Source: OpIndia

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