A Hindu group Dharam Jagaran Samanvay Samiti (Religious awakening co-ordination committee), marched a fiery protest in the central Indian Madhya Pradesh state, Sagar town on November 10 against the Catholic missionaries for violating the restrict religion conversion law.
Bishop Anthony Chirayath of this town submitted a memorandum to district officials, the state chief minister and the governor seeking their intervention for the protection of Christians. According to the Bishop the “false and malicious campaign” must be ended up immediately, since they are not violating laws of converting Hindus.
The district has around five thousand Christians among its 2.3 million people. And the number of Christians has not increased during the past years still they are blamed of converting Hindus. Missionaries in the diocese are under pressure as villagers consider them offenders.
In fact, the trouble began in September of this year after government officials expelled a Catholic priest working in the orphanage and closed the twenty year old mission following a dispute over the land title.
According to other Christian leaders state is run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which wants to establish a Hindu only nation in India. About 300 cases of violence are recorded during the first six months of the year, said Shibu Thomas (founder of Persecution Relief).
On the other hand, Hindu activists accused authorities of Sagar district for not acting upon complaints against missionaries for violating the restricted religious conversions law. The warned that they would strike in front of a Catholic Church-run orphanage in the diocese if the administration failed to act within two weeks. According to the protesters, they were working for the government to keep a check on national law of religion conversion. Like Madhya Pradesh, other five states in India have laws that consider religious conversion illegal.