The YSRCP MP Raghu Ramkrishna Raju made an explosive admission on a debate on Times Now where he admitted that the Christian missionaries in Andhra Pradesh are using money to carry out widespread religious conversions in the state.
I accept that large scale conversion happens in Andhra Pradesh, but it happens in other states too: Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, MP, YSRCP tells Padmaja Joshi on @thenewshour AGENDA. | #TirumalaTempleTargeted pic.twitter.com/LTLG6Prt2x— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) May 25, 2020
Raju asserted that the religious conversions in Andhra Pradesh were not a recent phenomenon after Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed the office of Chief Minister but that they continued to happen extensively across the state even before he became the chief minister. He also defended the rampant religious conversions in the state by claiming that such proselytisation was prevalent across the country and was not limited to Andhra Pradesh alone.
“Conversions are happening at many places in the country. It is the money power of the Christian missionaries that they are pumping in money from abroad to carry out their proselytising activities and strengthening their religion. This is happening throughout the country, what are we supposed to do?” said Raju while adding, “India is a secular country and we cannot stop what is happening.”
Raju further said, “In the night these folks(Christian missionaries) go about colonies and areas and preach their religion to the residents in a bid to get them converted. We cannot stop them. It is happening everywhere.” However, the MP added that the Andhra Pradesh state government is not supporting these conversions.
The debate was concerning the recent proposal put forth by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD) that manages India’s richest temple Tirumala in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, to auction as many as 50 immovable properties of the temple located in different states, creating a furore across the country and triggering protests from opposition parties and Hindu groups.
Andhra Government accused of encouraging conversion to Christianity
Last year, a damning report published in the Sunday Guardian held that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh was anti-Hindu and provided freebies to people to convert into Christianity. Experts raised their concerns regarding the spree of freebies doled out to the Christian communities by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government. The freebies were not only causing a loss of public money, but these appeasement schemes are also aimed at encouraging ordinary Andhra citizens to convert, reported Sunday Guardian.
According to the report, the rampant conversion drives in Andhra Pradesh had become a serious issue in the state, which may even take a violent turn if not stopped. The opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh right-wing activists have been accusing YS Jagan Reddy, a Christian that ever since he became the Chief Minister of Andhra, he has spent a huge amount on the Christian community services, with an eye on encouraging conversion activities.