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Majority will become minority if religious conversions continue: What Allahabad HC said, slamming Christian congregations meant to convert poor Hindus, especially SC/ST

Justice Agarwal highlighted the constitutional mandate and noted that Article 25 of the Constitution of India guarantees freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion. However, it does not extend to the conversion of individuals from one faith to another.

On 1st July, while denying bail to one Kailash, the Allahabad High Court issued a stark warning suggesting that if the current trend of religious conversions during congregations continues without any intervention, the majority population of India could find itself in the minority. Kailash was accused of taking villagers from Hamirpur to a religious gathering in Delhi, where they were allegedly converted to Christianity under false promises of medical treatment.

He is facing charges under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section Sections 3/5(1) of the U.P. Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021. The observation was made by a single-judge bench led by Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal. OpIndia accessed copy of the judgment.

Details of the case against accused

As per the court documents, complainant Ramkali Prajapati’s brother Ramphal was taken by Kailash from Hamirpur to Delhi to attend a social gathering and ceremony of well-being. Several people from the village were taken to the event where they were converted to Christianity. Kailash had promised Ramkali that her brother, who is suffering from mental illness, would be treated and would return within a week. When Ramphal did not come back after a week, she asked Kailash about her brother but did not get a satisfactory answer after which she filed a complaint against Kailash.

Applicant’s counsel claimed Ramphal was never converted to Christianity and Kailash had nothing to do with the event. He accused Sonu Paster of holding those gatherings who are out on bail. However, the court found that the allegations against the accused were serious enough to deny bail. Notably, statements from various individuals indicated he was actively involved in taking people to such gatherings for conversion purposes.

During the hearing, the Additional Advocate General appearing for the State submitted that by holding such gatherings, many were being converted to Christianity by these persons who were being paid huge money. Further, he has invited the attention of this Court to the various statements of witnesses, wherein it has been stated that the applicant – Kailash had been taking away people from the village for converting them to Christianity, and for this act, he was being paid huge money.

‘If conversions continue, majority population will become minority’

The High Court emphasised that there is a need to immediately halt religious congregations where conversions take place. Justice Agarwal said, “If this process is allowed to be carried out, the majority population of this country would be in minority one day, and such religious congregation should be immediately stopped where the conversion is taking place and changing the religion of citizen of India.”

The court differentiated propagation and conversion.

Justice Agarwal highlighted the constitutional mandate and noted that Article 25 of the Constitution of India guarantees freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion. However, it does not extend to the conversion of individuals from one faith to another. The court suggested that the term “propagation” implies promoting one’s religion and not converting others.

Rampant conversions in Uttar Pradesh highlighted by High Court

The court further highlighted that there is a worrying trend of unlawful conversions particularly targeting individuals from Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, occurring at a rapid pace across Uttar Pradesh. The court said, “It has come into notice of this Court in several cases that unlawful activity of conversion of people of SC/ST castes and other castes including economically poor persons into Christianity is being done at rampant pace throughout the State of Uttar Pradesh.” Though the court said religious propagation is allowed, forced conversions undermine the very fabric of India’s constitutional freedoms.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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