Christians being targeted for ‘forced’ conversion, churches being desecrated, delegation tells NCM

The National Commission of Minorities assured the Christian community that they shared the same rights as the majority community in India

September 21, 2023 10:02 pm | Updated 10:02 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A nun at St. Francis De Sales Church at Hebbagodi in Bangalore where miscreants desecrated two statues placed in a grotto.

A nun at St. Francis De Sales Church at Hebbagodi in Bangalore where miscreants desecrated two statues placed in a grotto. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A delegation representing Christian community met the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), Iqbal Singh Lalpura, on Thursday and shared their grievance pertaining to false accusations of forced religious conversion, as well as attack on churches in Manipur along with other relevant concerns of the community.

The delegation from the Christian community included A.C. Michael, President of Federation of Catholic Associations of Archdiocese of Delhi and National Coordinator, United Christian Forum, Michael Williams, Siju Thomas, John Dayal and Tehmina Arora.

Among their major concerns, the community representatives pointed about attacks on churches in Manipur. They also expressed displeasure about police in various states slapping charges of forced conversion on members of the community. They also pointed out recent and frequent attacks on Christian institutions and shutting down of churches.

“There is very less data available on communal attacks against Christians in India,” the delegation added.

Responding to their grievances, Mr. Lalpura said that citizens of minority communities of India have all the rights that are available to the majority community, including the right to practice their religion.

“We have to be vigilant of any kind of discrimination against us. We would like to assure the United Christian Forum that we will support you and resolve your issues on a priority basis. The representation submitted by you will be properly enquired,” Mr. Lalpura added.

The Commission recommended the delegation to submit their cases of grievances to NCM for immediate redressal. The Commission assured of issuance of advisory and follow up action by seeking reports from the concerned authorities. It was also decided that the Commission will hold meetings with Christian and all other minority communities on a monthly basis.

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