Church members in Bengaluru seek police protection to sing carols

The memorandum comes in the wake of two recent incidents where Hindutva outfits protested against church members for organising prayers, alleging conversion

December 01, 2022 04:08 pm | Updated 04:08 pm IST - Bengaluru

Devotees attend new year prayers, at St. Marys Basilica Church, Shivajinagar, in Bengaluru. file photo

Devotees attend new year prayers, at St. Marys Basilica Church, Shivajinagar, in Bengaluru. file photo | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

Members of Akhila Bharatha Christha Mahasabha submitted a memorandum to the Director General and Inspector General of Police seeking protection for the peaceful celebration of Christmas.

A delegation led by Prajwal Swamy S, founder member of the Mahasabha, requested the state police chief to provide security cover to churches across the State during the festive season, as the members fear they will be under attack.

"Since the enactment of the anti-conversion law, the Christian community is reeling under attacks and facing criminal charges. The community across the globe will celebrate Christmas from December 1 till new year, singing carols and conducting special prayers as customary practices. However, considering the present situation, Christians are apprehensive of participating in carol singing and visiting the houses of church members during night for good wishes as they may face attacks . Hence, we request the Director General and Inspector General of Police to issue necessary directions to the district police heads and jurisdictional police stations to ensure necessary protection to help the community to celebrate the festival peacefully," Mr. Swamy said.

He cited two recent incidents that occurred in Channapatna and Maddur where Hindutva organisations protested against the members for organising prayers and later filed a complaint with the police.

“This is the first time such a memorandum has been submitted by us seeking protection for celebrate our festival,” Pastor Ramesh J Keng, of Bangalore Bethel Ministry Church said. Singing carol and conducting prayers is not about conversion, it’s about spreading the message of peace, he said, adding that since a few months, things have drastically changed and the community members are under threat. “This is a sad development. Seeking police protection to celebrate a festival is not a welcome sign,” he said.

The delegation could not meet the DG and IGP and submitted the memorandum to the Public Relations Officer .

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