Catholic Priest Falsely Accused of Forced Conversions by Police in Northern India

11/14/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), a Catholic priest in India’s Uttar Pradesh state was falsely accused of engaging in forced religious conversions after he tried to help two nuns illegally detained by police last month. The priest has approached the state’s top court to receive anticipatory bail and believes the allegation is a clear case of harassment.

On October 10, two nuns were taken into police custody in the Mau District for allegedly violating the state’s anti-conversion law. The nuns were at a local bus stop when they were accosted by radical Hindu nationalists and take to a police station. The nuns were released on the same day because the accusations against they were easily proved false.

Father Bartholomis Minj rushed to the police station after hearing about the nuns being taken into custody. In his conversation with police, Father Minj told officers that he was the principal of St. Joseph School.

Later, Father Minj learned that a forced conversion complaint was registered by police against an unnamed school principal. Days later, an officer arrived at Father Minj’s home and interrogated him for over an hour.

I am planning to move the state’s top court to discharge me from the case I was not involved in anyway,” Father Minj told UCAN. “It is nothing but a clear case of harassment.

Hindu mobs storming churches and prayer halls, creating a ruckus and then summoning police alleging illegal religious conversions has become the general trend in India’s most populous state,” Father Minj said.

In his interview with UCAN, Father Minj said that radicals are “testing the waters” with their attacks and false allegations to see how far they can persecute local Christians. He fears that mainline churches and their institutions, like schools and hospitals, will soon be targeted by radicals.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected].

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