UP Cops Halt Church Prayer After Hindu Groups Allege Conversion
The Hindu group suspected that the presence of 11 Americans indicated that a conversion was underway.
A prayer meet being attended by 150 people was stopped by the police in an Uttar Pradesh church on Friday after right-wing Hindu Yuva Vahini complained the event was for a religious conversion, as Hindustan Times reported.
There were 11 American tourists also present in the congregation when the incident took place.
The youth group was set up by the chief minister in 2002 and it filed a complaint against Yohannan Adam, the pastor at the Dathauli church in Maharajganj district.
They accused him of converting Hindus to Christianity under the garb of a religious event, an allegation the pastor denied.
No prior permission was taken before the meeting. We stopped the meet after a complaint was registered. A probe is underway and appropriate action will be taken if the charges are correct.Anand Kumar Gupta, Police Officer
The tourists were allowed to leave after police checked their documents.
Krishna Nanda, a Hindu Yuva Vahini leader surrounded the church with his supporters on Friday afternoon.
The presence of US nationals indicates that innocent and illiterate Hindus were being converted by the missionaries, who lured them with money to change their religion.
After police promised a probe, the crowd dispersed, though Nandan was dissatisfied that the Americans were allowed to leave. Church authorities have dismissed all allegations.
The charges are absolutely baseless. The people were attending a prayer meeting voluntarily. We prayed. Nothing else was done.Yohannan Adam, Pastor
The Hindu right-wing has been hostile towards Christian missionaries, accusing them of forcefully converting Hindus through coercion.
Multiple Hindu organisations have conducted “ghar wapsi” of such people, which is a term used for re-conversion to Hinduism.
Earlier in the year, Hindu Yuva Vahini members attacked Gorakhpur’s Full Gospel Church, accusing it of religious conversion.
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