Christian prayer meetings under police scrutiny
Barnabas Fund, 8 January 2021
Indian police in Uttar Pradesh State have been instructed to keep a watch on prayer meetings after 5 Christians were accused of trying to “unlawfully” convert people to Christianity.
The order was issued by a regional police superintendent after five Christians were brought to authorities by members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hard-line Hindu group.
The new anti-conversion law prohibits “conversion of religion through: force, misrepresentation, undue influence, and allurement, or fraud, or marriage”.
The instructions given to police stations were to be aware of prayer meetings in their area and to “act strictly when they are completely sure that conversion is taking place in the garb of prayer”.
Local church leader Harold D’Cuhna said that normal charitable activities of the church are being misconstrued as “allurement to conversion”.
The regional police superintendent also referred to two other cases of “unlawful” conversion in which the accused were Muslims. The implication was that Muslim prayer meetings could be watched by the police as well.