Christian protest in Karnataka, India
Barnabas Fund, 26 October 2021 (excerpts)
Hundreds of Christians staged a demonstration on 25 October in Hubballi, Karnataka state, India in protest at the state’s proposed anti-conversion law and a recent attack on a church.
Hindutva extremists had forcibly entered a church there on Sunday 17 October to protest against alleged forced religious conversions. Some members of the congregation, including the pastor, sustained injuries in the incident.
The march by Christians began at St Peter’s Church and culminated at a well-known landmark and roundabout in the city centre, where a demonstration was held. Finally, the protesters proceeded to demonstrate outside government buildings.
Sunil Mahade, the local president of the Christian Pastors and Leaders’ Alliance for Peace March, addressed the gathering, saying that there was no evidence to support unfounded accusations of forced conversions levelled at Christians. It is common in India for Christians involved in legitimate evangelism to be falsely accused of forcing individuals to convert to Christianity.
“We are Indians and we lead our lives according to the Constitution. Don’t make baseless allegations against us and victimise us,” he affirmed. He also challenged the validity of a survey announced by the government of Karnataka into Christian activity designed to prevent allegedly forced conversions to Christianity.