Christian Education

India’s Supreme Court rejects petition calling for surveillance of Christian missionaries

MUMBAI, India – Christians in India are breathing a sigh of relief after the country’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by Hindu Dharma Parishad (HDP) seeking the establishment of a council to oversee the activities of Christian missionaries.

The Hindu nationalist group claimed that “anti-social and anti-national elements” were forcibly converting people from Hinduism to other religions, including Christianity, and that Christian missionaries should be monitored to “strengthen unity, sovereignty and stability of India”.

About 80% of India’s 1.35 billion people are Hindus, with Christians making up just 2.3% of the population.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a Hindu nationalist agenda and often discriminates against religious minorities, who complain of increased harassment since the party took power in 2015.

Hindu nationalist groups often accuse Christian missionaries of “illegally” targeting poor and illiterate Hindus for conversion and claim that Christian charities – the Church is disproportionately represented in education, health and social services – are mainly used for furtive missionary actions.

While rejecting the latest petition, the Supreme Court of India ruled more for the “publicity interest” of the Hindu Dharma Parishad than for the public interest.

“You [the petitioner] actually disrupt harmony with these kinds of requests,” the court said.

Father Babu Joseph, a former spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said the Supreme Court’s decision was “commendable” and “upheld the constitution and its cherished values ​​of giving equal respect to all citizens of India”.

“The very petition filed by the HDP should be viewed with the utmost suspicion for its bad faith intent to target the Christian community under the guise of religious conversion,” the priest said. Node.

“It appears that some of these organizations, for what it’s worth, have been prowling around to go after Christian missionaries who have done immense good to Indians, especially those pushed to the margins of society,” he said. he declared.

Is bringing dignity and honor to those who have been oppressed by an unjust social system a crime? They are doing what they have done is out of a genuine belief in the value of human life,” Babu continued.

“A dignified life is unfortunately still a distant dream for some of our brothers and sisters in our country. This needs to change and organizations like HDP would do well to focus on raising social awareness among people to achieve human equality.