NEW DELHI: A practicing Christian from Bengaluru has approached the Supreme Court for introduction of the anti -conversion law in India, claiming conversion is a kind of cultural terrorism which preys upon indigenous people and their culture.
He said there was an urgent need to control fraudulent religious conversion and religious conversion by intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits in violation of Articles 14, 21, 25 of the Constitution.
Alternatively, petitioner Jerome Anto asked the court to direct the Law Commission of India to prepare Report as well as a Bill to control 'Deceitful Religious Conversion' within three months in spirit of Articles 14, 21 and 25.
"There is not even one district which is free of religious conversion by 'hook and crook and the carrot and the stick'. Incidents are reported every week throughout the country where conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts/monetary benefits and also using black magic, superstition, miracles but Centre has not taken stringent steps to stop this menace," his plea filed through advocate Bharti Tyagi claimed.
In his PIL, Anto said, "I have understood that conversion is a kind of cultural terrorism which will prey upon indigenous people and their culture. Christianity’s main aim is to demolish beliefs and impose the Abrahamic law which aims at controlling the people through the fear of God. It has been a weapon used to conquer and subdue people and demand religious allegiance. The consequence being that allegiance to religion will lead to arbitrary control of the people by the leaders of the Church. Today, conversion is a menace which is by design and a mandate as per the Bible."
The petitioner claimed missionaries are using inducements to convert tribals from their faith.
"The missionaries advise the new converts to give up the worship of their deities. Their participation in traditional religion-cultural celebration has declined. Most missionaries say: 'You cannot worship two gods; you cannot be a Hindu as well as a Christian'.
The missionaries insist that if one becomes a Christian then that person must not participate in Hindu festivals or worships. This creates friction at village and family levels. Sometimes, certain families stop contributing /participating in tribal festivals. Such behavior of a few, in small village household isolates them and ruptures social fabric," he claimed.
The petitioner also claimed evidence of deceitful religious conversion can be accessed through social media, primarily on YouTube and Facebook.
The Foreign-funded individuals and NGOs are provided with a road maand a monthly target about the number of religious conversions that shall be carried out.
"In the present world there is not even a single secular country in which Muslims are in majority. The division of India took place in 1947 only on the basis of Islamic religion. Both Muslims and Christians always remain involved in increasing the strength and population of their religion in order to change the demography of the country in which they are residing as in the last when they turn in majority can convert that country into an Islamic or Christian country," the plea claimed.
Anto made the following prayers:
** take steps to confiscate benami properties & disproportionate assets of person & institutions involved in fraudulent religious conversion;
** review FCRA Rules for foreign funded NGOs and individuals;
** take stringent steps to control funding through Hawala and FCRA;
** review Audit Guidelines for foreign funded NGOs and individuals;
** review VISA Rules for religious preachers & foreigner missionaries;
** call upon the Law Commission of India to suggest suitable Legislation and Guidelines to check unlawful fraudulent religious conversion;
** direct and declare that Section 31 Cr.PC shall not apply to the provisions relating to unlawful fraudulent religious conversion and, Sentence shall be Consecutive, not concurrent.