Archbishop Machado opposes anti-conversion bill, survey of Christian institutions, missionaries

From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network

Bengaluru, Oct 25: Archbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese Most Rev Dr Peter Machado has strongly opposed the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government’s move to promulgate an anti-conversion bill in Karnataka and also the State Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Department’s order for conducting a survey of both official and non-official Christian missionaries, institutions and establishments functioning in Karnataka.

“We fail to understand the compelling need behind such a move,” said the Archbishop, who is also the President of Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council as also the All Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights.

Addressing media persons in Bengaluru on Monday, the Archbishop said: “The entire Christian community in Karnataka opposes the proposal in one voice and questions the need for such an exercise when sufficient laws and court directives are in place to monitor any aberration of the existing laws.”

The Archbishop said the State Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department has also directed its administration and police intelligence to conduct a survey of the religious personnel and places of worship, institutions and establishments only of the Christian community.

The Indian Constitution Article 25 very clearly says: "All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health." Further, Article 26 says that all denominations can manage their own affairs in matters of religion, he said pointing out that introducing any laws that would infringe the rights of the citizens, especially minority communities.

“The anti-conversion bill would become a tool for the fringe elements to take law into their own hands and vitiate the atmosphere with communal unrest in the otherwise peaceful State. Random and sporadic incidents should not be referred to the entire Christian Community in bad light,” he said.

Former Governor and Union Minister Margaret Alva, former minister K J George, former Mangaluru MLA J R Lobo, Fr Faustine Lobo and others were present.

Archbishop Machado said the State Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department’s compelling need to order a survey was difficult to understand. “If the Government so desires to have a survey let it do it. But why only Christian community is targeted and marked for this arbitrary, fallacious and illogical move? When all the relevant data is already available with the Central and the State Governments, why do we need yet another futile exercise? What is the motive that is driving them to do so?”

He pointed out that the Government is in possession of the actual census figures of the Christian community since independence. “If the allegations of rampant conversion across the State is true, why then the number has not increased beyond 1.87% as per the last census figures,” he asked.

“Thousands of schools, colleges and hospitals are run and managed by Christian Community across the State. Lakhs of students are graduating from these institutions year after year. Thousands of patients irrespective of caste, creed and colour receive the best medical attention from our hospitals and care centers,” he said challenging the Government prove that even one of them has ever been influenced, compelled or coerced to change his or her religion.

“If the Government is still bent on introducing ‘Anti-Conversion’ Bill, we are afraid it will only fall into the hands of the undesirable elements and the fringe groups who will target the Christian community and attack our churches and institutions. It is sure to vitiate and bring in communal conflagration and disturb the peace in the society,” he warned.

The Archbishop took note of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s response to the media in recent days and said, “He has validated and granted a tacit sanction to ‘moral policing’ as a natural sequence that should be seen through the prism of ‘action and reaction’. This has only extolled and emboldened the fringe elements and self-styled vigilantes.”

After the Chief Minister’s remarks, the Archbishop said: “Attacks and persecutions have increased in undesirable proportions on the religious minorities in the State. Add to this, another tool of ‘Anti-conversion’ law will only make all hell break loose. We are witnessing the distressing results of such laws elsewhere in the country.”

“In view of this and many more factors, we passionately appeal to our Chief Minister to withdraw the Orders issued by the Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department, and the proposal to introduce ‘Anti-Conversion’ Bill and thereby preserve and contribute to the communal peace, tranquility and brotherhood, which is the hallmark of any progressive State,” he said.






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Comment on this article

  • Cynthia, Dk

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    Where are the religious people ? No one except Arch bishop who regularly raises his voice ? Othetwise, we have seen, many religious people commenting on the issues if any religious nun/priest stranded, or anyone gets award, or achieve higher education, higher post/ expired.... etc.....etc.....Here, only lay people raise their voice and fight for justice and counter argue with the brethern of other faiths.....

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • stanly, Bendoor

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    Most revered Archbishop Machado our support with you always. We are very grateful for your initiative.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • sense_Shetty, Mangalore

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    Why oppose? /if you are not converting then what is the problem ? The world is in conflict because of these western cults.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • sanjay pinto, udupi

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    oh shetre...the problem is that the bill will be misused like how TADA was used against Muslims? hope you understand...

    DisAgree [9] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pintam, Mangalore

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    Time to unite to all christian.we have to be bold for action and reaction. long back minister magarate alva suggested to form a united Christian forum.this reminds us when there was attack and destroyed Jesus statue at sisters of adoration monastery at falnir in Mangalore.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • SRJ, Mangalore

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    We all know what happened in North East.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ranjan, Bangalore

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    After exploring all options on polarising politics & (economic.. poverty.. jobs are non issues. .. rains crop damages .. destruction of houses etc ..).... The ruling dispensation.....SOOn to run out of steam ... Next possibility....will be invasion from mars ...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    Our India is so special like its laws too.People shouted for Beef Ban ,its done Now anti conversion Law ,may be soon come .Anti conversion law is only in our country may be .Nowhere I heard.It is in Muslim countries ?Dont know.Actuelly choosing ones religion self is a Personal choice and right.Noone can force anyone .It is like during election in India ,they lure people with Saree ,or something else ,Is it allowed?should there also a law to be bring in.?Usually I dont know anyone who forces to convert to Romische catholic church Anyway ;but other try to change their religion .I dont want to name otherwise big shout will start.I find what Archbishop says is right.That will bring only problem with it.whether one does or not they will sa it is done ,like cows .

    DisAgree [5] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Arthur, Mangalore

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Is anybody keeping track of all the institutions BJP has subverted? State Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Department can be added to the list of institutions BJP has subverted. A department established to protect the rights of minorities is being used to harass minorities. BJP has created an Orwellian nightmare in Karnataka.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen, Mangalore

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Anti conversion law is to strengthen BD and VHP and justifying their ongoing church attacks. In the last one month alone there 12 incidents in Karnataka where these antisocial elements barged into the small churches and beaten women children and disrupted church services alleging conversion. If this law is passed there will be everyday such attacks and many of the church leaders may be have to go to jail and that gives immense sadistic pleasure to some people. I understand the govt want to make it non-bailable offence in lines with UP anti conversion that law that passed recently...

    DisAgree [17] Agree [61] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rev Dr.N.J.Samson, Bangalore

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Surveying the churches,is a mockery to the democry of this Nation.The Christian community in Karnataka and in india has done tremendous work,both in education, medical,our institutions have served the nation irrespective of caste creed, language and it is the right time to unite all the Christian community oppose the freedom of religion bill and bring back the people to worship whever they want.

    DisAgree [17] Agree [57] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manohar, Udupi

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    SMART if you can solve the PUZZLE --if original Vedic Saraswathi river is located in Southern Afganistan,, who are the original inhabitants of India. ????

    DisAgree [18] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manohar, Udupi

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Hitler did the same survey..........

    DisAgree [16] Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Crasta, Mangaluru/Bengaluru

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Does India want to follow the Pakistan model? Going by the happenings in Pakistan, the answer would definitely be a 'NO'. Until now, we were proud that we were the world's largest democracy (population-wise), but now, with the removal of Constitutional provisions & safeguards, we may very soon lose this proud tag. Let's hope that better sense prevails, and we move on towards greater inter-religious brotherhood, peace and prosperity.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Justin Lobo, Bangalore

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    It is better to the BJP to exercise the power given by the people in the state and beyond that don't vindicate Christian community for your political motive. We, you, all have witnessed Church attacks and Yeddy fell from the chair as rajnath pulled Yeddy's chair. Later on nobody have showed us the manufactured book by the fundoos the SATHYADARSHINI and the retired judge Summane Shekar's twisted commission report. We also know the D.C., Maheshwara Rao became a political tool and by knowing the guilt Maheshwara To was immediately transferred. We also know one DySp commited suicide.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh, Udupi

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    What happened to the one minister from Udupi?

    DisAgree [10] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Dsouza, Canada

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    God bless Modiji and Amith Shah for thier wisdom and knowledge towards Christianity and love for Jesus. 2000 years ago Jesus was crucified and buried and Jesus was risen from death. Now once again many attempts are made to crucify Jesus but Jesus is so powerful and loving. Jesus is kind and merciful. My prayers for those who is oppressing his followers. Surely god will bless them with more power and knowledge. We humans ar just a ash. In second money, power and pride will disappears but my dear Jesus hold our hands so tight and empower by to stand on solid rock without fear. Again those you hate christianity never think that we will hate you. Some point in time you will need us when you suffer in your life. Political parties come and go bu Christian remain be there end. God bless india

    DisAgree [15] Agree [50] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sachin Shetty, mangalore

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Christianity is the largest religion in the world and still they want to covert people. If someone wants to convert then its their wish, they should not be influenced by money etc.

    DisAgree [51] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Dsouza, Canada

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Sachin Shetty we Christian's dont convert people. It is people who experience christ in thier life accept Jesus. Accepting Jesus is not necessarily convertion but it is a way in walking the path of christ. Same like teaching Yoga to western countries in the intention of converting Christian to Hinduism but Christians countries dont dictate them not to accept religion of thier citizen choice. No one has a right to stop anyone when they decide to believe thier own choice. Who are we ? Just a temporary citizens of this globe. All we are born the same ways and die the same ways. Religion is fake but Jesus is real. All I am you to say Amen or OM.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jeet, Gurgaon

    Tue, Oct 26 2021

    God made you, you are not the maker of God.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • anthony, mangalore

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Karnataka has been the gateway for the BJP to the South. The experiments in UP are being replicated by the BJP Govt at the behest of the RSS. It will not be long before Karnataka will become the UP of the South. Nothing but Majority Appeasment with Minority Bashing. After all Christians are soft targets. We have seen what happened in 2008.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    I have seen from my own eyes non Christian flocking the churches in hundreds and voluntarily demanding to cornet to Christianity. Priests have ordered them to get letter from the court stating thier demand and wish to be fulfilled by the church. So, what is the validity of Nagpur law here?????. Beef ban, can not marry person of ones choice, can not practice faith of ones choice, is this democracy or dictorship?????…

    DisAgree [20] Agree [77] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishnu Vardhan, Bajpe

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    You may remove all statue of Jesus from India but you cannot remove Jesus from our heart

    DisAgree [27] Agree [106] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Thane

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    Abolish Cast System & all problems will be Solved ...

    DisAgree [17] Agree [82] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Mon, Oct 25 2021

    there is no caste system in India 1nly cast, & waste system prevails.😁😁😁hAhAhAhA.....,

    DisAgree [10] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

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