The Government of the Indian state of Karnataka wants to conduct a survey to identify all missionaries, staff, and Christian buildings in the region
Newsroom – India (October 24, 2021, 10:20 PM, Gaudium Press) The Indian state of Karnataka has recently ordered a census of missionaries, employees working for the Church, and places that are under the administration of the Church.
Such an order does not fail to raise concern and fear among Christians. Monsignor Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, wonders “Why is the government interested in a survey of religious and places of worship exclusively of the Christian community?”
The Archbishop considers it a useless and dangerous measure. Useless, because all activities are carried out in the open. No activity is done in a sly manner. Dangerous, because the anti-religious sentiment in the region is getting worse and worse towards Christians.
Bishop Machado stated that places of worship as well as people “will be identified and can be targeted”. And he evoked events that happened in the north of the country.
The request seems superfluous since the activities of the Church and its institutions are well known. For the Christian authorities, the aim of the survey is to isolate and persecute religious minorities.
In fact, Monsignor Peter Machado’s concerns are justified thanks to the current situation in the country. Recently the government, with a Hindu majority, wanted to pass a law prohibiting conversions and condemning those who take part in them.
So far, eight Indian states have adopted the new law. Acts committed against the freedom of worship of Christians in India are not uncommon.
A few weeks ago, two nuns and several other believers were arrested and accused of promoting conversions. It is also common for Hindu extremists to attack and expel Christians from their villages and homes.
India is a majority Hindu country. Hinduism represents 84% of the population, while Muslims are 13% and only 2% are Christian. (FM)
Compiled by Sarah Gangl