According to report published by The Economic Times (ET), the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has prompted many Afghan and Rohingya Muslim refugees to convert to Christianity so as to become eligible for Indian citizenship, central agencies have alerted the Government, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The agencies have flagged nearly 25 such cases of Afghan Muslims converting to Christianity as part of an ongoing assessment, they said.
Adib Ahmed Maxwell, who heads an Afghan church in south Delhi, told ET: “Post CAA, there has been a spurt in the number of Afghan Muslims wanting to convert to Christianity.”
Maxwell, 34, came to India at the age of 21. His parents follow Sunni Islam and live near Kabul in Afghanistan. “Most Afghans apply for asylum under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),” he said.
The report stated that, according to official data, there are 150,000-160,000 Afghan Muslims living in Delhi, mainly East of Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Ashok Nagar and Ashram. The community recently helped Indian agencies locate Afghan Sikh Nidan Singh Sachdeva, who was kidnapped by Taliban militants from Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan. Singh had gone to perform community service at a gurudwara in Afghanistan.
Besides, official estimates suggest there are nearly 40,000 Rohingya Muslims across India, with the highest number in Jammu and Kashmir. A large number of these migrants have been residing in India prior to 2012 and are now claiming to be from Bangladesh while taking up Christianity.
According to the Home Ministry, in the past six years, 4,000 people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been granted Indian citizenship. About 14,864 Bangladeshi nationals were also granted Indian citizenship after India incorporated more than 50 enclaves of Bangladesh into its territory following the boundary agreement with Bangladesh in 2014.