Jerome Anto, a Christin belonging to Roman Catholic Denomination, filed a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court seeking action against deceitful religious conversions done by other Christian denominations.
The Verdictum reported that in his petition, he said, "I have been a victim of multiple solicitations for conversion by other Christian denominations to abandon my way of Catholic Worship and adopt their way of worship. Some of the denominations that have approached me are the Protestants, Jehovah's Witness and the Church of Christ. They claim that we, the Roman Catholics, are worshipping Jesus wrongly and are Devil's disciples and will go to hell."
In his petition, he further said, "Due to inaction of Centre, many individuals, NGOs and institutions are involved in conversion of poor people to other religions by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits."
The petition has been filed under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking appropriate directions and stringent steps against the fraudulent religious conversion by intimidation, threatening, and deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits, offending Articles 14, 21, and 25 of the Constitution.
Jerome Anto stated in his petition that the incidents are reported every week throughout the country where conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits, and also using black magic, superstition, and miracles, but the Centre has not taken stringent steps to stop this menace.
In his petition, the petitioner added, "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 the village and family levels. … Christian evangelists insult Hindu saints and gods through leaflets published by evangelical groups."
The petitioner stated, “Practices adopted by Christian organizations to convert are (i) By opening orphanages, (ii) By giving loans, (iii) By Missionaries schools, (iv) By hospitals and other charity works, (v) By arranging International and National seminar in the name of Environment protection for human right protection, (vi) By using social, electronic or print media, (vii) By impersonation and adopting Hindu cultural activities for Bible and Yeshu such as Isa Bhagwat, Isa bhajan etc.”
During an earlier hearing, the Court had observed that the purpose of charity should not be conversion. The petition will be heard on February 7,2023.