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Christians not in favour of anti-conversion law: Archbishop Anil Couto

Conversion is a matter of choice and is guaranteed by the Constitution, he said.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | December 18, 2014 4:16:44 pm

Delhi Archbishop on Thursday said the Christian community was not in favour of any anti-conversion legislation and called the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaign of certain RSS-linked outfits a “threat” to peace and harmony.

“Conversion is a matter of choice and is guaranteed by the Constitution. Why do we need a separate bill for ensuring ‘Freedom of religion’ or banning conversions? Christians are not in favour of any such law,” Archbishop Anil Couto said in New Delhi.

“The fact that people are being offered Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards and other privileges within the domain of government adds to our fear that these elements enjoy patronage from certain quarters,” he said.

Under fire from Opposition parties for allowing RSS and its affiliates to push ahead with their conversion and “ghar wapsi” campaigns, the government had last week told Lok Sabha that it was in favour of anti-conversion laws in all states and at the Centre too.

Five states including Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha — currently have anti-conversion laws.

John Dayal, former National President, All India Catholic Union alleged that the proposal for a law against conversions was targeted at minorities.

He also said that the Christians are disappointed on the government’s move to ‘enforce’ Good Governance Day celebrations on December 25, when Christmas is celebrated.

The Delhi Archbishop said that they had submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Rajanath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “listing the discriminations” being faced by the Christian community across the country.

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