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Karnataka Govt Mulling Law on Prohibiting 'Involuntary' Religious Conversions: State Home Min

Karnataka Home Minister said the Karnataka government has taken note of the issue. (Image: ANI)

Karnataka Home Minister said the Karnataka government has taken note of the issue. (Image: ANI)

Congress legislator and former minister KJ George raised objections to the allegations and asked not to generalise all churches.

The Karnataka government was considering enacting a law to prohibit “involuntary" religious conversions, said state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra in the legislative assembly on Tuesday. This statement came after legislators raised the “issue of increasing conversions in the state". Ruling BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekar, who was present in the assembly, said his mother had been “brainwashed" into converting to Christianity.

“Many in my constituency are being forced into religious conversions. In villages, people are taken to places of worship if they are ill. They are taken to churches and brainwashed. After going there, my mother was told not to put vermilion on her forehead, not to keep [Hindu] god’s idol at home. She listens to Christian songs now. It is embarrassing for the family. Many including Dalits and Muslims are being converted to Christianity. If they are questioned, they slap false cases including rape and atrocity," claimed Shekar, who is a BJP MLA from Hosadurga.

Another legislator KG Bopaiah also echoed the same claims and said, “Not just in his constituency but it’s happening across the state. We should have stringent laws like in Uttar Pradesh."

However, Congress legislator and former minister KJ George raised objections to the allegations. “You are generalising churches. It is not right to say churches are filing false rape cases. If you know of any particular church doing so, then mention that and action must be taken against them," said George.

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Speaking to the media later, Jnanendra said the Karnataka government has taken note of the issue. “In many villages, people are misusing the helplessness of the sick and poor and converting them. Forced conversions are all illegal. The MLA has said his mother was converted. The wife has been converted while the husband is Hindu. Similarly, this is reaching door-to-door and disrupting peace in homes and villages," he said.

“Similar to the law in other states, the government is looking at bringing a law to prohibit this," he added.

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first published:September 21, 2021, 18:18 IST