Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Perceiving every event organised by any Christian institution as an attempt at religious conversions is wrong and unjust, said Rev Sam Francis and Bishop (Dr) David Pagare.
They were addressing a press conference organised by the United Christian Forum, Madhya Pradesh in the city on Thursday.
The event was organised against the backdrop of allegations that Christian schools and missionaries are involved in conversions in the state. Recently, a missionary school in the city was charged with trying to convert the students to Christianity.
“What is the problem if a person of another religion visits a Christian priest to seek his blessings or counsel? What is the issue if a follower of another religion participates in an event where the Bible’s teachings are explained? Why should it be seen as an attempt at religious conversion?,” they asked.
Francis and Pagare said that the Indian Constitution allows every citizen to attend the religious ceremonies of any religion and to meet any religious leader or priest.
They said that there are many sects among the Christians including Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals, Orthodox and Marthomas. They all worship Jesus Christ but have slightly different ways of worship. When people gather in churches, homes or other places for prayer, they are charged with trying to convert.
They said the Christian missionaries are running thousands of schools, hospitals, orphanages, old age homes and the like in the country. These institutions are meant for people of all faiths and castes and are not conversion centres.
The Christian community, they said, follows the Constitution of India and all laws and rules.