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Karnataka govt’s move to carry out surveys of churches, missionaries ‘unnecessary’: Archbishop Rev Dr Peter Machado

Prime News, National, Karnataka, Religion, Politics, Bengaluru, October 18:- The Archbishop of Karnataka, Rev Dr Peter Machado on Sunday (October 18) termed the state government’s move to carry out surveys of churches and Christian missionaries to find out about forced religious conversions as ‘unnecessary.’

Rev Dr Machado said that the government should take action as per the law of the land if there are instances of forced religious conversions. He was speaking to ANI.
“This move to carry out surveys of churches and Christian missionaries is unnecessary, it is not good. I am against forced religious conversions. The government should take action as per the law of the land if there are instances of forced religious conversions,” he said.
Rev Dr Machado said that isolated incidents of forced religious conversions should not be used to show the entire community in a negative light.
“We are all peaceful, law-abiding citizens. The government can check the hospitals, schools and other institutions being run by us and find out if any forced conversions are taking place there. If there are indeed a lot of conversions, our numbers should have increased. The government carries out the census. But instead, our numbers are declining year by year. Also, if they carry out the survey, some unlawful elements can try taking advantage of it and harass us,” he added.
Rev Dr Machado, however, did not rule out the possibility of the existence of illegal churches. “There could be some illegal churches. It is because the government has made it extremely difficult for groups to open a church, get land or permission for it. Even I am aiming to open one, but I was told by police that Rs 58 lakh have to be paid for sanction of the church. Also, there is a lot of taxes. So in this situation, it is possible that some get discouraged and start using shortcuts,” he said.
On October 16, while talking to ANI, Goolihatti D Shekar, MLA and Member of Legislative Committee on Backward Classes and Minority Welfare said that district officials have been asked to submit a report on unauthorised churches and bible societies within a month.
He said that one of the members of the committee has showcased a Bible which is in Lambadi language and Kannada fonts.
“There are around 1790 churches across the state. We have asked the district officials to find out how many of them are unauthorised and illegally established. As per the Home Department, 36 cases of forced religious conversions have been registered across the state,” he added. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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