Mangaluru, Nov 19: A delegation of All Christian denominations visited the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office on Friday November 19 and submitted a memorandum against the proposed anti-conversion bill.

The memorandum said that the Christian community opposes the proposed anti-conversion bill. “What is need to introduce the law? It is wrong to blame the entire Christian community due to one or two incidents.

“The concerned department has issued an order to survey Christian missionaries and churches. What was the need of the survey? The church details are already with the government. Why do they have to conduct survey again? Those who allege about conversion can look into the details to know the reality.

“If conversion is true, then the Christian community would have been in majority by now. Today, our population is just 1.8%.

“The Christian community is involved in several social service works like running educational institutions and hospitals. Let them prove that the Christian community is involved in conversion. We are deeply hurt by the allegations made against the Christian community over conversion. We demand to withdraw the anti-conversion bill,” said the memorandum.

Fr J B Saldanha, PRO & Spiritual Director, Catholic Sabha, diocese of Mangalore said, “The entire Christian Community in Mangalore opposes the proposal of Anti-Conversion Bill in one voice and questions the need for such an exercise when sufficient laws and court directives are in place to monitor any aberration of the existing laws.”

Former MLA J R Lobo emphasising the constitutional right said, “The Indian Constitution Article 25 guarantees freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion subject to public order, morality and health. Further, Article 26 gives, “Freedom to manage religious affairs”. And, therefore, introducing such laws would infringe the rights of the citizens, especially of the minority communities.”

Stany Lobo, president, Catholic Sabha said, “The false allegation of conversions on Christian communities have disturbed the peace and unity among all Christians in Karnataka. The Government must never try to bring enmity between Christian denominations by generalising few incidents and branding our actions as conversions.”

Bishop Demetrius, Believers Church and Rev Winfred Ammanna, CSI said that Christians are known for peace, unity and social service. Thousands of schools, colleges and hospitals are run and managed by Christian Community across the State. When lakhs of students are graduating from these institutions year after year and thousands of patients irrespective of caste, creed and colour receive the best medical attention from our hospitals and care centers, but not one of them has ever been influenced, compelled or coerced to change his or her religion, they said.

Rev Prabhuraj, area chairman, CSI KSD, Rev Sandeep Theofil, MCC, Fr Jose, Orthodox Syrian, Fr Mani, Beltangady diocese, Lovely Yeldos, Puttur diocese, Pastor Donald Menezes & Pastor Ivan Monteiro, New Life, Rev Mathew, Marthoma, Fr Onil D'Souza, director, St Anthony Ashram, Sr Mariette, provincial, Bethany Sisters, Alfred Manohar, CSI, secretary, Karnataka United Christian Forum For Human Rights, Jaison Crasta, president ICYM Catholic diocese, Mangalore, Fr Ashwin Cardoza, director, ICYM Mangalore diocese, Fr J B Crasta, secretary, Laity Commission, Mangalore Catholic diocese, John D'Silva, secretary, diocesan Pastoral Parishad Mangalore, Fr Anil Ivan Fernandes, director, CCC, Mangalore diocese, and Roy Castelino, PRO, Mangalore Catholic diocese were part of the delegation.

Additional deputy commissioner Manikya accepted the memorandum in the DC’s absence.

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