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Archbishop Machado leads the delegation to present Memorandum on Anti – Conversion Bill

Bangalore, 19th November 2021: A delegation comprising of various Christian leaders of Karnataka headed by Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore, presented a memorandum to Mr J. Manjunath IAS, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Bangalore City, urging the government once again not to introduce the proposed Anti – conversion Bill during the upcoming winter session of the Legislative assembly in Belagavi.

The memorandum reiterated that the orders of the Backward Class & Minorities Welfare Department of the Govt of Karnataka on the survey of Christian Missionaries and Christian places of worship be withdrawn with immediate effect.

Prior to the submission of the memorandum, over 200 Christian leaders including Priests, Pastors, Religious Sisters and lay leaders belonging to different denominations met at St. Joseph’s School Auditorium to review the situation and prayed for the Government of Karnataka and its leaders.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Prasanna Kumar Samuel, Bishop of Karnataka Central Diocese (CSI), addressing the gathering of Christian leaders said “We are here for more than 200 years, i.e. even before the existence of the Indian Constitution. We do not go around and convert people. He emphasised that 'In our educational institutions, we are not creating educators but good citizens.” said Bishop PK Samuel, asserting that Christian Community in India is serving people dispassionately in various fields.

Speaking on alleged forceful conversions, he asked the State to punish anyone found guilty and at the same time “allow us to exist peacefully in the society.” he appealed to the state government.

Shri. Ivan D’Souza, a former member of the Karnataka Legislative Council, said that the government is trying to block the spirit of Christians in the state by trying to introduce the draconian Anti – Conversion bill which is undesirable and is against the Constitution itself.

Mrs. Vinisha Nero, Member of Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, remarked that the bill is unwanted and uncalled for. She said that the Christian community prays for the Government of Karnataka and its leaders during the Sunday prayers.

Archbishop Peter Machado, in his address, said “Christians in the state must be united and display signs of unity among us always.”

Expressing his scorn against the forced conversions, the prelate urged the faithful and the leaders not to denigrate other religions and religious symbols. He emphasized having quality rather than quantity. Archbishop Machado also impelled Christian leaders to meet up with their respective elected representatives in their constituencies to prevail upon them and make them known the service of the Church to the society and the people of Karnataka.

Report: Mr. Ajay Raj, PRO Office

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