Cardinal Alencherry demands justice for those arrested on false allegations of forced conversions::Syro Malabar News Updates Cardinal Alencherry demands justice for those arrested on false allegations of forced conversions
12-September,2019

Kakkanad: Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, demanded the immediate release of Fr. Binoy John and the Catechist Sri. Munna Hansda, who are under unjust judicial custody, and added prolonging their judicial custody amounts to abuse of the the legal system of the country.  Last week, the Jharkhand police had arrested Fr. Binoy John, Fr. Arun Vincent and Sri Munna Hansda from the Rajdaha mission in the diocese of Bhagalpur on grounds of practicing forced conversions to Christianity. The police had come to their residence and asked them to report at the police station, giving no explanations. Once they reached the police station, the police recorded their arrest charging them of forced conversions. Later, Fr. Arun Vincent was released by the police. This is a classical case of misusing the provisions of Freedom of Religion Act which was always apprehended by the Church. This is the denial of freedom of right to propagate religion and right to freedom of conscience guaranteed by the constitution of India.
 
Even after taking the legal steps to get bail for the two in custody, bail was not granted by the CJM Court Godda for want of clarity. It is to be suspected as a deliberate move to prolong their custody. It is clear that those who are not happy with the social and educational activities of the missionaries among the villagers are behind this. 
 
Christians of the country have always valued and strived for maintaining religious and social harmony. Christianity does not believe in forced conversions and the Church in India does not practice forced conversions. The activities of the Church among the weaker sections of the society are appreciated by all irrespective of political difference. The Christian community of the India is shocked on the arrest of the priest and the catechist based on the accusations fabricated with ulterior motives. Cardinal Alencherry appealed to the concerned authority to take steps ensuring justice to the arrested, in a press release issued from the major Archiepiscopal Curia of the Syro-Malabar Church situated at Mount St. Thomas Kakkanad. He also exhorted all the faithful to pray for the arrested, their dear and near ones and for all those who are rendering their service in the mission areas.
 
Fr Antony Thalachelloor
Secretary, Syro-Malabar Media Commission

Source: SMCIM

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