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India: Christian school principal, staff booked for conversion

This is a different case from the one reported yesterday.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Indian Christian school principal, staff booked for conversion,” UCA News, November 1, 2023:

A principal and 55 members of the teaching staff at a Christian school have been booked by police under the stringent anti-conversion law in a northern Indian state.

Principal D S Dasan and his teaching staff at Eton English Medium School in Bansi in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharth Nagar district have been accused of trying to convert people belonging to indigenous tribal and Dalit (formerly untouchable) communities.

The case was registered at the Bansi police station on Oct. 30 under provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021.

“This is totally a fake case. We have not converted anyone,” said Dasan, who is a member of the Layman’s Evangelical Church and also doubles up as manager of the school.

He told UCA News on Nov. 1 that the school has been running for more than three decades and has 2,000 students studying up to grade eight.

“This is the first time such an allegation has been leveled against us,” he added.

The Sunday service on Oct. 29 was purportedly termed as a religious conversion activity to register a false complaint by Rakesh Kumar Gautam.

He alleged that the principal and the teachers were trying to convert tribal people and Dalits who attended the prayer service.

“They were being forced to change their religion to get the benefits of healing,” Gautam alleged in his complaint.

He further charged the principal and the teachers with speaking against the Hindu religion.

Gautam further claimed he was present for the prayer service and was told to convert to Christianity but refused to budge.

However, Dasan said Gautam did not attend the prayer service and also added that he had never had any interaction with him….

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