In the latest update from Karnataka, the metropolitan Archbishop of Bengaluru – Peter Machado has become the first person to say that the Christians across the state are against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “anti-conversion” bill.
Catholic Archbishop Fears Community Identity Being Threatened
As per the reports released, the BJP Karnataka government has (reportedly) released an intelligence-gathering exercise that would classify churches as “authorised and unauthorised”.
Talking to the media, he said that if the exercise comes into practice, it would threaten the Christian community. At the same time spread fears of the community’s religious congregations being “scrutinized with malice”.
If an anti-conversion law is passed based on such questionable classification, Christian priests and preachers can be targeted by “trouble-making groups and fringe elements”.
He said, “what the government seems to be saying is that you can be a Christian, but be a Christian only in your conscience. They seem to be saying, don’t declare it (Christian faith), wear it or show it. I don’t think this is possible. India is a free country.”
BJP Karnataka Allegedly Targets Churches And Christians
This comes after recently the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly had undertaken a “massive intelligence gathering exercise” that would (allegedly) target the Churches and the Christians across the state.
On October 16, 2021, the state’s Intelligence Department issued an order to instruct the police and intelligence officials to gather information about the “authorized and unauthorized” churches across the state.
However, the same seems to have gone against the claims made by the BJP Karnataka government stated that the State’s Minorities Welfare Department was “surveying” the churches.
The state intelligence had gotten into the action immediately a day after the Legislative Committee on Welfare of Backward Classes announced that the “district authorities” will gather the information on the subject.