Bengaluru Archbishop opposes Karnataka’s anti-conversion Bill

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Opposing the State government’s decision to table anti-conversion Bill in the upcoming winter session, the archbishop of Bengaluru, Peter Machado, wrote a letter to Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on Friday, urging him to not to promote “an undesirable and discriminatory bill” in the interest of the peace and harmony in the society.
In the letter, he said that the entire Christian Community in Karnataka opposes the Anti-Conversion Bill. He wrote, “The entire Christian Community in Karnataka 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.”
Quoting Article 25 and 26 of the constitution, the Archbishop said that introducing such laws would infringe the rights of the citizens, especially of the minority communities.
He also questioned the Karnataka government’s order to conduct a survey of both official and non-official Christian missionaries and the institutions and establishments functioning in the state.
He asked, “When all the relevant data is already available (through the census) with the government, why do we need yet another futile exercise? Why only Christian community is targeted and marked for this arbitrary, fallacious and illogical move? What is the motive that is driving them to do so?”
The Archbishop added, “Anti-Conversion Bill would become a tool for the fringe elements to take law into their own hands and vitiate the atmosphere with communal unrest in the otherwise peaceful state.”
Earlier on October 26, the Archbishop had said that the Christian community will oppose the state government’s move to bring into effect an Anti-Conversion Bill (ACB), and called it “unnecessary” and added that it would affect religious harmony in the state.


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