Yogi's Yuva Vahini alleges 'conversion' at church

A "mass prayer" was in progress in a church in Dathauli, Maharajganj, on Friday which was stopped by the police after members of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) accused that the church authorities were carrying out forced conversion of Hindus.

The police, though, said they did not find any evidence and are still investigating the case. "We have alerted the district administration in various places about such ceremonies slated to be held and if such functions do happen, churches would not be safe", he warned. The event was being attended by over 150 people, including 10 American tourists. People were attending a prayer meeting voluntarily.

The youth group, set up by Adityanath in 2002, interrupted the prayer service alleging that religious conversion was being carried out and filed a complaint against Yohannan Adam, the pastor of the church, accusing him of converting Hindus to Christianity, which was flatly denied by the latter. "Policemen got on the altar and took away the Bible". The Americans were allowed to leave after verifying their documents.

However, according to CNN-New18, police found no truth in the allegations. The foreigners who had organised a prayer session in a local Church were halted during their ongoing prayers after the police broke inside.

Those booked include HYV leader Arvind and a few others, said SHO Tanda Kotwali Wakeel Singh.

In Maharajganj of Uttar Pradesh, activists of Hindu Yuva Vahini, the right wing organisation founded by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth, alleged that prayer meeting at the British era church is used as cover for religious conversion.

"Appropriate action will be taken if the charges are correct", said police officer Anand Kumar Gupta.

The U.S. Embassy said it was aware of the incident through news reports. The spokesperson didn't elaborate due to "privacy concerns".

  • Joanne Flowers