The Synod urged the police to treat Love-Rape Jihad and forced conversion as social issues and act accordingly
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the biggest Christian Church in Kerala, has expressed concern over the growing incidents of Love Jihad in which Christian girls are targeted and killed in Kerala. The concern was raised at the Synod, meeting of the bishops, on Tuesday.
The church also condemned the police laxity in Love Jihad cases. The synod stated that the state force for not doing an effective policing job to curb this menace.
“It is a matter of concern that ‘love Jihad’ is increasing in Kerala causing danger to the secular harmony and societal peace in Kerala,” a press release issued by the Synod stated. It said that the menace of Love Jihad is no longer a myth, but a well-established fact, supported by statistics.
The meeting observed that young Christian ladies have now become a target, revealing that over half of the 21 women who joined the Islamic State from Kerala belong to the Christian community.
The Church urged the police to treat Love-Rape Jihad and forced conversion as social issues, not a religious issue, and act accordingly.
The Syro Malabar Synod alleged that Christian girls are lured by feigning love. Then the victims are raped and its visuals are used to coerce them to convert to Islam. The synod condoled the death of a Christian girl, a love jihad victim, who was recently killed in Kerala. The synod also expressed concern over the increasing violence against Christians across the globe and condemned the killing of Christians by Islamic State terrorists on Christmas day.
This is not the first time that the church has come up against the organised love jihad. Serving a stern message to the state government, which has turned “a blind eye to the plight of the Christian community”, and proponents of ‘Love Jihad’, hundreds of protesters, including Christian clerics, nuns, parents of victims and students had staged the Collectorate March, in Kozhikode, Kerala, in September last year.
In September 2019, Fr Antony Thalachelloor, secretary of Syro-Malabar Media Commission, in a press release, had stated, “It is a cause of great worry that Christian girls are the most targeted lot. The CBI, the NIA and the IB have all reported that such cases are occurring in the state and the country. It is saddening and worrying that despite the existence of a mechanism to counter efforts by religious terrorist groups to entrap gullible girls, these are not being tackled efficiently”.
On September 26, George Kurian, vice chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, asking for a probe into cases of ‘love jihad’ or forced conversion of women by Islamic radicals. Demanding the involvement of NIA, he wrote, “The spate of organised religious conversions and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through ‘love jihad’ has shown the Christian community is a soft target for Islamic radicals.”
Kurian quoted a report by the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference’s (KCBC) Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance, which claimed that there were 4,000 instances of “love jihad” between 2005 and 2012. “Love jihad is on, and it has been continuing in the state for a while. Here, conversion is not into Islam, but into terrorism. Even the Muslim community is objecting to it,” Kurian had told The Indian Express.