Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur is becoming a hub of missionary conversion, over the past few months as many as seven cases have been reported. In all these cases, FIRs (First Information Reports) have been registered and the victims have stated that they were lured to Christianity and Jesus. The victims had a list of things that were promised upon conversion; from lavishing house to cash money, from a better job to medical treatment, the missionary representatives promised everything.
Other than this, there were set regulations to lure other people via the chain method. The one who converted recently would get two more people to the prayer and the two will get another four and in turn, all of them will get their money. The more the people the more the salary per month.
Organiser brings to you details of these cases and the statements of the victims in respective FIRs.
Case 1: A Church was running on government land
Aman Kumar Gautam a resident of the Purana Kanpur area registered a complaint against Shobhit Daniel son of Thomas and Shobhit son of Gulshan under sections of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
Gautam accused the duo of illegally turning a government colony into a Church. He registered the complaint after the accused tried to lure his father to Christianity.
As per the FIR (number–163/2023) registered at Nawabganj police station on September 3, Gautam told the police about the illegal conversion going on in the colony. He lives in the Vishnupuri labour colony.
The accused told his father that if he started visiting the Church regularly, he could get rid of all his problems. For this he just needs to become Christian, as soon as he becomes a Christian, he will get Rs 50,000 from the Church, a house to live and the Church will bear all his medical expenses.
He told the police that the pastor asked his father to apply water given to him by the Church to his eyes and Jesus would cure all the ailments. The exact words were, “Agar ye paani aankho me lagaoge to Prabhu Yeshu ki nemat barsegi”.
The victim informed the members of Bajrang Dal and then this complaint was lodged. As per the FIR, the accused men have been booked under sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act. It is noteworthy that both the accused were apprehended by the Kanpur police on September 3.
Notably, there is a church named Paternal Gospel Church in India Episcopal and Serving Society at 60/08 Shramik Colony Vishnupuri, Nawabganj. Its chairman Shobhit Singh had registered the church in 2002. On every Sunday he used to assemble people at the Church and in the name of getting them jobs, houses and medication lured them to Christianity.
Case 2: School became healing ground
In June 2023, Organiser reported a case from the Epifani School in Kanpur Nagar where a so-called medical camp was organised and in the name of treatment, people were lured to Christianity.
On June 24, Narendra Parmar, a resident of the civil lines area of Kanpur registered an FIR (number–73/2023 at the Colonelganj police station on June 25) against the organisers of the event at Colonelganj police station. In his complaint, Parmar told the police that, on June 24 one of his friends Shivam informed him about a medical event to be organised at Epifany School near Apollo Hospital in the Chunniganj area. The organisers promised that they could cure any disease. They also promised all the expenses from food to travel would be covered by the managers.
Filing an interesting report from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh;
On June 24, Epifani School hosted a medical event. However, it turned out to be a religious program as religious prayers were organised, envelopes filled with cash were distributed amid chants of Haleluya, Here's a video: pic.twitter.com/KhxfhD2kDn
— Subhi Vishwakarma (@subhi_karma) June 27, 2023
In the event some oil was distributed among the people with envelopes, some had cash and some did not. Some of the event volunteers, all Christians took Hindus aside and told them about their religion.
Offering the money envelopes they said, “In the next event you will get so much money that you cannot even imagine, it can make you rich and healthy”.
As per the FIR the police booked the accused under sections 3/ 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
Case 3: Pastors in the last 4-5 years converted at least 200 Hindus
A Hindu woman named Babli Devi gave an FIR (number–72/2023) at the Kohna police station of the Kanpur district on August 10, 2023. She alleged that poeple living in their colony have been luring innocent Hindus to Christianity in exchange for money. They offer a sum of Rs 10,000 each in order to convert them. Earlier they were targeting other people but when they contacted Babli’s family, she informed the police.
Based on Babli’s FIR police booked Meclon Singh and Marris Singh under sections 3 / 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
As per the reports, ACP Akmal Khan said that the missionaries targeted the Manipurwa township and converted about 200 Hindus to Christianity in about 4 to 5 years. Not only this, they also got a church established in Vishnupuri. People’s prayer meetings started being organized at the Church. They were called on the pretext of attending prayer meetings and were converted to Christianity by luring with money, jobs, marriage and solutions to other problems including medical treatment.
Case 4: A man from Punjab promised to cure a man in Kanpur
In March 2023, a similar case was reported at the Ravatpur police station of the Kanpur district. Referring to a viral video, the complainant, Vikas Kumar Gupta accused a man of illegal conversion. This unidentified man from Punjab came to Kanpur, in order to treat a man identified as Neeraj who was an alcoholic. The man performed some customs and chanted sermons. After his treatment the man presented Neeraj as an example and said, Those who do not believe in Jesus will suffer like him. If they start believing in Christianity, they will not have to see a day like this in this life.
Based on this FIR (number- 99/2023 registered at the Ravatpur police station of the Kanpur district) the accused identified in the viral video was booked under sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
Case 5: Man lured with money and marriage for conversion
In November 2022, a man accused the pastor and his accomplice of luring him to Christianity against money and the promise of marriage.
As per the FIR (number-584/2023) registered at the Ghatampur police station on November 7, 2022, the complainant Ishu Awasthi accused four people of illegally converting Hindus to Christianity.
As per the complaint, On October 31, the pastor Prakash Sonare and accomplice Rajesh Sankhwar asked him to convert to Christianity. Upon conversion, he will start getting a fixed amount as a monthly salary and the pastors will make sure that he also gets a wife. The pastor is not alone to do this in the area, he is joined by his wife and others. All of them trap innocent Hindus with such promises and get them converted.
Following this complaint, the police launched a raid at the Church and found religious texts in large numbers.
Joint Commissioner of Police Anand Prakash Tiwari said, “It has been alleged that a particular church is using unfair means to promote religious conversion. We have launched an investigation and people of interest are being questioned. We are trying to find out whether the people were converted by unfair means or by their own choice.”
All these accused namely, Prakash Sonare, Rajesh Sankhwar, Jagram, and wife of Prakash Sonare have been booked under sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
Case 6: Around 15 illegal Church constructed in Ghatampur
The Kanpur police raided a Church in Ghatampur where they found religious texts in large numbers. These texts confirmed that the Church was involved in illegal conversion activities of students from primary to college level. Based on these findings the police also registered an FIR at the Ghatampur police station.
Shubham Saurya Agnihotri, District Convenor of Bajrang Dal in Ghatampur, informed the police that Pastor Anil Masih and Pastor Haloon of the P.F. M.B. church conspired to convert the students through books, on which the Ghatampur police raided the church, where the police have recovered books ranging from junior to degree college.
During the police raid in the church located in Jawahar Nagar, the police found books titled God’s Identity, God is Good, Nigeria’s Light, Good Quality. These books are available for primary to fifth-grade students, while some books have been prepared for students from junior high school to degree college. Many documents associated with the Friend Mission Prayer Band were found there. The police also found a register from the Church, in which the police found evidence of foreign funding.
Case 7: Conversion gang involving people from Korea busted in Kanpur
In a case from the Chakeri Shyam Nagar police station, Kanpur, a Korean man was booked for illegally running a conversion syndicate in the city. In two and a half years, his gang converted hundreds of people to Christianity. The syndicate was exposed on March 4, 2023.
The police arrested two accused in the case, Abhijeet and Rajat Gypsum, a resident of Korea, and sent them to jail. The police investigation has revealed that the mastermind of the jailed conversion gang was Rajat Gypsum, a resident of Korea. For the last two and a half years, he was running conversion classes by taking a rented flat in Shyam Nagar.
The police recovered Phamplates in large numbers apart from the religious texts, and a step-by-step guide for converting people was also recovered. Notably, the people visiting the temporary Church had their attendance marked.
Other than these two, Jeevan, Shivansh, Sheetal, and Rana ji involved in the case worked at the final stage of converting people.
Two of their victims told the media how they were converted.
Rickshaw puller Shivansh said that his wife was a patient of epilepsy. After coming in contact, he along with his family started attending the prayer meeting at Abhijeet and Rajat’s flat. The wife got a lot of relief from the medicine and worship of Jesus Christ. The children were also enrolled in the school by them. The financial condition of the family had improved a lot. Because of this, he also started motivating people to become Christians.
Jeevan, a street vendor, told that he did not have money for his daughter’s marriage. After coming in contact with the Church they did not pay any dowry. Also, the people helped a lot in the marriage. Due to this, he and his family were ready to become Christians. Not only this but now he was leaving his work and going to the slums of Kanpur just to propagate religion and motivate people for conversion.
This is how the syndicate worked; For example, one person who has recently converted was asked to bring two people to the conversion class. Now both of them were given the responsibility of bringing other people. In the same way, the whole chain becomes erect. Whatever comes through whose network. Their name was registered on their respective account only. As a rule, money was given to bring every person. The more people in the chain, the more monthly salary and facilities the person would get.
Organiser could not find the FIR for this case.
Readers should know that Organiser has been reporting cases like these from different parts of Bharat. recently we compiled some cases from Kushinagar where the ‘Changai Sabha’ was caught converting people. Read a report on this case here.