In recent reports, concerns have been raised regarding the methods employed by some Christian missionaries in their efforts to convert non-Christians, particularly Hindus. Allegations suggest the use of dubious techniques to influence individuals’ religious affiliations, particularly during the Christmas season. These Christian forces are employing tactics that are deemed questionable and potentially coercive, including physical attacks and using emotional manipulation to encourage conversions.
Some of the controversies and religious hate crimes committed by Christians during Pre-Christmas celebrations:
Attack on ex-NSG Commando in Khammam
Pre-Christmas festivities in Khammam took a distressing turn when local pastors, during their celebrations, resorted to verbal abuse, dubbing Hindu Gods and Goddesses as “satans” and urging Christians to distance themselves from their Hindu neighbors. The situation further escalated with a conflict arising between Christian pastors and D. Srikanth, a retired NSG commando residing near the church on December 17 after 10PM.
During the heated exchanges, the army veteran suggested that Christian converts should consider renouncing their SC-caste certificates and switch to the BC-C category, as per government orders following change in religion. This suggestion angered attendees of the Pre-Christmas celebrations, leading to an unfortunate incident where approximately 30-40 individuals attacked him during the night at RDO office, Kotha Busstand area of Khammam.
Regrettably, his wife sided with the Christians, repeatedly urging her husband to embrace Christianity and pressuring him to do so.
The retired NSG commando suffered injuries to his back and legs during the assault. In a surprising turn of events, the initial efforts to seek justice were met with resistance, as the police allegedly declined to share the details of the First Information Report (FIR), despite assuring him that a case would be registered.
When Command was away from home on duty, Christian evangelists made repeated attempts to convert the commando and his wife to Christianity, but the veteran remained firm in his Hindu beliefs. Despite his repeated warnings about the consequences of religious conversion, his wife converted, resulting in repeated conflicts at home over religious differences and practices since last 3 years.
Xmas celebrations already started in Telangana.😱 as part of those celebrations, in Khammam, a pastor was calling Hindu gods as devils/saitan.
A Dalit and an ex-army Jawan objected to this.
So, this pastor along with 30 other cryptos plunged onto him & hit him black and blue. pic.twitter.com/Yy2bgCVUzY
— Tathvam-asi (@ssaratht) December 19, 2023
Christmas Celebrations at Sri Venkateshwara University at Thirupati
Staff belonging to the Christain community at prestigious Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati organised pre-Christmas celebrations on Monday. The event, which transpired on Monday evening at the Arts College block Auditorium, has ignited a contentious debate over the alleged distribution of Bibles by a professor to numerous university employees.
Many teachers, employees and students were forced to offer special prayers. Many people are questioning who permitted these celebrations under pressure from the authorities.
Tirupati, known as one of the holiest places for Hindus, has raised concerns as the land allocated to the University belongs to TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam).
TTD allocates hundreds of acres of land and also grants annual funds for development over many years. TTD also mobilises financial resources for various educational and scientific conferences and research projects organized in the varsity.
However, at least there are no instances of Sri Venkateswara Swamy’s prayers or pujas being held in the university.
Since the government of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the prevalence of Christian teachers who are close to his family has been increasing in the university. Professor Christopher Sathimani, a close relative of the current Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who served as the Secretary of the State Council of Higher Education during his tenure, and former Vice Chancellor Professor Sundaravalli are said to have played a key role in holding this “Semi Christmas” celebrations.
ABVP leaders said due to their pressure, the organisers have limited their celebrations to one day, from their plan to conduct them for a week starting from December 18 – 25.
Christians pray for society, whereas Hindus for individual benefits- YSRCP MLA
M. Shankara Narayana, YSRCP MLA and former minister, at a Pre-Christmas program organized by the ‘Penukonda Constituency Pastors Fellowship association said those who seek Hindu God’s darshan seek blessings for their own/individual happiness, whereas those who pray to Jesus seek happiness and prosperity for the entire society. The MLA made these comments on Saturday, December 9, 2023, in Penukonda, Satya Sai district, Andhra Pradesh. Surprisingly, Shankara Narayana is on Ayyappa deeksha and had been wearing the traditional dress while speaking at this pre-Christmas event.
School children forced to undergo Christian religious instruction, Hindu groups angry
Jyoti Hepziba, a school principal at Adarsha Model School at Baswapur village, Pulkal Mandal’s is involved in a controversy after being accused of conducting Christian prayers at the school in Sangareddy district. The teacher, who is Christian, created the controversy by organizing a Christmas celebration at the school on December 20.
During the pre-Christmas celebrations, Hepziba delivered a speech about Christianity and encouraged students to consider converting to the religion. This has sparked outrage among Hindu organisations in the area who argue that such actions infringe upon the religious freedom of the predominantly Hindu student body.
In response to the controversy, Hindu groups and members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad demanding for the suspension of the teacher. They assert that her conduct is inappropriate and goes against the principles of religious neutrality in educational institutions. To voice their concerns, members of these groups have staged a protest in front of the district education office, seeking resolution and action against what they perceive as a breach of religious boundaries within the school environment.