A village court in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has ordered families who converted to Christianity to be caned, fined and excommunicated from the community.
Three Korwa tribal families from Khala village of Dhurki in Garhwa district embraced Christianity on Jan. 22, according to media reports.
“There are reports of religious conversion in the area but they are of different denominations as a few small sects are active there. It is a matter of investigation and it should be thoroughly checked as it may give wrong messages among different faiths,” Father Augustin Xess, parish priest of St Paul’s Church in Garhwa, told.
“As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, we don’t promote religious conversion.”
The tribal priest said Hindus, followers of the Sarna tribal religion and a small number of Muslims and Christians have been living in the area peacefully with great respect for all faiths.
“After the news of religious conversion came out, we have alerted our people in the area and asked them to give us an actual report,” he added.
Father Fabianus Sinduria, who coordinates pastoral work in Daltonganj Diocese, told that “we came to know of the incident only through the local Hindi newspaper and are waiting for the final say by the local administration.”