24 Harijans embrace Christianity

Bhubaneshar, Sept. 6: About 24 Harijans have converted to Christianity in the Angul district of Orissa, district officials said on Thursday. The officials said the Harijans belonged to the Annatpalli village, adding that the conversion took place early this week in the village in a simple ceremony.

The district officials said that the Harijans converted to Christianity without any force or inducement. "They have converted as per their desire and there are no reports of luring on the part of priests," officials said. But Hindu organisations said that the conversions were effected by Christian priests in the village in the garb of helping them. Subhash Chauhan, the convenor of Hindu Jagran Sammukhya, an outfit affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, alleged that the harijans had converted for money.

The outfit claimed that some of the Harijans have reconverted to Hinduism. Four Harijan families comprising 19 members in all had converted to Christianity in Korua village of Orissa's Kendrapara district in early July this year.

However, some of them later reconverted to Hinduism in August. Officials said police patrols were deployed round the clock to see that no violence or protests take part in the region.

5 tribals revert to Hinduism in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 6: At least five people belonging to the Harijan community converted to Hinduism from Christianity in central Orissa, official sources said on Thursday.

The five Harijans of Anantapali village changed their religion by filing affidavits in a local court at Athamallik in Angul district.

The villagers organised a function on Tuesday and performed Hindu rituals for the "homecoming" of the five people, a police said. About 26 of 380 Harijans have embraced Christianity in this village of nearly 900 people, the official said. The rest are tribals and other backward classes.

Pastors from Bhubaneswar regularly visit the village, a RSS preacher said.

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Referred by:Benjamin P Kaila
Published on:7 Sep, 2001
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