Indian nun charged with trying to convert Hindu teacher
The complaint comes from a woman who was terminated from her job in a Catholic school in Madhya Pradesh
Sacred Heart Convent High School in Khajuraho of Chhatarpur district. (Photo supplied)
Police in India’s Madhya Pradesh state have charged a Catholic nun with violating the state’s stringent anti-conversion law after she was accused of trying to allure a Hindu teacher to Christianity.
Police registered charges against Sisters of Destitute Sister Bhagya, principal of Sacred Heart Convent High School in Khajuraho of Chhatarpur district, on Feb. 22, according to local church officials.
“It is absolutely a false charge,” said Father Paul Varghese, public relations officer of Satna Diocese, which covers the area of the nun’s school.
He said the case was the latest in a series of such cases filed against Christians after the state’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government implemented a new anti-conversion law in January.
The case against the nun is based on the complaint of Ruby Singh, a Hindu woman who joined the school as a teacher in 2016. The school management terminated her services last year during the Covid-19 lockdown after complaints about her teaching from parents and students.
Singh complained to police that she was terminated because she refused the nun’s pressure to abandon her Hindu faith and become a Christian.
The 45-year-old woman’s complaint accused the nun of violating the law enacted in January. It criminalizes any force, allurement or fraudulent means to change a person’s religion for another religion.
“Sister Bhagya is innocent and she is falsely accused by [someone] taking advantage of the loopholes in the new anti-conversion law,” Father Varghese told UCA News on Feb. 24.
“The case is the result of her termination. The woman unsuccessfully staged a protest in front of the convent and school demanding to be reinstated."
The school is run by the Sisters of the Destitute and has some 1,000 students. As Singh continued to create a problem, the school management complained to the police on Feb. 17 seeking protection from her.