12/05/2018, 15.48
INDIA
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For activist, Jharkhand teacher’s claim she was fired for refusing to convert is false

by Nirmala Carvalho

The teacher filed a complaint against the principal of a Carmelite school and three sisters. For Sajan K George, "this is a set-up.” If forced conversions were occurring, why is it that the number of Christians in the State is so low.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – A Hindu teacher in Jharkhand claims that the Catholic school where she worked tried to “forcibly” convert her.

According to Nalini Nayak, the Sisters of the Carmel School gave her an ultimatum: convert or be killed. For Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), “Her accusation is blatant falsehood.” Speaking to AsiaNews, he said “The teacher was fired.”

According to Nalini Nayak’s lawyer, the teacher began working at the school in April 2013 but in April 2016 she was told she could keep her job on condition of becoming Christian.

The teacher filed a complaint on 26 November 2018. The presiding judicial magistrate, Judge Kashika M Prasad, ordered Namkom police to investigate the matter.

Sajan K George noted that the teacher “made a false complaint against the school principal, Sr Delia, and three others: Sr Renisha, Sr Teresita Mary and Sr Mary Theresa.” The four nuns allegedly “began pressuring her to take part in liturgical services and prayers at the school.”

In light of her refusals, the situation precipitated on 27 September 2018 when the principal summoned her to her office to force her to choose. She was fired on 1st October.

For George, "this is a set-up. The Carmelite school has existed for half a century. The accusations are groundless and fuelled by the climate of growing hostility towards Christian institutions."

In fact, the GCIC president notes, “if forced conversions were occurring, why is it that the number of Christians in the State is so low. Only 4.3 per cent of the population is Christian.”

The reality is that “Buoyed by a recent anti-conversion bill and ongoing harassment, baseless and false allegations are levied against Christian institutions and organisations ".

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