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Andhra village passes resolution to curb rising Christian conversions, illegally constructed Church to be removed

Andhra village passes resolution to curb rising Christian conversions, illegally constructed Church to be removed
In an effort to prevent the people of Scheduled Castes (SC) from getting to Christianity with the activities of Christian missionaries, the Gurujala village in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh has passed a resolution to take series of measures.

One of the resolutions passed by the Gram Sabha of the village was to remove the unauthorized church constructed with the help of foreign funding from the Christian organization International Mission Board (IMB).

The Gram Sabha has also decided to undertake an enumeration exercise to document the number of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and enter them into the public record. It was also decided to ask the revenue officials to issue BC-C (SC convert to Christianity) Certificates to persons who converted to scheduled caste converts to Christianity.

Also, no religious structure will be allowed to be constructed in the future, unless the same is approved by the Gram Sabha with a 51% majority.

The village also decided to accord priority to Scheduled Castes in all social and cultural festivals and temple activities in the village.
Article 243(A) of the Constitution of India has enabled the State Legislatures to empower Gram Sabha by endowing them with certain statutory powers. In pursuance of Article 243 (A) of the Constitution of India, the Gram Sabha is incorporated under Section 6 of the APPR Act 1994. Gram Sabha is a constitutional body and the nucleus of democratic power in the local governance system. Gram Sabha acts as a platform for peoples’ participation, maintains surveillance of various development activities implemented in the village(s), raises issues relating to the village(s) concerned, and ensures transparency and accountability in the functioning of Panchayat Raj Institutions and line departments at the grassroots level.

Speaking to The Commune, LRPF said that they will try and implement this in other villages too. “We strongly believe in the power of people in this democracy”, the head of LRPF said.

Earlier, it was reported that a huge Church had been erected on public land in Gurujala village where the Christian population was only 59 as per the 2011 Census.

Villagers who protested against illegal church construction were slapped with the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It has become routine practice for converts holding SC Certificate to slap SC/ST Atrocity Act on anyone who dared to raise voice against illegal conversions.

Aggrieved villagers wrote to the President of India and submitted a copy of the letter to the District Collector seeking action against the illegally constructed IMB Church in the village, rampant religious conversions targeting SCs, misuse of SC/ST Atrocities Act, and action against competent authorities issuing SC Certificates to Christian converts.

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