Religious Freedom in India
Indian Catholic denied marriage on conversion allegations

.- Local officials had refused, on four separate occasions, to register the marriage of a Catholic day laborer and a tribal woman in central India, alleging that the groom wanted to convert his bride to Christianity.

According to the groom, Peter Abraham, Dharam Sena (the religious army) had even threatened to kill him if he went ahead with the marriage.

However, Suraj Jaiswal, a member of Congress in the state's opposition party, read about the couple’s struggle. He dismissed the conversion charges against Abraham as "rubbish" and took their case to the governor of Madhya Pradesh state, Balram Jhakhar, on Jan. 8.

Jaiswal told UCA News that the governor intervened, directing the state chief secretary to arrange for the couple to have their marriage registered. The couple finally registered their marriage in a civil court in Jabalpur, 815 kilometers south of New Delhi, on Jan. 11.

Abraham, 38, dropped out of school in the fifth grade, pedals a tricycle taxi for a living. On an average day he earns about 100 rupees (US$2.20). The bride, Meena Singh Gond, 36, cannot walk unaided, the legacy of polio.

She told UCA News that she has "great faith in God" and expressed her confidence that "everything would turn out in our favor." Gond said she was "happy and relieved" after the marriage and that she wants to join her husband's religion.

Gond's brother Ajeet Singh told UCA News the family has no objection if she wants to embrace Catholicism. He says Abraham has given his sister "a life, which nobody could even think of."

Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur told UCA News the difficulties faced by this couple are not uncommon and similar incidents have taken place in various parts of the diocese. He regrets that the civil administration often fails to protect Christians and other minority groups in Madhya Pradesh.

According to UCA News, Several anti-Christian incidents have been reported in the state since the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian people's party) came to power on Dec. 8, 2003. Christian leaders say the administration tacitly supports fanatic Hindu activities.

Tribal people have their own religious traditions, but Hindu fanatics claim that these are part of Hinduism and all tribal people are or once were Hindus.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: