India's Hindu nationalists claim to have converted 27 Christians


Amid the growing issue on religious conversion in India, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad announced that 27 Christians have re-converted to Hinduism.

The Hindu nationalist group said that the 27 individuals came from five families and apparently returned to Hinduism through the "Ghar wapsi" ceremony which seeks to bring back those who have been previously converted to Christianity and Islam.

In a report from, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) district President Advocate Prathap G Padickal said that the ceremony was requested by the people themselves who "were not happy with their earlier situations since they were not receiving any benefits."

This, he said, came on the heels of 50 individuals voluntarily returning to the Hindu faith last month.

Religious conversion remains a sensitive issue in India given its progressive 1950 constitution that upholds the freedom of conscience and the right to free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

The pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party, to which Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs, has suggested that the rising number of conversions from Hindu to other religions will erode India's demographic balance and eventually, the country's Hindu majority.

Aside from actively campaigning against proselytisers to prevent them from converting those who have already embraced Hinduism, there is strong pressure on the Prime Minister to make a public stand on the issue of effecting a national anti-conversion law on the basis of state anti-conversion laws being upheld by the Supreme Court in India in 1977.

According to the New York Times, Hindu nationalists have accused Muslims and Christians of luring Indians into their religion but according to the religious minorities, the Hindu nationalists are the ones trying to win back the faithful with promises of letting them choose their own castes.

Eighty per cent of India's population are practising Hindus. Muslims account for 15 per cent while other religions like Christians, Buddhists, Adivasi (indigenous tribes) or Zoroastrians make up the rest.

In an article published by, members of the religious minorities have decried religious discrimination and believe that they are being considered "lesser Indians" because they are not Hindu.