Hindu group stops UP church prayers suspecting conversion
Lucknow: Prayers at a church in Uttar Pradesh were disrupted by a group of Hindu activists as they suspected a religious conversion in progress, police said on Saturday.
Prayers at the Maharajganj church were stopped by the police after the office bearers of the Hindu Vahini created a ruckus and alleged that some people were leading a conversion event there.
The Hindu Vahini leaders said that a group of foreign tourists from Ukraine and the US had come to the church with an aim to allure poor locals into converting to Christianity.
The prayers were initiated on Friday at the church in Bijapaar village under the Kothibhaar area, the group said.
The foreign tourists who were in the country on a month-long tourist visa were accompanied by Devraj Gowda, a Delhi resident who identified himself to the police as the chairman of the Seva Group of India.
Police officers questioned the group as to how they could lead prayers when they were on a tourist visas.
The group, however, said they were not here for any conversions but were taking part in spiritual conventions slated across Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi.
The foreigners — nine in all, have been asked to leave for Delhi after a copy of their passports and visas was kept by the local police station.
A Ukranian woman who did not have her passport with her, claimed to have left it in Delhi.
The Church authorities have also denied any conversion programme.