Kerala Pastor arrested for forcing Sarna tribals to convert, grabbing land for church planting in Jharkhand

Pastor Vinoj VJ of Rajdaha church in Godda district of Jharkhand, along with Munna Hansda, a Piparjoria resident, were arrested on charges of forceful conversion to Christianity and illegal occupation of 60 bigha land for building a church.

Two more accused – village headman, Rajmeshwar Thakur and Charlis Hansda are yet to be caught as an operation to nab the duo by police is still on. 

On 4 September, villagers of Rajdaha told police their horror story of how four people, led by the pastor of Rajdaha Church who is a native of Kerala, have been continuously pressurising the adherents of Sarna Dharma  to convert to Christianity.

Arrested Pastor and one other with Jharkhand police (credit: dainikjharkhand.com)

“The four accused had been both coaxing and threatening the tribal villagers to convert to Christianity,” Superintendent of Police, Shailendra Prasad Barnwal, told media persons on Saturday. 

An FIR was registered in Devdand Police Station on the complaint of Lakhiram Besra after Devdand SHO investigated the matter and verified the villagers’ allegation. 

The poor villagers must be applauded for fighting tooth and nail as they submitted their complaints separately to DC and SP, and also wrote to the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary, to protect their roots and land which soul harvesting vultures were illegally grabbing. 

Godda district falls in the Santhal-Pargana region of Jharkhand state. Share of Indian Religionists like the Santhal tribals who practise Sarna Dharma, has been declining since Independence while Muslim & Christian population is growing.

The proud tribals of Jharkhand, who have given this land freedom fighters like Birsa Munda and Murumu brothers, and who have practised their way of life for millenia evolving at their own pace while living in harmony with other Dharmic paths, are now facing a greater threat in ‘secular’ Bharat than at any time in their history. Piecemeal approaches will not work any longer – what is needed is a complete ban on Christian & Islamic proselytization across Bharat.


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