UCA News

Indian Catholic school teacher faces 'conversion' allegation

Parent of a 10th-class student alleges she took him to church every day and made him accept Christianity
Students from St. Aloysius High School stage cultural programs as part of the Teachers’ Day on Sept. 5

Students from St. Aloysius High School stage cultural programs as part of the Teachers’ Day on Sept. 5. (Photo: school website)

Published: October 18, 2023 04:36 AM GMT

A Catholic school in a northern Uttar Pradesh state is under siege from the students’ wing of the ruling pro-Hindu party over an allegation that a woman teacher allegedly converted a student to Christianity.

Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (All India Students’ Union), affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protested before the St. Aloysius High School in the cantonment area of Kanpur city on Oct. 16.

“They tried to forcibly enter the school premises but were pacified by army officials,” Father Reginald D’Souza, public relations officer of Allahabad diocese, which manages the school, told UCA News on Oct. 17.

The accused teacher has been suspended pending an inquiry. She is facing an allegation of taking a tenth-grade student to a nearby church daily and pursuing him to accept Christianity.

“We are surprised to hear the allegation. The school has been running here for the last 75 years and has produced many prominent people,” school principal Father Walter D’Souza told the media on Oct. 15.

He said the allegation is baseless because the church is open only on Sundays.

“The school also has CCTV cameras installed in its premises and the police are free to check the footage,” the principal said.

The alleged conversion was reported to the police by the boy’s father, D’Souza said.

In his complaint, the parent claimed that his son was converted on Oct. 1. The boy's behavior changed after the conversion and he needs counseling now, he added.

Braj Narain Singh, an assistant commissioner of police in Kanpur city, told the media that police are investigating the complaint.

The ABVP demanded the teacher be arrested for violating the state’s anti-conversion law enacted in 2021Father.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Act bans religious conversion by force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, or by any fraudulent means or by marriage.

The New Delhi-based United Christian Forum (UCF), an ecumenical body that records Christian persecution across the country, has recorded 104 incidents of violence against Christians in Uttar Pradesh during the past eight months.

During the same period, a total of 525 incidents of persecution against Christians were recorded in the country, said the UCF.

Christians make up a mere 0.18 percent of Uttar Pradesh's 200 million population. 

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Lent is the season during which catechumens make their final preparations to be welcomed into the Church.
Each year during Lent, UCA News presents the stories of people who will join the Church in proclaiming that Jesus Christ is their Lord. The stories of how women and men who will be baptized came to believe in Christ are inspirations for all of us as we prepare to celebrate the Church's chief feast.
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
UCA News

Share your comments

2 Comments on this Story
This so-called attempted conversion story is from my home parish in Kanpur. I myself came to know of it just by chance and my offer to sort out the matter wS casually dismissed. It is a repeat of a church demolition in the neighbouring district of Kanpur Rural. Unfortunately our clerically controlled church is allergic to taking the laity into confidence in crisis situations. This is a totally fabricated case to pressurize and defame the Christian community with the active support of the ruling political dispensation.
The student accuser has been studying in the school for over 10 years. He is reportedly addicted to alcohol. The teacher's husband and son are also in the same school. It defies logic that she would entice the student to Christianity through sexual advances. Unfortunately in the propaganda war truth is the first casualty
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia