Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro Malabar Church (File photo)
Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro Malabar Church (File photo)

Alencherry's pastoral letter on 'love jihad' read out in churches in Kochi

ANI | Updated: Jan 19, 2020 13:36 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], Jan 19 (ANI): A pastoral letter by the head of the Syro-Malabar Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry stating that there is 'love jihad' in Kerala was read out in churches here on Sunday.
"Growing love jihad is endangering religious harmony. Love jihad causes Christian girls to be recruited to terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State. The authorities should take immediate action. The church will educate parents and children about love jihad," the letter stated.
However, the letter was not read in most churches under Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.
Earlier on January 15, Syro-Malabar Church synod in an official statement alleged that 'love jihad' was indeed happening and this has become a channel of recruitment to the Islamic State and other radical Islamic organizations.
Meanwhile, Father Kuriakose Mundadan, a senior priest of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese and former secretary of Presbyterian Council, in an article sharply criticised synod's statement and pointed out that even the courts have dismissed the notion that there is a phenomenon of 'love jihad'.
"Several girls and boys have converted to Christianity for love and marriage. Does the church have any data on such conversions?" Father Mundadan asked in his article.
Startled by the Synod's open declaration on a hotly debated topic, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) had sent a notice to Kerala Director-General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behra and urged to submit a report in 21 days on allegations that the police have failed to curb conversions by inducement.
Earlier, Syro-Malabar Media Commission report released by the church had said that Christian girls are being targeted and killed in the name of 'love Jihad' in Kerala.
"It is a matter of concern that 'love Jihad' is increasing in Kerala causing danger to the secular harmony and societal peace in Kerala," the report said.
According to police, among the 21 people who joined the Islamic State (ISIS) half of them were Christian converts. (ANI)