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200 Mahadalits convert to Christianity in Bihar, Chief Minister seeks probe

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After Bhagalpur and Munger, it was turn of Bodh Gaya where in a village 200 Mahadalits converted to Christianity on Christmas Day. Chief Minister Jitan Manjhi, who himself is from the community and from the same district, has sought a probe into the event.

About 200 Mahadalits from 40 families of Atiya village under Pararia panchayat of Bodh Gaya block converted to Christianity on Thursday at a Christmas function organised in a local school by a priest, Brother Rajkishore.

In 2008 too, 35 families from the same village had converted to Christianity

The villagers have reportedly said that they have converted to Christianity for their growth and betterment in life. However, village head Munia Devi said she has no knowledge about the conversions, “though, a function was organised in the village school on Thursday”.

A local official said that the villagers like Dhanesh Manjhi and Bhanesh Manjhi have said that they had participated in the function on Christmas day to express their faith in Christianity like other villagers without any “allurement, fear or favour”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Manjhi, who was in his village in Gaya district on Thursday, has sought a report on the incident from the district magistrate. “I’ve asked the officials to look into it whether it was forced conversion out of any pressure or allurement or on their own,” he said.

“If they have converted on their own there is nothing wrong in it,” he said while adding that a high-level probe could be ordered if there was any need of it.

Earlier, similar reports of conversion of Mahadalit families to Christianity had come from Bhagalpur ad Munger districts of the State. However, when officials visited those villages to ascertain the facts, the villagers had denied their “conversion to any other religion” and had said they have merely expressed their faith in Jesus Christ for “betterment and growth in their life”.

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