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Hindu nationalists accuse Catholic retreat center of ‘forced conversions’

MUMBAI, India – Catholic officials in India have rejected accusations that a retreat center in the southern state of Karnataka is promoting the conversion of Hindus.

Sharan Pumpwell, the secretary of the ultranationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad, called for the state government to shut down the Divine Call Center in Mulki, claiming it was seeking converts by “insulting the Hindu religion.”

He also called on local police to press criminal charges against Father Abraham D’Souza, who heads the center, accusing him of “forcibly converting” a local Hindu.

“Hindus and the Christians are living with mutual respect, love and peace. Some unwanted organizations are trying to destroy the peace and unity between Hindus and Christians by their involvement in conversions,” Pumpwell said.

D’Souza said the person in question came to the retreat center on his own and was now “being manipulated by communal forces for their agenda.”

“There is absolutely no conversion. No baptism. He wants to come again too. This is false, baseless and motivated allegations,” the priest said.

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