Influential Syro-Malabar Church on Wednesday alleged that Christian girls are being targeted and killed in the name of ‘love Jihad’ in Kerala. The Church’s Media Commission, in its report stated: “It is a matter of concern that ‘love Jihad’ is increasing in Kerala causing danger to the secular harmony and societal peace in Kerala.” According to multiple reports, the synod claimed that there was a ‘love jihad’ focussed on Christian girls, stating that over half of the 21 women who joined Islamic State hailed from the Christian community.
The Church has earlier also leveled allegations of love jihad, though it used to be in denial mode for long. Some converted Christian women were used as couriers for terror activities. Many families were broken because of the targeted Love Jihad cases, said a senior member of the Catholic Church.
In September 2019, Fr Antony Thalachelloor, secretary of Syro-Malabar Media Commission, in a press release, had claimed: “It is a cause of great worry that Christian girls are the most targeted lot. The CBI, the NIA and the IB have all reported that such cases are occurring in the state and the country. It is saddening and worrying that despite the existence of a mechanism to counter efforts by religious terrorist groups to entrap gullible girls, these are not being tackled efficiently.”
George Kurian, vice chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), on September 26 last year wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking a probe into cases of ‘love jihad’ or forced conversion of women by Islamic radicals. Demanding the involvement of NIA, he wrote, “The spate of organised religious conversions and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through ‘love jihad’ has shown the Christian community is a soft target for Islamic radicals.”
Kurian quoted a report by the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference’s (KCBC) Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance, which claimed that there were 4,000 instances of “love jihad” between 2005 and 2012. “Love jihad is on, and it has been continuing in the state for a while. Here, conversion is not into Islam, but into terrorism. Even the Muslim community is objecting to it,” the NCM press release said.
It may be noted that when Kurian issued the press release a section of Christians criticized him.