Fact-finding report of religious demographics and their concealment in Andhra Pradesh & A case-study of 1 Mandal of Krishna district, AP
t has become increasingly evident over the last decade that evangelical Christian conversions have increased exponentially by leaps and bounds in the state of Andhra Pradesh. There have been drastic and alarming large-scale conversions in the state leading to social strife, law and order issues, and families being torn apart. In the last two decades, huge congregations are being held brazenly in all districts, towns and mandals to attract more converts, a big socio-religious spectacle hitherto not seen in India. It is also known that the speakers in these congregations speak against Indian religions and culture sowing the seeds of communal hatred among close-knit rural societies. New converts are refusing to cremate their departed elders, refusing to attend family ceremonies.
Disturbing evidence has come to the fore through TV debates that aggressive proselytising evangelists are sowing the seeds of secessionist, separatist ideas in the minds of converts. Loyalties of the converts are being shifted from nation to extra-territorial, extra-constitutional evangelical/ Christian religious heads located abroad. This directly affects the unity andintegrity of the country.
In view of this huge demographic and socio-political challenge in Andhra Pradesh, Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) has decided to undertake a fact-finding exercise to determine the truth behind the phenomenon.
- A case-study of Reddygudem mandal, Krishna District, AP
RTI applications were filed with the appropriate authorities in the year 2019 in Reddygudem mandal, Krishna district. The request was to provide the number of churches in the mandal, and the percentage of religious populations of Hindus, Christians and Muslims.
The Mandal Tahsildar of Reddygudem mandal furnished the following data:
No. of Churches in the mandal – 68
No. of villages in the mandal – 11
Therefore, average number of churches per village –6
Note: As per 2011 Census the number of Christians in entire Reddygudem Mandal comprising of all 11 villages is – 630
However it is to be noted that the actual number of churches on the ground are much higher, and these are not recorded in Revenue Records of the mandal. If unrecorded/ unauthorized Churches/Christian prayer-houses are added, the average number of churches would be 10 per village.
A.1. Data from the village of Maddhulaparva, of the same Mandal Reddygudem- is as follows :
Patha maddulaparva 5 churches
Kottha maddulaparva – 3 churches, BC colony – 2 Adavi Kotturu – 1
It is extremely intriguing that officially there are 11 Churches functional in 1 larger village, when there are NO practicing christians. The only inference that can be drawn is that a large number of christian converts of predominantly `Hindu SC/OBC’ exist in the village? (Attached as Annexure-3)
B. Govt data of a scheme `Chandranna Christmas Kanuka’ exclusively for Christians
The state of Andhra Pradesh does not have any legislation to regulate or monitor the change from one religion to another. In the absence of any kind of mandatory provision to register change of religion, most of the conversions from Hinduism to Christianity are neither noticed nor recorded in any official records. Majority of the said conversions are out of SC Hindu population in the state. The enormity of the problem can be gauged by the fact that the word ‘SC’ and ‘Christian’ are being used interchangeably and being exploited.
To an RTI query on `selection of beneficiaries’ for the previous government’s scheme ‘Chandranna Christmas Kanuka’ exclusively for Christians, the concerned officials of Achampeta mandal, Guntur District, AP, replies dated 06.09.2019, 26.09.2019 and 05.11.2019 respectively stated that they treated the entire SC population in the aforesaid mandal as Christians and as such they extended the scheme to entire SC population, whereas it should be given only to Christians.(Annexures-1A, 1B & 1C – Attached)
C. Serious violation of Constitution- willful wrong declaration of religious status
Christian pastors own claims of Christian population in Andhra Pradesh – In the recent years, several Christian leaders on TV debates have been claiming that about 30% of the state population is now Christian which leads to the inescapable conclusion that 28.5% of the population has wrongly declared its religion during census and a bulk of this wrongful declarations have been made by SC/OBC converts out of Hinduism into Christianity. This amounts to a serious gross criminal violation of the laws and disrespect to the Constitution of India and the entire nation.(Video Clip of the TV Debate attached as Annexure-5)
D. AP United Pastors Association
Mr. K. Rajendra Prasad, Secretary for the AP United Pastors Association in a meeting held after the 2019 Assembly Elections in Kaamayyapalem Village, Jeelugumilli (M), West Godavari (District), Andhra Pradesh, giving further proof of large-scale conversions claimed that the Pastors Association has a membership of 5 Lakhs Pastors, and that the state of AP has a total of 2Crores of Christian Population. Whereas the 2011 Census shows the total population of Christians is only 6.82 Lakhs in Undivided Andhra Pradesh. The pastors association felicitated an elected MLA, and the MLA assured that all the pastors would be provided a monthly honorarium by the newly elected AP govt. (Attached News Clip as Annexure-4)
E. Population break-up of AP as per 2011 census
The population of Christians in Andhra Pradesh is only 6.82 Lakhs out of 4.93 Crores (State Population) which would translate to just 1.4 percent Christian population.
- F.“What happened to the Christians of Andhra Pradesh?” Report prepared by Centre for Policy Studies, New Delhi
Centre for Policy Studies, New Delhi in their report titled “What happened to the Christians of Andhra Pradesh?” (report copy – Annexure-2) presented the demographic data which reveals blatant misuse of SC reservation benefits by converted Christians. The data shows a sharp decline in those who declared their religion as Christian between 1971 and 2011.
TABLE – 1: Districts of Christian concentration in Andhra – Changes between 1971 – 2011
Data for 1 district – Guntur: The number of Christians has reduced from 4.15 lakhs to just 0.89 lakhs in last 40 years while the population of the district went up from 28.44 lakhs to 48.87 lakhs between 1971-2011.
Table – II
The data for Guntur district is even more shocking. In 1961, 5.24% of the population was from Scheduled Castes and 13.40% was from Christians. By 2011, the figure for SCs has risen to 19.59% while the figure for Christians came down to 1.84 %. The sharp decline in number of Christians is correlated with those claiming themselves as Scheduled Castes.
G.Inferences from the data and Census
Is it not safe to assume that those practicing Christianity have obtained Hindu-SC caste certificates to garner all opportunities, facilities and schemes given for benefit of SCs – like reservations in electoral constituencies, political and nominated posts, jobs, educational opportunities, scholarships, hostels, housing etc?
As per 2011 Census, the number of Christians in the entire state of Andhra Pradesh is 6,82,660. From the year 1951 to 2011 Census, the percentage of Christians has fallen from 5.37% to 1.38%. Whereas there is an explosion in the number of Churches/Evangelical activity across the state. This shows that the constitutionally guaranteed reservations/safeguards meant for benefit of SCs are being misused by Christian converts, converted from Hindu SC/OBC.
H. Misuse of FCRA provisions?
It is also possible that the large presence of Churches, large scale receipts of FCRA funds by evangelical organizations, and the lethargy, inaction and possible complicity of Government officials treating all SCs as Christians, is a clear indication of SCs conversions into Christianity,that have taken place in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
I.Violation of Constitution
It is pertinent to note that majority of the converts from Hinduism into Christianity continue to obtain Hindu Caste Certificates like SC/OBC and garner all the benefits of reservations, whether in selection of candidates for SC reserved constituencies (MP, MLA etc.), nominated posts reserved for SCs, educational opportunities, job opportunities etc. The genuine SCs still faithfully practicing Hindu religion and traditional/ancestral way of life and cultural practices are thoroughly deprived of their legitimate constitutionally guaranteed benefits for their social and economic upliftment. This is the gross misuse of the special facilities granted by the Constitution for SCs.
If a proper demographic exercise is conducted in the state of Andhra Pradesh, regarding the converted Christians carrying Hindu caste certificates and availing reservations and a horde of other benefits, a scam of gigantic proportions would be revealed. If this data is translated into absolute numbers of people, funds misused, and the huge time-periods of decades when this deceit is perpetuated, this may well stand-out as the largest and longest fraud on the Constitution of India as well as violations of the Law of the land. It would reveal the gross injustice that has been perpetrated against genuine and deserving SCs and could turn out to bethe biggest scam of post-independent India.