Bengaluru: As per a report in Economic Times, many Afghan and Rohingya Muslims living in India have converted to Christianity, in the wake of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed in 2019. 

Nearly 25 such cases of Afghan Muslims converting to Christianity have been flagged by the agencies as part of an ongoing assessment, the website adds. Furthermore, it says the central agencies have informed the government of the same. 

It is to be noted that the CAA allows non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to seek Indian citizenship. However, the Central government is yet to notify the rules of CAA. 

According to official data, there are 150,000-160,000 Afghan Muslims living in Delhi, mainly East of Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Ashok Nagar and Ashram, the website adds.

It also quoted Adib Ahmed Maxwell, who heads an Afghan church in south Delhi, as saying: “Post CAA, there has been a spurt in the number of Afghan Muslims wanting to convert to Christianity.”  

The website further notes that official estimates suggest there are nearly 40,000 Rohingya Muslims across India, with the highest number in Jammu and Kashmir. A large number of these migrants have been residing in India prior to 2012 and are now claiming to be from Bangladesh while taking up Christianity.

The website added Maxwell as saying: “An inquiry should be conducted into every application followed by an endorsement from the church for Afghans. Those willing to convert to Christianity from Islam are never forced. 

Ghulam Sakhi, who is among those who converted to Christianity, says: “The church allows us to study, pray and attend classes on the preaching of Christ. Once the family has taken a decision, we have to sign an affidavit and undergo baptism. The second reason for converting to Christianity was easier migration to Canada and European countries with the help of UNHCR.”