While the BJP Minority Morcha leader claimed that some Christian priests had lent support to the initiative, they were unwilling to openly admit it.

Helpline to save Kerala Christians from love jihad and a BJP Minority Morcha mans behind it
news Religion Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 17:26

“Christians group in Kerala launches helpline to save ‘their’ girls from Muslim boys”, screams one headline. Another reads, “Xian group helpline to curb inter-religious affairs”. While several media outlets last week published reports that a Christian helpline was launched in Kerala to prevent ‘love jihad’, what those news reports failed to highlight was that the initiative was envisioned by Kerala BJP Minority Morcha member Renjith Abraham Thomas, who is the former Malappuram district secretary of the outfit.

Similar to the Hindu helpline launched by the Sangh Parivar earlier, the Christian helpline that is now active, will have a permanent office in Ernakulam from July.  Speaking to TNM, Renjith stressed that the initiative is linked to the BJP Minority Morcha unit in Kerala and that members of the Hindu helpline would help executive the Christian helpline.

While the helpline comes weeks after the Kerala High Court annulled the marriage of a Muslim man to a Hindu girl, who converted to Islam, Renjith explained that ‘love jihad’ is a threat in central and northern Kerala, where Christian girls easily become victims and are later recruited into terror outfits like Islamic State.  

“This is a serious issue, not only Christian girls, Hindu girls also fall prey to love jihad. Actually, they are more in number. We have collected all details on how these boys trap the girls. They use some similarities of Muslim religion with Christianity and trap them. Students of Malappuram nursing and medical colleges get trapped a lot in this love jihad,” Renjith said.

The BJP Minority Morcha leader points to the case of missing Kerala youth, who had left for Syria to join IS last year. Few of those who went missing were Christian girls, who converted to Islam after falling in love and marrying Muslim boys.

While Renjith claimed that some Christian priests had lent support to the initiative, they were unwilling to openly admit it.

“Almost seven catholic priests and pastors from Indian Pentacost Church have extended their support, but they cannot admit it openly as they are scared. Almost 18 Christian churches contacted us. All Christian groups are joining hands against this. Even Christian parents need such a system to help these girls,” Renjith said.

He also alleged that in Kannur, a lot of Christian girls are getting converted to Islam mysteriously. “In Kannur, Malappuram, Idukki and in Thrissur also we have spotted a lot of such cases. Through this helpline we will appoint people to council the girls who fall prey to it. We also hope there will be priests to support us in religious counselling sessions,” he said.

Renjith said Mathews Mar Gregorious, the Metropolitan of Indian Orthodox Independent Syrian church, is the patron of the helpline.

Speaking to TNM the Metropolitan said that he had offered to provide support and advice to the mission, but he has certain limitations.

“They have approached me seeking advice and suggestions, I have offered to do that. But I can’t do anything more as I am under a church. I have come to know about few cases where Christian girls got married to Muslims, I have acted against it,” he said.

However, Kerala Syro Malabar Church spokesperson Fr. Jimmy Poochakkat told TNM that they have no information about such the helpline.

“We are not associated to the organisation and we have no idea about it,” said Fr Poochakkat.