Preacher couple arrested for alleged religious conversion in Goa
PANAJI: The Goa police arrested a preacher couple on charges of attempting to induce an unnamed person to give up his religious belief and convert to the religion professed and propagated by them, police said on Thursday.
The accused identified as Domnic D’Souza and Joan Mascarenhas who run a self-titled Christian denomination styled as the Five Pillars Church, which they founded, have been booked by the police under section 153 A, (wanton vilification or attacks on religion), 295 A (outraging religious sentiments) as well as sections 3 and 4 of the Drugs and Remedies (objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
The duo were arrested late on Thursday evening.
According to the complaint filed by one Prakash Khobrekar, D’Souza and Mascarenhas had induced an unnamed person to give up his religious belief and convert to the religion professed and propagated by them.
“All the accused persons deliberately made gestures by uttering words, acts, threatened the complainant with the intention to hurt his religious sentiments and lured the complainant to accept the religion professed and propagated by them,” Khobrekar said in his complaint.
The couple had previously run into trouble with local residents over the functioning of their church but were let off after brief warnings from the district administration.
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