Goa pastor arrested for alleged religious conversions

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Goa pastor arrested for alleged religious conversions
Panaji:  Goa Police on Monday morning arrested a pastor for allegedly converting people to Christianity through inducement, along with involvement in black magic.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Jivba Dalvi told IANS that Pastor Domnic D’Souza of the Five Pillar Church in Sodiem village in North Goa was arrested on Monday following a complaint from a Hindu person.

“Acting upon the complaint, Mapusa Police arrested him for involvement in conversion and black magic. This is the third offence registered against him on similar sections (conversion) and five more offences in different sections are already registered. Total eight offences are registered against him,” Dalvi told.

The case has been registered against him and his wife Mrs. Joan Mascarenhas and also against unknown members attached to Five Pilar Church, under section 153-A, 295-A , 506 (ii) R/w 34 IPC , Sec 3, 4 , 7 of The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954.

In December 2022, the North Goa District Magistrate had ordered a ban on religious activities by Pastor Domnic D’Souza.

Domnic D’Souza was earlier arrested on May 27, 2022 following two written complaints by Nikhil Shetye and Prakash Khobrekar.

“Ban has been ordered to carry out religious activities by Mrs Joan Mascarenhas D’Souza and Mr. Domnic D’Souza in their institutional building at Sodiem, Siolim, Bardez Goa in order to curb the religious conversions by means of allurement or fraud which may ultimately affect the freedom of religion and conscience of Citizens,” Order by district Magistrate had stated.

“Given the emergent nature of the situation, immediate prevention is desirable. Therefore Mrs Joan Mascarenhas D’Souza and Mr Domnic D’Souza are directed to abstain from engaging in religious conversion,” the Order further said.

In their complaints, the victims had alleged that Dominic D’Souza and his associates were inducing people for religious conversion.

The case registered against him in 2022 was later transferred to the Crime Branch.

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