Making the best out of the Citizenship Amendment Act: Muslim, Rohingya refugees convert to Christianity


NEW DELHI | JULY 24, 2020:

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has resulted in many Afghan and Rohingya Muslim refugees converting to Christianity to become eligible for Indian citizenship.

According to sources, central agencies have alerted the government and around 25 such cases of Afghan Muslims converting to Christianity have been detected by the agencies as part of an ongoing assessment.

The CAA was passed by Parliament last year and came into existence on January 10 this year. It allows non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to apply for Indian citizenship. However, the Union Home Ministry is yet to notify the rules for CAA 2019.

"After the CAA was passed, there has been a spurt in the number of Afghan Muslims converting to Christianity," said 34-year-old Adib Ahmed Maxwell, who heads an Afghan church in South Delhi.

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

Official estimates suggest there are nearly 40,000 Rohingya Muslims across India with most of them living in Jammu and Kashmir.

A large number of these migrants now claim to be from Bangladesh while taking up Christianity.