Ghar Wapsi Ceremony: 14 People Return to Hinduism in Odisha's Kendujhar and Mayurbhanj Districts
Ghar Wapsi Ceremony: 14 People Return to Hinduism in Odisha's Kendujhar and Mayurbhanj Districts

Puri: In a significant homecoming event on June 21, fourteen individuals from two families in the border area of Kendujhar and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha returned to their ancestral faith of Hinduism after having embraced Christianity following alleged deception by Christian missionaries.

Organized by Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a special ceremony took place in Jharjhari village, Mahuldiha police station area of Mayurbhanj district, with active participation from villagers. The "ghar wapsi" or homecoming was met with enthusiasm as those who returned expressed joy in reconnecting with their ancestral roots.

Akshay Sahu, Prant Dharma Prasar Saha Pramukh of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Odisha (East), explained that several tribal people from Jharjhari village had converted to Christianity in recent years after being misled by Christian missionaries. Realizing their mistake, these individuals approached VHP expressing their desire to revert to Hinduism. The village head also sought VHP's assistance in facilitating their return to their original faith.

Narrating their experience, a family head who participated in the ghar wapsi ceremony recounted how their family was deceived by Christian missionaries. "A few years ago, when a family member fell ill, a Christian priest visited us and claimed that taking refuge in Jesus would cure the illness. The priest gave us a white powder, claiming it was 'bibhuti' (sacred ash) of Jesus, which, when mixed with water, cured the illness. Later, we discovered it was merely paracetamol," the family head shared.

Expressing gratitude towards VHP and the village leadership for facilitating their return, the family head emphasized their happiness in reconnecting with their Hindu roots.

The ghar wapsi ceremony included rituals such as Puja, Archana, and Havan, along with consumption of Panchamrit (a mixture of five sacred substances). Participants were also provided with copies of the Bhagavad Gita and other religious texts.

Highlighting the prevalence of Christian missionary activities in tribal-dominated districts like Kendujhar and Mayurbhanj, Sahu underscored the need for strict enforcement of laws against illegal conversions. He urged the state government to ensure proper implementation of laws prohibiting conversions through allurement or fraud.

The event was attended by VHP District President Chittaranjan Das, Bajrang Dal Co-convenor Divya Jyoti Muduli from Anandpur, VHP District Milan Pramukh Harihar Sethi, and senior volunteer Triptiranjan Sahu, among others.

The ghar wapsi event not only symbolizes a return to ancestral faith but also underscores ongoing concerns over illegal conversion practices and the protection of religious identities in tribal communities of Odisha.

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