Goa pastor banned from carrying out religious activities

Panaji: The North Goa District Magistrate has banned pastor Domnic D’Souza from carrying out religious activities.

The pastor of the Five Pillar church in Sodiem village was arrested on May 27 for allegedly converting people to Christianity through inducements, on the basis of two written complaints filed against him by Nikhil Shetye and Prakash Khobrekar.

“Joan Mascarenhas D’Souza and Domnic D’Souza have been banned from carrying out any kind of religious activities at their institutional building in Sodiem in order to curb religious conversions by means of allurement or fraud, which may ultimately affect the freedom of religion and conscience of citizens,” the order issued by the DM read.

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D’Souza and his wife Joan were booked under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act for allegedly using ‘magic’ to convert people.

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

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

One complaint had also stated that the accused persons deliberately made gestures to the complainant for healing a disease, with the intention of hurting the complainant’s religious sentiments, and lured him to accept the religion professed and propagated by them.

Initially, the case was registered at the Mapusa police station, which was later transferred to the Crime Branch in June.

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