The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Wednesday claimed that churches in India were conspiring with the Vatican as “contract killers” to destabilise elected governments and “prop up puppet ones”, PTI reported.

The Hindutva organisation’s remarks came after the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Father Filipe Neri Ferrao, wrote a letter to churches saying the Constitution is in danger. In May, Archbishop of Delhi Anil Couto had said in a letter to parishes in the national capital that there was a “turbulent political atmosphere” in the country, and asked them to “pray for the country”.

“Churches in India are in collusion with the Vatican, and are trying to create an atmosphere of distrust against the present government,” said Surendra Jain, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad joint general secretary, in New Delhi on Wednesday. “The Constitution of India is in danger because of the attacking political stand of the church and its agenda of religious conversions.”

“This is a conspiracy to install governments which can run on the directions of the Vatican. Like the award-wapsi gang, the church too is acting like a contract killer to destabilise the elected governments,” Jain said, referring to a group of academicians who returned their awards to the government a few years ago, in protest against what they called “rising intolerance” in the country.

“The same church remained a mute spectator when Emergency was imposed in the country, Kashmiri Hindus were brutally killed in the Valley and Sikhs were butchered in the 1984 riots,” the VHP leader said. “For the church, these events do not put the Constitution in danger.”

Jain also claimed that the churches protest only when a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is in power.