News by emailDonate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

India-prayer-main_article_image.png
CC
World News

Anti-conversion laws to limit Christians in Indian state

by Cara Bentley

The law, in Himachal Pradesh state, is designed to prevent 'forced conversion' but Christians fear it will be used to put limits on their ability to pray for people and offer help.

Similar laws are already in force in six other states (Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat and Uttarakhand) and are gaining in popularity because it is believed that forced conversions happen and need to be prevented. Hindu radicals are calling to impose them at the national level.

A priest performing a conversion ceremony will also have to give a month's notice and people who reconvert to their original religion are exempted from this requirement.

The bill prohibits the 'offer of any temptation in the form of any gift or gratification or material benefit, either in cash or employment, free education in a reputed school run by any religious body, easy money, better lifestyle, divine pleasure or otherwise'.

The Christian freedom charity Open Doors suspect this could now mean anyone praying for someone else's healing will be accused of enticing people into forced conversion.

The bill suggests seven years of jail for forced conversions, while the existing 2006 Freedom of Religion Act, which the new bill seeks to revoke, was proposing three years.

Any person or organisation violating the provisions will also not be allowed to accept donations.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also introduced rules for non-governmental organisations receiving foreign funds, saying they will now have to declare to the authorities that they have not been prosecuted or convicted of converting anyone from one religion to another.

India's Christians fear that these rules will target all Christian NGOs and are expecting to be investigated more often and asked to stop all their activities.

India is number 10 on the 2019 World Watch List, Open Doors' annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate