"Anti-Conversion" Law Implemented in Gujarat, India
May 6, 2008
(christiansunite.com) - An anti-conversion law passed in 2003 in the Indian state of Gujarat came into effect on April 1, increasing Christians' concerns that it will open the door to false accusations by Hindu militants. The law is supposed to curb religious conversions made by "force," "fraud" or "allurement."
However, Christians and human rights groups believe that the law actually obstructs all conversions, as Hindu nationalists invoke it to harass Christian workers with arrests and imprisonments, which are often accompanied with violence against the accused. The law dictates that any person who intends to convert must notify the government or will be declared an offender and prosecuted under criminal laws.
It also stipulates that those convicted of "forcible conversion" could be jailed for up to three years.
Anti-conversion laws are now enforced in five states -- Gujarat, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh -- and have been passed but are yet to be implemented in Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Ask God to strengthen Christian workers in Gujarat as they face more opposition in serving the Lord. Pray that the faithfulness of Indian Christians will be a light that draws many to the love of Christ (Matthew 5:14-16).
For more information on the persecution facing Christians in India, go to www.persecution.net/country/india.htm.