A ministry gives its take on the longevity of anti-conversion laws of India.

By June 15, 2004

India (MNN)–Hindu lawyers are trying to convince the Tamil Nadu government not to repeal standing anti-conversion laws.

Hindu lawyers say, “conversions are mainly responsible for communal and social tensions”. However, other legal pundits blame the religious issues on poverty, neglect and a cycle of atrocities visited on lower classes.

That the discussion has come up at all is just one sign that a new power is in place. A surprise outcome to recent elections in India swept away the Hindu Nationalist movement and put into place the first non-Hindu as Prime Minister.

Shortly after his swearing in, governments of several Indian states began talking about and moving forward on repealing anti-conversion legislation.

Mission India’s John DeVries gives his take on what is going on and what it means for future ministry. “These are three, significant, definite things that are going on in India. The minorities in India, the Muslims, the Christians, the tribals, the Dalits, they’re all very, very excited that it looks like the pressure is off.”

It’s no shock to see believers already in place for outreach. In fact, DeVries says, ministry has been ongoing, within the legal channels. Still, he says, “I don’t personally expect persecution to end overnight, because India’s composed of states which are somewhat autonomous, and the BJP is still in control in some of these states. However, there will be recourse of those who are persecuted and this time, there will be some teeth to that recourse.”

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