Another state in India set to pass anti-conversion legislation

By May 17, 2007

India (MNN) — The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to enact an anti-conversion law in the northern state of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri announced his government would introduce a law to ban "conversions with allurement or fraudulent means" in the upcoming session of the Assembly.

President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller says this legislation is designed to do one thing. "These anti-conversion laws are strictly designed toward missionary activity. We're monitoring this for the U.S. government, as well. We're letting the State Department and the U.S. Commission on Religious Liberty know that our concerns for India's religious freedoms are increasing."

Hindu nationalists want to make it illegal for Christians to help people in Jesus' name. "In mission work," says Moeller, "just about all the time you're bringing something to people who are in desperate need. And as you bring those things, you bring the Gospel. You bring the Good News of Jesus Christ, but this is exactly the kind of targets that are being addressed by this legislation."

Moeller says Open Doors isn't standing idly by. "What we've been doing most effectively in India is training the Christian church for the coming persecution and giving people the ability through our 'Standing Strong Through the Storm' seminars to be able to continue to be an effective witness despite the persecution."

He knows why Christians are facing so many challenges. "[It's] because the church is growing in so many of these areas recently, in the last few decades. That's bringing the increased pressure from these radicalized groups."

There are two ways to help believers in India, says Moeller. "People can help just by becoming aware, to pray and to become informed. The training programs that we have are projects that they can support."

It's a great resource for all believers. "It takes the lessons from other places around the world where persecution has come to the Christian community," says Moeller, "and gives them the basic principles of the Bible in how to stand strong."

If you'd like to support Open Doors' work with persecuted believers, click here.   

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