Anti-conversion laws provide cover for persecution in India

By February 10, 2023

India (MNN) — Monks call upon Hindu crowds in New Delhi, India, to stockpile weapons to kill Christians and Muslims. Several rallies in Delhi on Sunday called for violence against religious minorities.

The incitement follows a particularly-violent spate of attacks on Christians in Chhattisgarh, one of 11 Indian states with anti-conversion legislation on the books.

John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says anti-conversion laws provide the perfect cover for persecution. “This is a tactic that pro-Hindutva forces are using to attack the body of Christ in India,” he explains.

“In the states where anti-conversion laws have been passed, we see pro-Hindu forces attack churches, attack pastors, and charge the pastors with induced conversion.”

According to Pudaite, “induced conversion” allegedly happens when believers promise material goods in exchange for people in need becoming Christians.

Persecution rose dramatically after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power nine years ago. Hindu nationalists want to rid each state of religious minorities – hence the anti-conversion laws. They won’t stop at the state level.

“In addition, we’re seeing a move to pass a nationwide bill that would restrict or severely limit conversion from one religion to another across India,” Pudaite says.

(Photo courtesy Bibles For The World)

Bibles For The World comes alongside the Body of Christ with education, healthcare support, and more. Ask the Lord to empower church partners facing oppression from the authorities.

“We had one of our churches torn down by the government,” Pudaite says, referring to a partnering church in northern India.

Believers supposedly violated a zoning law passed in 2014, but Bibles For The World partners planted the church in 2012. “We should have been grandfathered in,” Pudaite explains.

“[Instead,] they came with bulldozers, full police protection, and a backhoe, and they pulled the entire church down,” he continues.

“It hits close to home when [persecution affects] something you’ve had a part in. We contributed funds to help in construction and had been supportive as it (the church) was planted.”



Header image depicts an RSS march in Bhopal, India. The RSS is a right-wing Hindu nationalist group dedicated to advancing Hindutva ideology. Dr. B.S. Moonje, RSS co-founder, described the RSS as an institution which could produce “the military regeneration of the Hindus” and unify the people in line with “the idea of fascism.”

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