Anti-conversion may get stricter

By August 5, 2013
Christians worshipping in India. (Photo courtesy of VOM)

Christians worshipping in India. (Photo courtesy of VOM)

India (MNN/VOM) — A proposed amendment to the “Freedom of Religion” law in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh poses a threat to potential converts to Christianity.

According to contacts with The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), this amendment stipulates a mandatory one-month advance notice to the district magistrate by both a prospective convert and the minister who wishes preside over a conversion ceremony.

It also provides more stringent punishment (a three- to four-year prison term) and heftier fines for non-compliance.

The district magistrate and any investigating police officer are charged with ensuring that no conversion happens by force or allurement, mandates that would allow them to impede true conversions.

Christians are concerned this amendment grants too much power to local authorities, who are likely to intimidate those of a minority religion and hinder genuine conversions. It will also encourage the harassment of Christian pastors and anyone seeking to convert.

The “Freedom of Religion” law, also known as the anti-conversion law, is enforced in five Indian states, including Madhya Pradesh. Three states are considering the implementation of anti-conversion laws.

Pray for Christians in India, and especially Madhya Pradesh, to be wise witnesses for their faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for religious freedom in India.

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