Rajasthan to vote on anti-conversion law.

By April 21, 2005

India (MNN)–Rajasthan state’s government is looking at passing anti-conversion legislation. The region joins a host of other states in India looking to enact similar bills.

Orissa is one of five states, including Arunachel Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, with anti-conversion laws.

These laws are meant to stop religious conversions by force or allurement. They require a potential convert to give local authorities a months’ notice before officially converting. Religious leaders must also submit a list of potential converts 30 days before any conversions take place. Some laws prohibit religious gatherings without prior permission.

Much of this legislation came about with the massive Dalit renounciation of the Hindu faith. The event itself was a mixed bag of political redress and religious oppression.

Dalit leaders view conversion as part of their fundamental rights, which were denied under the traditional caste system.

Gospel for Asia says many Dalits are open to the Gospel because they are seeking freedom from this oppression. Because attacks against Christians in Rajasthan have escalated in recent months, church leaders are concerned that the law could be used to harass minority groups.

There is also concern that under the terms of the proposed law, Christian charity works could be accused of proselytizing and be stopped and punished as a result.

Pray that this law would not be passed in Rajasthan. Pray too, for God’s comfort and courage for the 95 GFA pastors and nearly 2,000 believers there.

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