Story number 1 for 15 Jan 2003

By January 15, 2003

(India)–We begin today in India where the Gujarat government is introducing an anti-conversion Bill, entitled the Freedom of Religion Bill. The proposed legislation integrates the strongest provisions of similar bills enacted in four other states. When asked how the bill could be constitutional, Mission India’s John DeVries said: “It fits under the constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion if there is no coercion to change, but they have to now prove if they want to become a Christian to the police that they’re not being coerced to do this. So, the police now begin to monitor all conversions.” DeVries says because enforcement may become subjective, the bill’s passage could be problematic for their work. As to the effect on the ministry, DeVries stated: “We really, honestly, don’t know. It’s very much in the hands of the Lord. We only know that when you persecute Christians, the church grows like weeds.”

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