India (MNN) — India passes yet another anti-conversion law at the state level. Haryana’s legislation slid through largely unnoticed as the world watched Ukraine.
Haryana is now the ninth state with an anti-conversion law on the books; 11 of India’s 28 states have drafted such legislation. “There continue to be rumors that a nationwide bill is being prepared,” John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says.
Police use these laws to persecute believers, especially those who turn to Christ from another religion.
“Anti-conversion laws are framed so that no one can convert from one religion to another. Hindus can practice Hinduism, Muslims can practice Islam, Christians can practice Christianity, etc. But you cannot convert from one religion to another,” Pudaite explains.
“It’s a way that they (authorities) can still claim ‘we’re observing our Constitution,’ which provides freedom of religion.”
The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, or FCRA, presents another problem for Bibles For The World. “On the economic front, they’ve been tightening down,” Pudaite says.
“Christian organizations are being singled out, and their registrations are being canceled or not renewed.”
The government can force organizations with FCRA approval to stop working in India – like Compassion International. The government denied permission to nearly 6,000 agencies earlier this year.
The FCRA is an obstacle for churches and ministries alike. “Some churches we’ve worked with in India still have not received any notice of whether their FCRA application has been accepted or not,” Pudaite says.
“[Their approval status] been provisionally extended until June 30, 2022, but still pending official renewal, which is supposed to be for five years. This is the status of [many] Christian organizations and churches in India.”
Thankfully, the Lord is still in control, and we have a direct connection. “Pray for the Christians [as they] start to see more and more persecution and oppression,” Pudaite requests.
Pray God will move in the hearts of the oppressors.
“They (authorities) have used this time, through COVID, to really work on laws and things that will hinder the spread of Christianity across India.”
Help Bibles For The World change lives in India.
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Abhishek K. Singh/Unsplash.