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Man in India - Mission Network News mnnonline.org
Photo: Mission Network News

The North Indian state of Uttarkhand is now the seventh state in the country to pass legislation restricting religious conversions, particularly from Hinduism to Christianity. This law carries a jail term of up to two years.

Passed by the state assembly in March, and signed into law by the governor in April, the law bans any conversion by use of force, fraud or inducement. The new law was passed in response to a High Court ruling last November which referred to conversion for the purpose of marriage a "sham." The court recommended a "Freedom of Religion Act" like that found in other Indian states.

Experience in various areas of India indicates that similar legislation has frequently been applied unjustly against Christians, particularly among those who are considered by Indian society as low-caste Dalit people. Unwarranted accusations are often used to harass and restrict Hindus from converting away from their religion. More about persecution in India may be reviewed here.

Pray that the state and federal governments in India will respect their constitution and protect the religious rights of all citizens. May the Christians residing in this country continue reaching out with the message of hope in Christ, despite potential new opposition.