(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

altAs World Watch Monitor reports, Christians in Madhya Pradesh, India, could soon face serious religious restrictions due to potential changes to the state’s Freedom of Religion Act. Widely known as “anti-conversion laws,” provisions in the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act prohibit citizens from forcing others to convert to another religion. Critics contend that it has been widely misused to criminalize willful converts and proselytizers.

Since the Act was passed in 1968, individuals who are accused of initiating forced religious conversion could be fined 5000 rupees ($82 USD) or could spend up to one year in prison. If the state’s governor, Ramnaresh Yadav, ratifies the Act’s more recent provisions, violators can expect to pay up to 100,000 rupees ($1635 USD) in fines and perhaps be imprisoned for four years.

Among the proposed changes is the highly contentious requirement that both the convert and the instigator obtain state permission at least 30 days before the conversion. Some Christians have expressed concerns that this amendment could overinflate the state’s power.

Knowing that the state’s election will take place in October, some residents believe the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is proposing the amendment in an effort appease the state’s Hindu militants.

Local Christian leaders staged a protest in Bhopal, the state’s capital, on July 8. Other Christians have subsequently participated in similar protests. Concerns have been raised about the impact of these protests, given that Christians comprise only 0.3% of the state’s population. Adding to the apprehension is India’s inclusion on the “watch list” monitored by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Please pray that the proposed changes to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act will not be implemented.

  • Pray that the Freedom of Religion Act will not be abused.
  • Pray for the winner of the upcoming election in Madhya Pradesh. Pray that he will not inhibit the religious freedom of the state’s inhabitants.
  • Pray that God will bless the Christians of Madhya Pradesh with wisdom and strength.

Current Ministry Projects

In addition to providing persecuted Christians legal support and rehabilitation assistance, VOMC cares for children of martyrs by ensuring they have a safe home in which to be nurtured both physically and spiritually. VOMC also partners to equip Christians in India with Biblical training and offers specialized ministry to further strengthen and support marginalized, persecuted Christian women.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Equipping the Saints, Legal Defence, Relief and Development, Women’s Ministry

Country Information


1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Indo-Aryan (72), Dravidian (25), Mongoloid and other (3)

Religion (%)
Hinduism (79.8), Muslim (14.2), Christianity (2.3), Sikh (1.7), other (2)

President Ram Nath Kovind (2017)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Based on English common law; separate personal law codes apply to Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for India

Despite the intimidation and violence that have taken place in many of India's states, may Christians wisely yet unashamedly preach the Gospel. Pray that indigenous Christians and foreign missionaries will minister in ways that do not hint at fraudulent conversions, unmasking the intentions behind the anti-conversion legislation. Intercede for India's leaders, that they may reign with justice and righteousness.


Select a Region

India News

  • Christians Denied Humanitarian Aid Rations
    A young girl cooking over an open fire just outside her home.
    A girl cooking for her family.
    Photo: Flickr / India Water Portal (cc)

    Ten Christian families in Bara Chomri village, Madhya Pradesh, have been denied government rations due to their faith affiliation. These families were summoned to a village gathering on January 26th where they were pressured to

  • Mob Violently Protests Alleged Conversion Activities
    The front of a church with destroyed property littering the floor.
    Property damage in the church.
    Photo: VOMC Source (screenshot)

    Hundreds of villagers converged on a Catholic church in the Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh on January 2nd. Spurred on by accusations of alleged religious conversions, the crowd entered the church building armed with wooden sticks an

  • Ministry Leaders Appeal for Pastors' Release
    Man's hands extending from prison bars with handcuffs on his wrists.

    A group of pastors in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is appealing for the release of 30 fellow pastors who are being detained in prisons around the state. According to Pastor Jitendra Singh, General Secretary of the Pastors' Association of Uttar Pradesh, all of the detained church leader