30 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/31/2012
INDIA
Himachal Pradesh (partially) repeals its anti-conversion law
by Nirmala Carvalho
The state's high court strikes down Rule 4 (obligation to notify the authorities within 30 days one's intention to convert to a religion other than Hinduism) as well as rules 3 and 5 (requiring the state to investigate conversions). For Card Oswald Gracias, president of Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, the ruling "upheld and protected the constitution" and recognised that everyone has "a right to choose his or her religion."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - In a landmark decision, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has struck down parts of the Freedom of Religion Act 2006, the state's anti-conversion law. Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Oswald Gracias, president of Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, said he was "very satisfied" because the ruling "upheld and protected the constitution" and recognised that everyone has "a right to choose his or her religion." More specifically, the High Court repealed Rules 3, 4 and 5 of the law leaving the rest in place.

Rule 4 made it punishable for a person intending to convert not to give prior notice to the district magistrate 30 days before the ceremony. Anyone who failed to give prior notice would be fined up to a thousand rupees (US$ 18). Such a rule did not apply to people who wanted to "return" to his or her religion (i.e. Hinduism), usually in mass ceremonies organised by Hindu fundamentalists.

Rules 3 and 5 (which are directly linked) required that the state investigate religious conversions, without defining when, how and who would investigate.

"Local officials and administrations use such laws to torment and persecute people who want to exercise their freedom of conscience," Card Gracias told AsiaNews, "and have often been used for violent acts against minorities."

"My hope," the prelate said, "is that the ruling by the Himachal Pradesh High Court will now set an example for other Indian states that have anti-conversion laws."

Other states that have anti-conversion laws are Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/17/2006 INDIA
New anti-conversion bill proposed in Himachal Pradesh
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/15/2007 INDIA
Muslim leader defends Himachal Pradesh Christians
by Nirmala Carvalho
10/06/2009 INDIA
Love Jihad: luring girls online and forcing them to convert to Islam
05/28/2007 INDIA
New incidents of anti-Christian violence, protest rally set for Delhi
07/21/2009 INDIA
Court overturns ruling ordering abortion on 19-year-old mentally challenged and orphaned woman

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.