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» 07/09/2013
INDIA
Madhya Pradesh, clergymen “in danger” due to the anti-conversion
by Nirmala Carvalho
The state government will discuss in parliament the application about an amendment that also involves religious leaders. In the case of a conversion, a priest must communicate the data of the person concerned to the authorities 30 days before the ceremony. Those who violate the decree are liable to a fine and up to three years in prison.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A new hold on conversions is likely to befall Madhya Pradesh: these days the Government of the Indian State will discuss in Parliament an amendment to the anti-conversion law already in force. The change requires priests to provide local authorities all the details of the person who decides to change his or her religion at least 30 days before the ceremony. Otherwise, he risks a fine of 1000 rupees (€13) and up to three years in prison.

The amendment concerns section 5 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act of 1968 and was introduced in 2006, without being debated in Parliament. In the original version, the law did not involve the priest, but asked only the future convert to inform the district authorities of his or her decision.

For Sajan George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the conversion laws "are aimed at demonizing the Christian minority and are used as an instrument of persecution". Like Madhya Pradesh, other Indian States as well have introduced similar measures: Gujarat, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Himanachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan. "These laws", he adds, "are a challenge to the secular credentials of our constitution and fundamental human rights".

In theory, these measures should prohibit conversions obtained by force or with money, and three years in prison for "proselytism". However, they are exploited to persecute Christians, by producing false allegations of forced conversions. 

 

 

 

 


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See also
06/22/2012 INDIA
New attacks against Pentecostal Christians in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka
by Nirmala Carvalho
07/26/2006 INDIA
Madhya Pradesh makes anti-conversion law tougher
07/03/2006 INDIA
Madhya Pradesh: Hindu extremists burn down Pentecostal church
01/10/2007 INDIA
Hindu militants forcibly prevent alleged “mixed marriage”
05/06/2006 INDIA
Madhya Pradesh: "Social preparation" to counter anti-Christian violence
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
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".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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