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    » 07/26/2006, 00.00

    INDIA

    Madhya Pradesh makes anti-conversion law tougher



    The state assembly yesterday approved – with a voice vote and without parliamentary debate – a decree that strengthens the anti-conversion law. The Christian Association has protested.

    Delhi (AsiaNews) – The central-northern Madhya Pradesh Sate assembly yesterday passed a controversial bill making the state's anti-conversion law, in force since 1968, even tougher, by preventing "religious conversions by force or allurement". The new decree makes it obligatory for individuals intending to convert to inform the district magistrate through a declaration one month in advance – failing which he will face a fine of Rs 1,000 or imprisonment.

    Similarly, priests failing to inform the district authorities about their plans to preside over conversion ceremonies face up to one year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000. The name and address of the converted and the date and venue of the conversion ceremony must be supplied.

    After this first phase, the police "will verify the credentials of the priest or organisation ahead of the conversion and that this is not being done by force or with allurement".

    The amendment to the law was passed by a voice vote without discussion in the house: MPs belong to the opposition Congress party protested in vain against the text and the way in which it was approved.

    Christian leaders say the new law "will give a new weapon to those people who constantly attack our missionaries". "Christians are implicated in trumped up conversion cases. This year alone, we were subject to 24 attacks by extremist nationalists who have molested us several times because of false proselytism charges," said president of the Christian Association, Indira Iyengar. (NC)

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    See also

    26/07/2005 INDIA
    Hindu extremists slander the Church but send their children to Church-run schools
    False charges of "forced conversions" are levelled at a Catholic priest. For the local bishop, this is a plot by Hindu extremists, backed by the state government that provides the legal instruments. Behind it, there is an attempt by extremists to get free access to high-status Catholic schools.

    03/07/2006 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh: Hindu extremists burn down Pentecostal church

    This is the second place of worship to be destroyed in the same district. Bibles found inside were also burned. The Catholic Church has expressed solidarity and concern about what happened.



    23/12/2014 INDIA
    Church prepared to use "any means" to stop laws that violate religious freedom, says Card Gracias
    The prelate issues a stinging statement against recent anti-Christian attacks and any plan to legislate in the matter of conversion. He said he would take "court action" to stop any draft bill of this kind. Instead, he insisted on the need to protect the rights guaranteed by the constitution, and defended the role of Christian schools, which are centres of excellence where no faith is imposed.

    21/02/2013 INDIA
    Madhya Pradesh: Hindu fundamentalists attack Christians even in the privacy of their homes
    In two separate incidents, Pentecostal clergymen are accused of forced conversions. For the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), India's constitution guarantees freedom of worship and praying at home does not violate the penal code.

    10/01/2007 INDIA
    Hindu militants forcibly prevent alleged “mixed marriage”
    Armed with swords and tridents, a group broke into a Marriage Registrar’s office in Madhya Pradesh to prevent marriage between a woman – who they claimed was a Hindu – and a Christian man. The woman says she is animist and has threatened to commit suicide.



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