Reinforcing the foundation beneath a national anti-conversion law, India now wants foreign staff members of nonprofits to sign affidavits promising they will not engage in religious conversion.
This latest move directly connects to the Foreigners Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which forced Compassion International out of India two years ago. Dr. David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, says it’s another step toward a Hindu-state India. “You’ve heard of blasphemy laws around the world? Anti-conversion laws are sort of the ‘kid sister’ to those. It sounds so good, like ‘we can’t be forcing people that convert,’ but what it means is people aren’t allowed to change their minds.”
The impact of the FCRA
The government has been tightening these already severe restrictions, with amendments to the FCRA in 2012, 2015, and 2019. Now, explains Curry, “If you’re doing a good deed in India for a poor person: you’re feeding a poor person in Delhi, or you’re feeding a poor person in Calcutta, and that person says,’ this is the Love of Jesus. I want to understand that better’, now the person feeding that person… [could] go to jail.”
Curry does clarify that “we don’t exactly know what all the punishments are going to be, but you can be certain that those ministries are going to be stripped of whatever rights have to work in the country.”
The more significant concern is that interpreted changes will unleash a whole new wave of persecution against Christians. “Pastors will be arrested. We had hundreds of pastors who were held without trial in India last year; almost 700 in the last reporting period.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama