Gujarat becomes the third Indian state in three months to pass anti-conversion legislation. Uttar Pradesh led the way in February with its Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Bill 2021, and Madhya Pradesh followed in March. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rules all three states.
Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says Gujarat’s new law expands the scope of illegal religious activity. Previously, the law banned forced religious conversions. Now, simply using the “wrong” words could get believers in trouble.
“If a Christian is out telling the Good News of Jesus and that when you die you spend eternity in heaven, well that could be considered allurement to divine blessing,” Musselman describes as an example.
It’s a worrisome development. “This is sending shockwaves through the Christian community in Gujarat. If you’re found guilty, you could be imprisoned up to 10 years and fined the equivalent [of] about 500,000 rupees ($6,706),” Musselman continues.
As long as the BJP is in charge, there’s little hope of change.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray the anti-conversion laws in Gujarat and other states would be repealed.
- Pray Christians and other religious minorities in India will have religious freedom.
- Pray believers will know they are not alone.