India – Anticoversion bill considered in Karnataka

Barnabas Fund. The government of Karnataka State is said to be “determined” to introduce an anti-conversion bill, raising concerns amongst Christians. Government official Suresh Kumar alleged that “poor Hindus were becoming victims of conversions by missionaries” and that anti-conversion laws, such as those already in place in some other Indian states, were necessary to protect them against conversion by means of force, deceit or allurement. In September 2008 a number of churches were attacked across Karnataka by the right-wing Bajrang Dal group; the group defended their actions as a response to forced conversions. Christians are greatly concerned by such “Freedom of Religion Acts”, which many feel are intended to stop all conversions, even by legitimate methods, particularly to Christianity. Often the laws are viewed as a licence to set upon the Christian minority; each time a new anti-conversion law is put in place, there is a rise in anti-Christian violence in the state. Pray that the bill will not be passed and that the authorities will work to safeguard religious freedom in Karnataka. Pray for increased tolerance towards Christians in India. Pray that the Lord will strengthen His people and protect them from attacks.

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