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ICC Note:

A state in eastern India recently passed a law and several amendments that restricted religious freedom in India. On Saturday, 5,000 people, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims, gathered to protest the law and stand for religious freedom in Jharkhand. The law was an anti-conversion bill which makes it illegal to forcefully convert someone to another religion. Such a law already exists in other Indian states and is frequently used to punish religious minorities who are exercising their faith. It is encouraging that members from several religions united to protest religious persecution.

09/25/2017 India (Asia News) – About 5,000 faithful of various confessions gathered in Ranchi to protest the anti-conversion law approved by the Jharkhand State Assembly and the land law amendments that the local government wants to dispose of tribal property to the best bidder. At the event participated p

Fr. Michael Kerketta, a Jesuit theologian was at the protest and told AsiaNews: “Members of various religious communities expressed their dissent in a peaceful manner. Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims marched together against the Jharkhand Freedom Religious Bill 2017, which directly affects religious minorities. We are united against the divisive forces of this country. In fact, anti-conversion laws are tools to curb religious freedom. ”

The event took place on 23 September. 22 social and civil organizations participated. Among those who spoke on stage, several opposition members and a Protestant bishop. No Catholic prelate intervened at the event, most likely to avoid exacerbating an already tense climate.

 

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