ICC Note: The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, located in northeast India, may repeal the state’s Freedom of Religion Act, an anti-conversion law, in order to protect the state’s Christian population. Arunachal Pradesh is a Christian-majority state currently ruled by the BJP. Many see this move as a way for the BJP to win more Christian votes in the upcoming national elections.
06/30/2018 India (The Hindu) – The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Arunachal Pradesh may lift a 40-year-old anti-conversion law to uphold secularism.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said his government could repeal the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, an anti-conversion law, that the frontier State’s Assembly has passed in 1978 primarily to check proselytization. Uttarakhand enacted a similar law in May this year.
“The anti-conversion law could undermine secularism and is probably targeted towards Christians,” Mr. Khandu said while addressing Prem Milan, a function organized by the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association at a church in Banderdewa, the gateway to State capital Itanagar.
Mr. Khandu assured that the law would be brought before the next Assembly session for repeal as it “could be misused by irresponsible officials.”
“Any misuse of the law leading to torture of people could trigger large-scale violence in the State and could break Arunachal into pieces,” Mr. Khandu said at the function marking the 10th death anniversary of Reverend Brother Prem Bhai.
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