New Restrictive Policies in India Likely to Increase Persecution

10/23/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – According to recent reports, the rate of Christian persecution in India continues to escalate. Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in 2014, India’s Christian community has endured over 1,000 incidents of persecution. According to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), 218 of those incidents have taken place in 2019 alone.

Fueling this rise in persecution, state-based anti-conversion laws, currently enacted in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Uttarkhand, continue to be abused by radical Hindu nationalists to harass and imprison Christian leaders. Despite the anti-conversion law’s abuse, media reports suggest that the BJP plans to draft a national anti-conversion.

John Pudaite, from Bibles For The World, reports that the government of India has approximately 200 lawyers and policy makers carefully working on this anti-conversion legislation to insure that it is “watertight”. Many Christian leaders fear that even the mere introduction of this national anti-conversion law will further escalate the growing levels of persecution.

To compliment this new legislation, the Foreigners Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), an act which regulates foreign funding received by non-profit organizations, is also receiving an update. According to a recent notice from India’s Home Ministry, all members and employees of non-profit organizations must formally state they have not previously nor will they in the future engage in proselytization work as a part of their non-profit employment.

With each of these bills, India draws moves further from the policy of religious tolerance and peace. The situation for non-Hindu faiths, Christians and Muslims in particular, will likely continue to worsen in the foreseeable future unless major changes to the political trajectory of the nation are undertaken.

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