11/18/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – The Parliament of India has opened its winter session. This session is schedule to have 20 sittings between November 18 and December 13. Also, this session will likely see another round of controversial laws be proposed, debated, and potentially passed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government.
Among the most controversial laws to be debated is the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, or CAB. If passed into law, this bill will make illegal immigrants who are Hindu, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. Intentionally omitted from this list of illegal immigrants are Muslims.
Another controversial bill that may be debated in this session of parliament will be a national anti-conversion law. In August 2019, after the close of the previous session of parliament, ICC reported that BJP lawmakers told medial sources that they had already started drafting a bill that would “prevent any kind of religious conversion.”
Many religious minorities in India, including Christians, fear the enactment of such a law because of the widespread abuse of similar state-level anti-conversion laws.
In states where anti-conversion laws are currently enacted, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttrakhand, they are widely abused. Radical Hindu nationalists falsely accused Christian leaders and evangelists of forcefully converting individuals to Christianity to justify harassment and assault. Local police often overlook this harassment due to the false accusation of forced conversions.
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