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08/14/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, the Madhya Pradesh Home Affairs Minister, Narottam Mishra, has claimed that at least 28 cases of forced conversions have been reported since the central Indian state passed a new anti-conversion law in March.

On March 8, the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly approved the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 2020, allowing the state government to regulate all religious conversions and criminalize forced conversions. This move by the Legislative Assembly confirmed an executive ordinance by the same name that had been in force since January.

The Freedom of Religion Act has become a tool for suppressing religious minorities under the guise of conversion,” Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told Asia News. “Hindu radicals use false accusations to target the most vulnerable Christians.

According to International Christian Concern’s (ICC) report covering the effects of the anti-conversion law in Madhya Pradesh, the enactment of this law instigated a new wave of persecution. In the first six months of the law’s enforcement, Christians in Madhya Pradesh endured at least 48 incidents of persecution.

Far-right groups break into homes, then go to the police station and force officers to write a First Information Report,” George explained to Asia News. “Christians are arrested just for attending birthday parties or other social events. The social fabric of the country is gradually eroding.

False accusations of forced conversion are used by radical Hindu nationalists to justify physical assaults on Christians. In most cases, local police arrest the Christian victim, who has been clearly assaulted, simply because radicals claim the Christian was involved in religious conversions.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: press@persecution.org.