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08/05/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – This week, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a private school manager has joined the list of those charged by authorities with violating the state’s anti-conversion law. Authorities also charged the private school manager under the federal Penal Code with “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.” The charges come from complaints made by students’ parents, who disapproved of Islamic prayers being recited at Florets International School. The school’s principal indicated that the practice of reciting prayers from four religions (Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity) had taken place at the school since 2003 with no issue. In response to these complaints, though, the school has phased out the religious prayers, and students now only sing the national anthem.

The recent criminal charges against this private school manager have raised concerns for Christian educators in the Indian state. A church official in the area commented to UCA News, “I am very surprised that an incident like this has happened as there were no reports of such cases in our localities in the past.” He warned that all educational institutions should be more careful now and follow all state guidelines.

While the outcome of this legal case has yet to be determined, the exercise of anti-conversion laws in education threatens greater oppression against India’s Christians. These Christians are already forced to worry about anti-conversion laws in their day-to-day lives—authorities arrested six Christian women at a Christian birthday celebration just last week. Legal threats in the area of education will only serve to exacerbate those fears. We pray that Christians in all areas of life in India will be shielded from the malicious weaponization of anti-conversion laws in the country.

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