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09/16/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Legislative Council of the State of Karnataka, India, recently passed an anti-conversion bill. The Legislative Assembly passed the bill last December, and it was recently moved to the upper house, where it was approved.

“This action is another stark reminder of the extremist course that the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] continues to chart for the people of India,” said Matias Perttula, ICC’s Director of Advocacy. “The reality of these anti-conversion laws is that they continue to make life difficult for Christians and other religious minorities throughout India. We’ve seen a dramatic rise in persecution because of these laws, as they only embolden fanatical Hindu nationalists to run with complete impunity against Christians. It seems that Prime Minister Modi and the BJP will stop at nothing to suppress the freedom of religion in India.” 

ICC conducted a survey last year to measure the rise of persecution incidents in the aftermath of the anti-conversion law passage in Madhya Pradesh, where the increase was palpable.  

The stark reality of this rise came in the context of COVID-19 restrictions. Even with the limited mobility of people throughout the state, persecution cases increased. 

Modi’s BJP is the political arm of the fanatical organization RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). This paramilitary organization works in India and globally to catalyze Hindu extremism and rally support for their extremist Hindu nationalist ideology.   

The BJP argues that the anti-conversion laws protect citizens from allurement and false conversions, but they only propel the anti-Christian and anti-Muslim sentiments already ravaging India’s cultural and societal fabric.   

The international community cannot remain asleep on this matter, and it must condemn the leadership in India that condones these laws.   

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