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Anti-conversion law used to persecute Christians in India
Friday, September 6, 2019, 21:02 (IST)
The recent anti-conversion law passed in Himachal Pradesh is likely to be used to target Christians in India and imprison them for sharing their faith, according to the International Christian Concern (ICC).
Essentially, the law criminalizes acts that directly or indirectly cause someone to convert from one religion to another by fraudulent means, which would be inducement, coercion or fraud.
ICC spokesman William Stark shared the fact that every week he receives calls from Christians detailing incidents where Hindu radicals interrupt a worship service and attack church members and pastors accusing them of forced conversions.
"So really what's going to happen legally speaking to this point is still unknown," Stark acknowledges. "Really what these laws are created for is [to be] a dog whistle to Hindu radicals operating around the country to say Hey, if you want to attack Christians or Christian worship services, just make sure you accuse them of being engaged in a conversion so you can justify the assault."
Although the census data indicates no massive conversions have happened over the years and Christians make only 2.3 percent of the country's population, the radicals often complain of large conversions to Christianity.
So far, no individual has been convicted of conversions in the country even though the state-level anti-conversion laws have been in books since 1967.