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Arunachal Pradesh to Repeal Anti-Conversion Law
Monday, July 16, 2018, 21:11 (IST)
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has assured that the law preventing conversions from one faith to another would be repealed.
The surprise announcement was made last week by a Buddhist who heads the BJP-led state government.
While addressing a five-day gathering that marked the 10th year since the death of a Christian missionary, Khandu spoke in front of 2,000 Catholics.
He said would have the 1978 Freedom of Religion Act repealed in the next session of the Legislative Assembly.
He said the Act, framed 40 years ago to check proselytisation, has undermined secularism and was probably targeted at Christians.
Despite opposition from the ruling party, an official statement on July 13 stated that in the first of consultations held with the Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFCSAP), the CM said he will stick to its secular principles and therefore consult every stakeholder before taking any decision on the Act.
In an official communique, Khandu said, "This is a government of the people, and every decision taken will be in consultation with the people."
World Watch Monitor reported that his announcement was met by thunderous applause from the audience.
The president of Arunchal Pradesh Catholic Association said the law has remained a threat to Christians and the declaration is a big relief for the Christian community.