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India: Religious conversion ban threatening Christians may expand to 9th state

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The Hindu nationalist government of the northern state of Haryana has pledged to enact a law to regulate religious conversions that would lead to the arrest of Christians who share their faith, talk about Heaven or Hell, or perform charity work for lower caste Hindus.

The draconian “anti-conversion” laws, termed as Freedom of Religion Acts, presume that Christian workers “force” or give financial benefits to Hindus to convert them to Christianity.

Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana’s chief minister, said this week his administration would introduce a bill against religious conversion by force, marriages, or through inducement for the specific purpose of adopting a religion, the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern said, quoting Indian newspapers.

Eight other states in India have already enacted this law.

“While one has the right to adopt any religion, conversion by force, inducement, etc. are not tolerable. The Right to Freedom of Religion Bill will be brought in, in which there will be provisions against conversion by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, inducement, marriage, or any fraudulent means,” Khattar was quoted as saying.

“Strict actions are being considered to be taken against those involved in forced conversions,” the official, belonging to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, added.

While these laws have been in place for decades in some states, no Christian has been convicted of “forcibly” converting anyone to Christianity. However, these laws allow Hindu nationalist groups to make false charges against Christians and launch attacks on them under the pretext of the alleged forced conversion.

“Although similar laws exist in eight other states in India, those governments have not defined the terms’ inducement,’ ‘coercion,’ ‘force,’ or ‘fraud’ in the context of religious conversions,” ICC said. “Due to this legal ambiguity, these laws have been widely abused and empowers radical Hindu nationalist groups to attack and intimidate Christian minorities claiming to be acting under the state law.”

Some of these laws state that no one is allowed to use the “threat” of “divine displeasure,” meaning Christians cannot talk about Heaven or Hell, as that would be seen as “forcing” someone to convert. And if snacks or meals are served to Hindus after an evangelistic meeting, that could be seen as “inducement.”

The ICC previously noted that India’s own population data proves that the conspiracy of mass conversions to Christianity is a false claim. “In 1951, the first census after independence, Christians made up only 2.3% of India’s overall population. According to the 2011 census, the most recent census data available, Christians still only make up 2.3% of the population.”

Attacks and curbs on Christians have been on the rise since the BJP won India’s 2014 general election.

“Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, incidents against Christians have increased, and Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences,” noted Open Doors’ World Watch List, which ranked India as the 10th worst country for Christians.

“The view of the Hindu nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith — including Christianity — is viewed as non-Indian. Also, converts to Christianity from Hindu backgrounds or tribal religions are often extremely persecuted by their family members and communities,” Open Doors added.

According to Delhi-based Evangelical Fellowship of India, at least 147 violent attacks on India’s Christian community were reported in 2014, and the number increased to 366 in 2019.

India recently denied entry visas to representatives of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom who had planned to investigate reports of persecution of Muslims and Christians following the release of its report that designates India as a “Country of Particular Concern.”

Sources:Christian Post

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സമൂഹ മാധ്യമം വഴി അധിക്ഷേപിച്ചാൽ ഇനി പിടി വീഴും

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സമൂഹ മാധ്യമം വഴി അധിക്ഷേപിച്ചാൽ ഇനി പിടി വീഴും. പൊലീസ് ആക്ട് ഭേദഗതിക്ക് മന്ത്രിസഭ അംഗീകാരം നൽകി. സോഷ്യൽ മീഡിയയിലൂടെയുള്ള അതിക്ഷേപങ്ങൾക്കെതിരെ നടപടി എടുക്കാൻ പൊലീസ് ആക്ടിൽ വകുപ്പില്ലെന്ന് ആക്ഷേപം ഉയർന്നിരുന്നു. ഈ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിലാണ് പുതിയ തീരുമാനം.

2011ലെ പൊലീസ് ആക്ട് ഭേദഗതി ചെയ്യാനാണ് തീരുമാനം. 118 A വകുപ്പ് കൂട്ടിച്ചേർക്കാനാണ് ഓർഡിനൻസ് കൊണ്ടുവരുന്നത്. സമൂഹ മാധ്യമങ്ങളിലൂടെയുള്ള ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തൽ, അധിക്ഷേപിക്കൽ, ഇവ പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിക്കൽ പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കൽ എന്നിവ ഇനി കുറ്റകൃത്യമാകും. ഇത് സംബന്ധിച്ച് പൊലീസിന് കേസെടുക്കാൻ അധികാരം ലഭിക്കും. 2020 ഐടി ആക്ടിലെ 66 A
2011 പൊലീസ് ആക്ടിലെ 118 എന്നിവ സുപ്രിംകോടതി റദ്ദ് ചെയ്തിരുന്നു. ഇതോടെ സമൂഹ മാധ്യമങ്ങളിലൂടെയുള്ള കുറ്റകൃത്യം തടയാൻ നിയമം ദുർബലം എന്ന വിലയിരുത്തലിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിലാണ് സർക്കാർ തീരുമാനം.

നേരത്തെ മലയാള സിനിമാ ഡബിംഗ് ആർട്ടിസ്റ്റ് ഭാഗ്യലക്ഷ്മിക്കെതിരെ സമൂഹമാധ്യമങ്ങളിലൂടെ അശ്ലീല പ്രചാരണം വന്നത് വലിയ വിവാദങ്ങൾക്കാണ് വഴിവച്ചത്. സോഷ്യൽ മീഡിയയിലൂടെയുള്ള അതിക്ഷേപങ്ങളിൽ നടപടിയെടുക്കാൻ പൊലീസ് ആക്ടിൽ വകുപ്പില്ലെന്ന അധികാരികളുടെ നിലപാട് വലിയ വിമർശനത്തിന് വഴിവച്ചിരുന്നു. പരാതിക്ക് നടപടിയില്ലെന്ന് കാണിച്ച് സൈബർ ആക്രമണത്തിന് ഇരയായവരും രംഗത്തെത്തിയിരുന്നു. ഈ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിലാണ് പുതിയ ഭേദഗതി.

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Lifelight Ministries invitation to Divine Family Webinar Series

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Lifelight Ministries aims to minister among youth with a clear objective of transforming young lives for the glory of God. It has been our constant endeavour to share the joy of walking in the love of Jesus Christ. On behalf of Lifelight Ministries, it gives me immense pleasure to bring to you ‘Divine Family Webinar Series’.

You are invited to join the 8-part online Family Enrichment programme held every Saturday from 08:00 pm to 9:30 pm, October 31, 2020 – December 19th, 2020 via Zoom. The sessions will be led by Dr. Chacko Mathai, Family Counsellor and Psychologist who has a rich experience of more than 18 years of counselling 2500+ families in various corporate/ formal and informal set-ups, along with his wife Mrs. Molly Chacko who will be enlightening us on the following components:

 Foundation of Marriage
 Expression of Love
 Resolving Conflicts
 Effective Communication
 Forgiveness in Marriage
 Healthy Sexual Relationship
 Question and Answer Session

Post the positive feedback and life-changing testimonies of various couples received after the successful completion of the Family Enrichment 8-part web series in Malayalam, we are greatly inspired to extend the reach and replicate the same in English and Hindi as well.

This opportunity will prove equally beneficial for both married couples and even those preparing for the same. The sessions, purely intended at impacting many more lives, will be conducted completely free of cost.

Looking forward to your valuable presence and participation. Please do feel free to share this information to anyone who might be interested.
Zoom Id – 774485940490

Rev. Finny George (President) +91 7986320233

Pr. Biju Thankachen (Vice-President) +91 7558080069

Bro. Lijo Reji (General Coordinator) +91 9311252922

Gali No 1, Guru Nanak Nagary, Muktsar, Muktsar, Punjab, India – 152026
Contact: +91 7986320233, 91 7558080069, +91 9886652142
Email:[email protected],
www.Lifelight.in

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