India’s national government rules out national anti-conversion law
According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), India’s national government has ruled out the possibility of enacting a national law regulating religious conversions. This announcement was made as several state governments have indicated their intent to enact laws commonly known as anti-conversion laws.
On the 2nd of February G. Kishan Reddy, a junior minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs told the parliament that the national government had no plans to enact a national law against religious conversions.
“Prosecution of offences related to religious conversions is primarily the concerns of state governments and union territory administrations,” Reddy told the parliament.
According to UCAN, Christian leaders welcomed this announcement. However, they also went on to appeal to the government that anti-conversion laws currently enacted in several states across India should be repealed.
Radical Hindu nationalists use the spectre of mass religious conversions to Christianity and Islam as justification to pass laws limiting religious freedom. According to these nationalists, Indian Christians and Muslims are accused of converting poor Hindus to Christianity and Islam in mass by fraudulent means.