Persecution.org | Sept. 4, 2019
New Law Targets State’s Christian Minority
International Christian Concern (ICC) learned that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government of Himachal Pradesh, a state located in northern India, passed a strict anti-conversion law on August 30. This is clearly in contradiction to India’s constitution and will likely be used to target its Christian citizens and threaten them with imprisonment for sharing their faith.
According to the new law, no person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, inducement, or by fraudulent means. The bill also decreed that any marriage done for the sole purpose of religious conversion would be declared null and void.
In 2006, Himachal Pradesh enacted a similar Freedom of Religion Act that prohibited religious conversions by force or inducement. The 2019 law simply introduces stricter punishments, including sentences up to seven years in prison, for those found guilty of the same actions criminalized by the 2006 law.