NEW DELHI — The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan state on Thursday (March 20) passed a new “anti-conversion” bill with more stringent and arbitrary provisions than previous legislation that was stalled by objections from the former governor.
The constitutionally questionable bill states that if a society or trust is found to be “contemplating” the use of money for converting people, its registration can be cancelled. Christian groups fear this provision would provide the pretext for numerous complaints against Christian organizations.
The bill also obliges anyone intending to convert to send notice at least 30 days in advance or face a fine of up to 1,000 rupees (US$25). It adds that the same requirement and penalty will not be applied to a person wishing to revert to her or his “original religion.”
Christians note that the bill, like anti-conversion laws in other states, only vaguely defines “force,” “fraud” and “inducement,” clearing the way for spurious attempts to label Christ’s commands to feed the hungry and make disciples as “fraud” or “inducement.”
-Compass Direct News