Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Police In India Arrest 14 For Illegal Conversion To Christianity

Today's Hindustan Times reports that in the Indian state of Orissa yesterday, police arrested 14 individuals, mostly tribals, on charges that they converted illegally to Christianity.  They were charged with violating the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act 1967 which provides that no person shall "convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from one religious faith to another by the use of force or by inducement or by any fraudulent means". Police are also looking for the pastor behind their conversion.

UPDATE: A report in Christian Today clarifies the basis for the arrest of the 14 individuals who converted. Under the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act 1989, citizens wishing to convert must undergo a police inquiry of their reasons for converting. The conversion must be approved by police and a local magistrate. (See prior posting.)