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India plan to ban religious conversion sparks fears of heightened attacks on Christians

Sister Leo Therese, a member of the Missionaries of Charity, greets Majoni Bibi, holding her child at a refugee camp in early October in Basagaon, India. Bibi, a Muslim refugee forced with her family from their home as fighting erupted in July between tribal Bodos and Muslim settlers in Assam state, praised Catholic relief workers for the donations as her family continues to live in a camp internally displaced people. (CNS photo/Anto Akkara) (Nov. 20, 2012) See INDIA-RELIEF Nov. 20, 2012.
Sister Leo Therese, a member of the Missionaries of Charity, greets Majoni Bibi, holding her child at a refugee camp in early October in Basagaon, India. Bibi, a Muslim refugee forced with her family from their home as fighting erupted in July between tribal Bodos and Muslim settlers in Assam state, praised Catholic relief workers for the donations as her family continues to live in a camp internally displaced people. (CNS photo/Anto Akkara) (Nov. 20, 2012) See INDIA-RELIEF Nov. 20, 2012.

Lawmakers in India are planning to introduce a bill that will ban religious conversion, prompting Christians to express concern that the proposed law will lead to further attacks and persecution targeting them in the mainly Hindu nation.

The legislative proposal, ironically called the “Religious Freedom Bill,” seeks to “prohibit conversion from one religion to another by the use of force or allurement or by fraudulent means.”

Indian parliamentarians plan to define “force” to include the threat of injury “including threat of divine displeasure.”

Under this definition, the bill will outlaw basic Christian doctrines, such as salvation, heaven and hell.

India is the second largest nation in the world, with a population of 1.2 billion next only to China. Of this number, 80.5 percent are followers of Hinduism.

Christians maintain a minority presence in India, with only 2.3 percent or 27 million of the population following the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Paul Robinson, the chief executive of Release International which supports persecuted Christians around the world, warned that the anti-conversion bill may make life more difficult for Christians in India.

Read more at ChristianityToday.com…

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