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Cultural News
Survivors: Quake Was God's Blessing in Disguise
Amidst the devastation and immense human suffering in Haiti, some of its people are responding with faith. As the sun begins to set over the capital city of Port-au-Prince, a few hours of Heaven comes down on a corner of the devastated city...read more
Pro-Life Leaders to Protest Abortion 'Supercenter'
Several prominent pro-life leaders are rallying in Houston, Texas on Monday to protest what will be the largest abortion clinic in the western hemisphere. ...read more
Vietnam Churches Reach Out to Country's Addicts
HO CHI MINH, Vietnam - Christians in Vietnam are reaching out to those lost in a world of drugs and despair....read more
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Music News
Multiple GRAMMY ® Nominee Gungor Selling Out Major Cities On Headline Spring Tour
With numerous honors and stellar reviews for their latest album, Ghosts Upon the Earth, it is no surprise that three-time GRAMMY ® nominated group Gungor is selling out shows...read more
New Music From The Afters To Appear in the Upcoming Feature Film October Baby
Fans looking for an early preview of new music from chart-topping foursome The Afters will have their chance later this month as the band’s song “Life Is Beautiful” is featured in the upcoming feature film October Baby. ...read more
Music Icon Steven Curtis Chapman Collects 16th GRAMMY ® Nomination for No. 1 Hit “Do Everything”
The already five-time GRAMMY ® award-winning multi-platinum selling artist Steven Curtis Chapman garnered the 16th GRAMMY ® nomination of his prolific 20+ year career....read more
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CULTURAL NEWS
Anti-Conversion Law in Gujarat Raises Concerns
07 May 2008

The Indian State of Gujarat implemented the Gujarat Religious Freedom Act (2003), with effect from April 1, 2008. According to the Act, religious conversions by “force”, “fraud” or “allurement” are punishable under law and those convicted could face up to 3 years of imprisonment.

Gujarat has been home to the persecution of minorities over the last few years and following the implementation of this law, Christians and missionaries in the state are concerned this law will encourage anti-Christian activists to submit false accusations of forced conversions against them, thus causing ill-repute, possible harassment and unfair imprisonment.

The rules of this anti-conversion law make it obligatory for a person seeking to convert someone from one religion to another to obtain prior permission of the district magistrate in order to avoid police action. They will be required to sign a detailed form providing personal information about the person he/she wishes to convert, whether the one to be converted is a minor, a member of Scheduled Caste (Dalit) or Tribe (aboriginal), his/her marital status, occupation and monthly income.

After getting converted, the person will have to obligatorily provide information within 10 days of the rites to the district magistrate, reason for conversion, the name of the priest who has carried out the ritual and full details of the persons who took part in the ceremony. The district magistrate in turn will have to send a quarterly report to the government listing the number of applications for prior permission, comparative statistics of the earlier quarter, reasons for granting or not granting permission, number of conversions and number of actions against offenders.

5 states in India have now implemented anti-conversion laws – Gujarat, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh – while Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have passed the law, but are yet to implement it.


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