It sounds unbelievable right, but a state in India has bought in a new law that means offering prayer for healing or a better life could become illegal.
The ruling is known as an anti-conversion law. It’s trying to outlaw what it calls ‘forced conversion’. It means anybody in the state of Himachal Pradesh seeking to convert to another religion has to inform a district magistrate a month in advance that they are doing so of their own will. The religious leader performing a conversion ceremony will also have to give a month’s notice.
But local Christians are worried that the new law will be misused. It prohibits any ‘offer of any temptation in the form of any gift or gratification or material benefit, either in cash or employment, free education in a reputed school run by any religious body, easy money, better lifestyle, divine pleasure or otherwise.
Indian Christians are concerned that this will be used to target them. An Open Doors local partner said: “This now means that anyone praying for others’ healing will be accused as someone who is enticing people by offering them a better lifestyle, divine pleasure or otherwise.”
This isn’t the only state with anti-conversion laws. Seven other Indian states have similar laws, which have been imposed in recent years as Hindu radicals call for anti-conversion legislation to be made law at the national level.
Dear God, please protect our brothers and sisters in India from attack or false accusations. May they have grace and peace to be the light of Christ in their communities. We pray that violent extremists will turn to You. Amen
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