Nepal criminalises conversions and ‘hurting religious sentiment’

Hindu Nepal
As Nepal prepares for its first election following the introduction of a new Constitution two years ago, its parliament has passed a Bill criminalising religious conversion and the “hurting of religious sentiment”, as Christian Solidary Worldwide (CSW) reports. Nepal’s Christian minority fears that, once presidential approval is given, the new . . . Read More

Modi accused of hypocrisy after BJP bulldozes through India’s latest ‘anti-conversion law’

Modi accused of hypocrisy after BJP bulldozes through India’s latest ‘anti-conversion law’
Church leaders in India have joined the chorus of protest against the BJP-led government, known for espousing a Hindu nationalist agenda, hurrying through an “anti-conversion law” in the eastern state of Jharkhand. The Freedom of Religion Bill, which was introduced and passed on the same day (12 August) in the . . . Read More

Jharkhand the latest Indian state to pass ‘anti-conversion bill’

Jharkhand the latest Indian state to pass ‘anti-conversion bill’
The Indian state of Jharkhand passed an “anti-conversion bill” at its Assembly meeting on 12 August, despite demands that the bill should be sent to a select committee for further scrutiny. “This is not normal,” Indian journalist Anto Akkara told World Watch Monitor. “It shows the growing arrogance of the . . . Read More

India: another state expected to pass ‘anti-conversion law’

India: another state expected to pass ‘anti-conversion law’
The north-east Indian state of Jharkhand has cleared the draft of an “anti-conversion bill” that could mean four-year prison sentences and 100,000 rupee fines (US$1,500) for those found to have forced another person to change religions, reports The New Indian Express. If what has been dubbed the “Religious Freedom Bill . . . Read More

Uncertain future for Indian Christians after BJP’s election victories

Uncertain future for Indian Christians after BJP’s election victories
India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have consolidated its political position across India after the party won several state elections. These were held in February and March; after results were counted in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, it had secured a comfortable majority in India’s most populous . . . Read More

India’s religious freedom failings ‘enshrined in constitution’

India’s religious freedom failings ‘enshrined in constitution’
Religious freedom in India will never be achieved unless the country is willing to make substantial amendments to its constitution and legal framework, says a new report. It also asks the US to put human rights at the heart of trade and diplomatic interactions with India. A tide of religiously . . . Read More

Indian evangelist suffers brain haemorrhage after police grilling

Indian evangelist suffers brain haemorrhage after police grilling
K.A. Swamy.World Watch Monitor   An Indian Christian has suffered a brain haemorrhage after he was interrogated by police about his role in distributing Bibles and other Christian literature in the city where he works as a professor of engineering. K.A. Swamy, 47, was marched to the police station at . . . Read More

India: Christian grandmother murdered for ‘disturbing the peace’

India: Christian grandmother murdered for ‘disturbing the peace’
Samari Kasabi’s son, Sukura (left), and his family outside their village home in Dokawaya, Chhattisgarh.Courtesy Open Doors International   An Indian grandmother was stripped naked, beaten to death and her body burned, apparently because her Christian faith was “disturbing the peace” in her village. The incident, in the central Indian . . . Read More

What next for India’s beleaguered Christian minority?

What next for India’s beleaguered Christian minority?
Fifty religious leaders from the Christian and Muslim minorities in India met together last week to discuss the religious freedom challenges facing both groups under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Christians are “facing physical, symbolic and structural violence” from Hindu extremists across the country, said Father Z. Devasagaya Raj at . . . Read More

Anti-Christian violence in India at an ‘alarming level’

Anti-Christian violence in India at an ‘alarming level’
A message is held aloft at a protest march against anti-Christian violence – in Bangalore in February 2015.World Watch Monitor   The leader of a Christian advocacy group in India says that incidents of anti-Christian violence in the country have reached an “alarming level”, with more than 30 incidents a . . . Read More