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INDIA: Government to Introduce Anti-Conversion Bill to Parliament

INDIA: Government to Introduce Anti-Conversion Bill to Parliament

The BJP-led government is preparing to introduce a nationwide anti-conversion bill in the next session of parliament.

Many religious minorities in India, including Christians, fear the enactment of such a law because of the widespread abuse of similar state-level anti-conversion laws.

The government has already started drafting a bill that will prevent any kind of religious conversion. This comes shortly after the BJP-led government passed a controversial bill that stripped Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, of its statehood and special autonomous status.

Radical Hindu nationalists often use the spectre of mass religious conversions to pass laws and regulations that limit religious freedom. Indian Christians are falsely accused of conspiracies where poor Hindus are fraudulently converted to Christianity.

However, according to India’s own population data, the conspiracy of mass conversions to Christianity does not hold up. In 1951, the first census after independence, Christians made up only 2.3% of India’s overall population. According to the 2011 census, the most recent census data available, Christians still only make up 2.3% of the population.

In states where anti-conversion laws are currently enacted, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttrakhand, they are widely abused. Radical nationalists falsely accuse Christian leaders and evangelists of forcefully converting individuals to Christianity to justify harassment and assault. Local police often overlook this harassment due to the false accusation of forced conversions.

To date, no individual has been convicted of forced conversions in India. This is in spite of the fact that some of the state-level anti-conversion laws have been on the books since 1967. 

Sources: International Christian Concern, Zee News

  • Ask the Lord to embolden Indian believers so that they may not be fearful of the government’s opposition but may be determined to love and follow Him.
  • Pray these believers will rest in the knowledge that the Lord is with them and that He oversees all things including the country’s leaders.
  • Pray this current threat will serve to grow the church in faithfulness and in number.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi’s Appeal to be Heard in October

PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi’s Appeal to be Heard in October

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, will fight for her freedom in court in October.

Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after Muslim women told a cleric in a village in the eastern Punjab province that she had made “derogatory remarks” about the prophet.

Since her arrest in 2009, the international community has pressured Pakistan’s strict government, calling for her release and reforms to the blasphemy laws.

Asia’s appeal was scheduled for 26 March of this year. However, rising tensions and protests against her appeal from Pakistan’s Muslim community delayed her appeal until October.

As Bibi has been sitting in prison for over six years, reports have indicated that the health of the 51-year-old mother has been deteriorating.

As the blasphemy law in Pakistan is often abused by Muslims to settle personal scores with Christians and other religious minorities, international religious freedom advocates have asserted that the charge against Bibi is trumped up and have called for the Pakistani government to immediately release her.

Sources: CBN News, The Christian Post

 Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord will grant favour to Asia Bibi and her legal representatives.
  • Pray for justice for Asia and her family; may the court be impartial and not be swayed by prejudicial arguments or protests.
  • Pray for Asia’s health and protection, and that of her family. Pray that if she is set free she will be protected from those wishing to take ‘justice’ into their own hands.

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PAKISTAN: Five-Year-Old Attacked by Son of Landlord

PAKISTAN: Five-Year-Old Attacked by Son of Landlord

The 22-year-old son of a Muslim landlord allegedly raped a five-year-old daughter of a Christian tenant.

There is no substantial proof because of failure to obtain a medical report within 7 days, as the family of the assaulted child was reportedly harassed and threatened, and thus barred from reporting the incident. The 22-year-old Muslim has not been detained by police for any investigation.

The incident took place in Karachi’s Korangi Dhayee, in the jurisdiction of Zaman Town Police Station.The Pakistani government has been criticised by local Christian leaders and urged to enforce its law in an unbiased manner.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Christians in Pakistan

Prayer Points

  • Pray for justice for this girl and her family; pray that enough evidence would be found for an unbiased outcome.
  • Pray the Lord will pour out His ministering Spirit on this young girl to bring physical and emotional healing. Pray her family will cling to the promises of God and take great comfort in His Word.
  • Pray this outrageous crime and subsequent action may be used by the Lord to highlight the opposition and injustice faced by Christians in Pakistan; pray for change.