India's Freedom of Religion Bill

Jan 15, 2003 12:52 PM EST

The Gujarat government is introducing an anti-conversion Bill, entitled the Freedom of Religion Bill. The proposed legislation integrates the strongest provisions of similar bills enacted in four other states.

Mission India's John DeVries said: "[The Bill] fits under the constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion if there is no coercion to change, but they have to now prove if they want to become a Christian to the police that they're not being coerced to do this. So, the police now begin to monitor all conversions."

DeVries says because enforcement may become subjective, the bill's passage could be problematic for their work, however, "It's very much in the hands of the Lord. We only know that when you persecute Christians, the church grows like weeds."

By Pauline C.