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In These Countries, Freedom to Choose What to Believe Is Under Threat

– Governments impose obstacles to block citizens from converting to another religion.

– The United Nations has failed to protect religious minorities in these countries, despite its creation as the primary champion of international human rights.


United Nations (21.5.2018) – For most people in the West, the decision to adopt a new faith is a serious one, made after thorough investigation of the truth claims of various religions. That weighty decision is also a free one.

Yet for many people around the world, that basic freedom is lacking. Too often, governments impose obstacles to block citizens from converting to another religion.

At a recent policy event on Capitol Hill, Balakrishnan Baskaran, who serves as a legal consultant to ADF International, shared about the obstacles faced by religious minorities in his native India. His family converted to Christianity from Hinduism. Such a decision would become illegal if the Hindu nationalist BJP party has its way.

Eight states in India already have anti-conversion laws in effect, including two states that adopted them in the past year. Laughably called “Freedom of Religion” acts, these laws aim to prevent Hindus from converting to Christianity or Islam. They purport to prohibit conversions that are based on force, fraud, or inducement, but these terms are vague. These laws essentially ban conversion whenever local authorities object.

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