India Supreme Court to hear case by Catholic Archbishop requesting disclosure of records of religious rights abuses

Thursday, April 13, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – In a case brought by the Catholic Archbishop of Bangalore, India’s Supreme Court will on Friday consider harsh anti-conversion laws passed in numerous Indian states and consider the church leader’s request to compel the disclosure of records of religious violations in those states, the Christian Post (CP) reports.

Notably, just days after the Indian Supreme Court considers Archbishop Machado’s case on Friday April 14, the same high court will on April 29 hear a case brought by BJP activist Ashwinu Upandhay, who is calling on India’s government to extend the anti-conversion laws to all 28 states.

Archbishop Machado has been outspoken against anti-conversion laws, which have been grossly abused by radicalized Hindu nationalists who have used them to harass and violently attack Christians, CP reports.

Moreover, Machado said in an interview with the Open Doors international Christian advocacy organization: “These are laws that undermine private family life.”

“Imagine a person has a holy picture in a book that they have in their family home.Their brother could turn on them and say, ‘This holy picture is a source of conversion to us,’ and bring a claim of forced conversion,” Machado said.

In a website statement about the impact of India’s conversion laws on the country’s Christians, Open Doors said: “Increasing numbers of states are implementing anti-conversion laws, supposedly to stop Hindus being forcibly converted to other religions, but in reality they are often used as an excuse to harass and intimidate Christians who are just doing things like distributing aid or having a private church meeting. These laws do not seem to protect Christians from being coerced back into Hinduism.”

Ruled uninterruptedly by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2014, India now ranks 11th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted; prior to the BJP’s rise India had ranked 31 on the List.

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