India's most populous state joins the 10 others to have approved similar legislation.
Ln February 24, the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, on Wednesday approved the “2021 Religious Conversion Ban Bill”. This bill prohibits religious conversion by fraudulent means or linked to any other undue means including marriage.
It therefore joins the 10 other Indian states, including the Madhya Pradesh, to have legislated in this direction. The bill sets sentences of up to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of 50 Indian rupees, or approximately 000 euros. TheAgenzia Fides explains that "the bill provides that no one converts, directly or indirectly from one religion to another through the use or practice of false statements, by force, following undue influence, by the coercion, following promises, persuasive actions or any other fraudulent means, or through marriage ”.
According to the Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, this law aims to protect Hindu women from forced conversions to Islam, through marriage. A phenomenon called "jihad of love".
But for Joseph Pamplany, Auxiliary Bishop of Tellicherry and member of the Commission for Doctrine of the Bishops' Conference of India, “such laws go against the spirit of the Indian Constitution which guarantees to all citizens the possibility of freely professing, proclaiming and preaching any religion of their choice according to his conscience. Under the pretext of controlling the conversion on the basis of compliments or by force, they target religious minorities, in particular Christians and Muslims ”.
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