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News Link • Religion: Believers

Four Family Members Arrested In India For Converting To Islam Without Government Approval

In India, under the ironically named Freedom of Religion Act, you must get state approval before changing religions. The law is meant to guarantee that people are not coerced into conversions. In light of the ongoing forced conversions of ISIS or the Islamic State, that is a legitimate concern. However, it would seem a problem that can be addressed by just criminalizing forced or coerced conversions as opposed to forcing everyone to get state permission to change faiths. The obvious concern is that in the largely Hindu nation, such permission can itself be coercive for those who want to leave the Hindu faith.

Tularam Jatav, his son Keshav and relatives Manikram and Makhubhai Jatav were arrested in Madhya Pradesh despite telling a court that they had not been forced into adopting another religion. Seven others have been held for questioning.

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