Saturday, March 12, 2005

Anti-conversion Bill: Christians see trouble

Anti-conversion Bill: Christians see trouble

Christian religious leaders have said that a move by the Rajasthan government to bring into force an anti-conversion legislation in the state would be used as a tool by fundamentalists to harass minorities.

Three bishops and a Christian organisation have submitted memoranda to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje urging her not to implement the proposed legislation.

"The existing provisions are sufficient to deal with malpractices in religious conversions," Bishop Ignatius Menezes of Catholic Diocese of Ajmer-Jaipur said.

"The proposed law would become a tool in the hands of fundamentalists to harass minority institutions," secretary of Udaipur Christian Fellowship J C Biswas said.

Bishop Joseph Pathalil of Catholic Diocese of Udaipur said the chief minister should discuss the issue with minority leaders before drafting the Bill.