India: Converting from Hinduism
An Indian state’s draconian “anti-conversion” law has been partially struck down in a legal challenge brought by Christians and celebrated as “a triumph for religious freedom” in the country.
The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) took its case against the Himachal Pradesh Religion Act 2006 to the state’s high court, which ruled on 30 August that some provisions of the law were unconstitutional.
Indian Supreme Court
The court removed a section that required a person intending to convert from one religion to another to give 30 days’ notice to the district magistrate. Failure to do this was punishable with a fine.
Two rules regarding the implementation of the act were also struck down. One required the district magistrate to give notice of the conversion request to any affected party before granting approval, and the other required a police case to be registered if the conversion was thought to have taken place using force or inducement or without notice.
The EFI challenged the law because of the ways in which it was being used, especially by Hindu extremists, to stop people from converting to Christianity.
Those wanting to convert were listed in a public registry, which was checked by Hindu extremists, who then tracked down, persecuted, and even murdered new Christians. People wanting to become Hindus did not, however, need to give public notice. (Read more here.)
Middle East: Converting from Islam
An Iranian man recently granted asylum in the U.S. after converting from Islam to Christianity told FoxNews.com he still fears the long arm of the rogue regime in Tehran.
The man, whose name is being withheld, said he fears hardline Muslims could come after him, even in the U.S. … Because apostasy – renouncing Islam – is punishable by death, the man told FoxNews.com he lives in fear.
… After moving to the U.S. in 2009 as a doctoral student, the man befriended several Christians and began attending Bible study. Two years later, he converted to Christianity, then sought the help of the American Center for Law and Justice in a bid to obtain asylum. In July, a federal court granted his request, allowing him to remain in the country.
Had he returned to his homeland, the man would have almost certainly faced imprisonment and possibly death, said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director for the ACLJ.
“Asylum cases based on religious persecution are very common in the United States, and those converts from Islam who seek asylum here are greatly increasing as persecution of converts in the Muslim world is on the rise,” Barrans said.
Iranian persecution of Christians came to the fore recently with the high-profile case of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was released from an Iranian prison earlier this month after an intense international campaign and diplomatic pressure. Nadarkhani, who served three years in prison, had faced a death penalty sentence on charges of apostasy.