The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lanka to Shelve Anti-Conversion Bill after US Pressure

10/4/2005 3:58:28
The Peninsula - Qatar
Colombo

The Sri Lankan government has agreed to a request by the United States to shelve the controversial Anti-Conversion Bill, a top US State Department official told a Daily Mirror journalist visiting the US.

The official, who was not named, told the Sri Lankan reporter in Washington, that extensive discussions were held with the Sri Lankan government to express US concerns before receiving a positive reply.

However he said it was up to the Sri Lankan government to make sure the pledge is implemented. Nationalist group, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is to table the Anti-Conversion Bill in Parliament in coming weeks before the November 17 presidential poll.

The bill which bars any forced religious conversions follows a string of attacks on Christian churches and Christian places of worship by unknown groups in the past three to four years. Some Christian denominations have been accused of converting mostly Buddhists, a charge that has been denied.

The State Department official said in addition to the Sri Lankan Government officials, discussions were held with representatives of various religious groups — including Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims.

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