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.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sonia Gandhi opposes Anti Conversion Bills

Christians demand for review of development status, conversions
NEW DELHI, INDIA (ANS) -- The Indian Congress President, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, has voiced her party’s strong opposition or anti conversion laws, called Freedom of religion Bills, being enacted by several BJP ruled states.

In a signed letter to Dr John Dayal, a member of the National Integration Council and President of the All India Catholic Union, Mrs. Gandhi said “The Congress Party’s views on this are well known. These are enactments passed by the State legislatures where the Congress is in Opposition. The Congress Party has opposed this strongly in the assembly and through demonstrations.” Dr. Dayal previously submitted a letter to Mrs. Ghandi signed by prominent civil and religious leaders from across India.

The letter comes even as several Christian leaders are meeting with the National Commission for Minorities to raise this and other issues. They are calling for a comprehensive review of the social, economic and political situation of the Christian Minorities in India. They are also asking for an official statement from every State detailing any instances of forcible conversions. BJP-ruled state governments have been using alleged “forced conversions” as an excuse to pass restrictive anti-conversion legislation targeting Christian and Muslim activity.

Dalit Freedom Network partners Rev. Madhu Chandra, Albert Lael, Sam Paul, Jose MD, and Dr John Dayal along with Delhi Archbishop Vincent Concessao and Church of North India General Secretary Rev Enos Das Pradhan as well as several other prominent Christian leaders met with Chairman Hamid Ansari and vice Chairman PM Pinto from the National Commission for Minorities.

The community leaders reminded the Commission “its first and main allegiance was to the Constitution of India and is obliged to monitor the Government of India and its policies and practices, as those of the State governments, to ensure that at no time do religious minorities feel they live in an unjust system, or that Government and its apparatus is deaf to their pain. We demand nothing more, and nothing less, than what is our right as Citizens of a free India.”

The harassment or erosion of rights of even the smallest and most vulnerable group is an erosion of the rights of the entire Minority community guaranteed under the Constitution. The Commission must therefore communicate a comprehensive picture of the social, economic, religious and other problems faced by the Christian community in the country – everything from issues relating to Visas and FCRA, physical violence, and hate campaigns.

A complete copy of the Charter of Requests to the Government of India given by the Christian delegation is available from the DFN by request. Contact them at 5350 S. Roslyn., Suite 200, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 USA. Phone: 303-221-1333 Toll Free: 866-921-1333. Their website is:


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