Home News Catholic lay group in India to challenge anti-conversion laws in court

Catholic lay group in India to challenge anti-conversion laws in court

“We must learn from mistakes other nations have made that have ruined their economies and social fabric and brought them to the brink more than once”

A Catholic Church group in India said it will challenge in court existing anti-conversion laws in the country that reportedly go against the Constitution and have triggered violent incidents.

“We must learn from mistakes other nations have made that have ruined their economies and social fabric and brought them to the brink more than once,” said Lancy Da Cunha, president of the All India Catholic Union (AICU).

The AICU is a pan-India lay organization, which was established in 1919, representing about 20 million Catholics in the country.



The group will join other religious groups and civil society movements that will challenge the so-called Freedom of Religion laws that allegedly caused the proliferation of hate crimes.

Da Cunha warned that if not checked these laws could do “untold damage” to national peace and unity.

“The so-called Freedom of Religion laws have gone beyond causing polarisation in the criminalization of inter-religious marriages on the pretext of curbing conversions by force or by fraud,” he said.

So far, nine states have already passed their versions of the Freedom of Religion law. The recent ones being southern Karnataka which was preceded by northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

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In a statement, AICU urged Indian top officials to take urgent steps to end what he described as “targeted hate” and “provocative steps” taken by state and non-state actors.

Earlier, AICU, with other Christian groups, challenged in the Supreme Court the denial of Dalit Christians the protection of constitutional provisions.

Da Cunha said most nations, specially ancient civilizations such as India, have emerged as leaders of peace and development.

Nothing good can come out of digging into history to relive its horrors, or “to scour its wounds till they again bleed,” he said.

He said political and religious leaders must act in concert to strengthen peace and amity.

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