Bharata Bharati

Christians in Arunachal Pradesh

Rahul KarmakarChristians account for more than half the population in Arunachal Pradesh. – Rahul Karmakar

The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Arunachal Pradesh may lift a 40-year-old anti-conversion law to uphold secularism.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said his government could repeal the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, an anti-conversion law, that the frontier State’s Assembly has passed in 1978 primarily to check proselytisation. Uttarakhand enacted a similar law in May this year.

“The anti-conversion law could undermine secularism and is probably targeted towards Christians,” Mr. Khandu said while addressing Prem Milan, a function organised by the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association at a church in Banderdewa, the gateway to State capital Itanagar.

Mr. Khandu assured that the law would be brought before the next Assembly session for repeal as it “could be misused by irresponsible officials.”

“Any misuse of the law leading to torture of people could trigger large-scale violence in the…

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