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Prayer vigil highlights discrimination against Christians in India



London, 13 Nov 2013: A Prayer vigil was held outside the Indian High Commission in London to put a spotlight on the discrimination against Christians in India. Release International held the vigil on Monday.

During the event, Release supporters read out a list of attacks against Christians and prayed for religious freedom in the country. Supporters of the organization, which monitors the persecution of Christians worldwide, presented a 28,000-signature petition on behalf of Indian Christians suffering under the threat of anti-conversion law.

Seven states in India have anti-conversion laws, which require that those who wish to convert to another religion first gain official permission. Religious leaders are also required by law to report conversion or risk a three-year jail sentence.

Release argues that the laws are undermining the religious freedom guaranteed under India's constitution and it is calling on the government to restore the rights of Indian citizens. Release Chief Executive Paul Robinson presented the petition to the India High Commission along with the Release's patron Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.

"We strongly urge the Government of India to uphold the rights of Christians under the constitution to practice and propagate their faith without fear of being falsely accused or imprisoned," Robinson said.

Release partners in India have recorded 42 attacks against Christians in Andhra Pradesh, India's fourth largest state, in the past six months. An average of two assaults a week against Christians is reported in Karnataka.

"We call on the Government of India to do everything in its power to stop these attacks on its own citizens and to bring those responsible to justice," he said.Source: UCAN




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