Arunachal Pradesh is likely to roll back the anti-conversion law which was passed in the year 1978 mainly to check proselytization. The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state's Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that his government might initiate a process to shelve the Freedom of Religion Act, an anti-conversion law. A similar law was enacted by the state of Uttarakhand in May this year.
In a function organised by the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association at a church in Banderdewa, the gateway to State capital Itanagar the Chief Minister of the state said, "The anti-conversion law could undermine secularism and is probably targeted towards Christians."
Mr. Khandu assured that the law would be rolled out before the next Assembly session for repeal as it "could be misused by irresponsible officials."
"Any misuse of the law leading to the torture of people could trigger large-scale violence in the State and could break Arunachal into pieces," he added.
He was speaking at the function organised to mark the 10th anniversary of Reverend Brother Prem Bhai.
Prem Bhai died on June 28, 2008, in Colombo Sri Lanka. He worked as a missionary for more than 25 years. To spread Christianity and evangelize he endured arrest, imprisonment and beatings. He even wore disguises to fulfill his mission.
Arunachal Pradesh has a large Christian population. As per the census report, more than 18.7 percent of the population of the state was following Christianity in the year 2001. Hindu population covered almost 34.6 percent of the total population of the state, which has now plummeted to 29.4 percent.
According to census report tabled in 2011, Christianity has toppled Hinduism by becoming the largest religion in the state.
Arunachal Pradesh is the third state after Odisha, Madhya Pradesh to enact an anti-conversion law. By following the trail Gujarat passed the anti-conversion law in 2003, Himachal Pradesh in 2007 and Rajasthan in 2008. The anti-conversion law prohibits forced conversions and money-induced conversions.