Stopping Conversions With Law
June 7, 2011
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I was perusing the internet due to the computer system at work being down when I came across an interesting article on WWRN.org: New criminal code to stop conversions to Christianity.
To get the gist of what the article is talking about, here’s the first paragraph.
Kathmandu, Nepal – Nepal plans to reform its criminal code and ban proselytising in order to stop conversions to Christianity and religions other than Hinduism and Buddhism. According to Article 160 of the new code, anyone who preaches or tries to persuade others to change religion could get up to five years in prison and receive a fine of 50,000 Nepali rupees (US$ 865). This has raised fear and anger among Christians who are concerned about restrictions on religious freedom in the country. Presented on 15 May, the new code needs the approval of parliament and President Ram Baran Yadav.
Part of me wants to side with the Christians about how this could be seen as a religious restriction. However, I think it might depend on how the group is going about converting others. We all know how annoying it is to have people from a religious affiliation different from the one we belong to knocking on our door trying to get us to realize the “error of our ways.” Is this all that different in reality?
The law does not ban converting, it does not limit this freedom. What it does limit is the ability for religions to harass others to convert. Conversion should be a personal choice, not one persuaded by verbal advertisement. I think that Nepal might possibly be on to something.