Indian State Moves to Criminalize Praying for the Sick (Christianity Today)


State lawmakers in India are seeking to curtail evangelism with a ban on “magical healing” that could penalize Christians who offer prayer or any “non-scientific” practices to comfort people who are sick.

Last month, the northeastern state of Assam introduced the bill, which Christian leaders say unfairly targets their community’s custom of praying for the sick. Though church healing meetings in India have drawn people to Christ, local Christians insist that prayer is a legitimate, universal spiritual practice and not an unethical tool for conversion, as Hindu nationalists claimed.

The proposed ban, which passed the 126-member state assembly on February 26, states that:

No person shall take any part in healing practices and magical healing propagation for treatment of any diseases, any disorder or any condition relating to the health of a person (relating to human body) directly or indirectly giving a false impression of treatment to cure diseases, pain or trouble to the human health.

Any first-time offender can face one to three years in prison, a fine of 50,000 rupees (about $600 USD), or both. A subsequent conviction may result in up to five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 100,000 rupees (about $1,200 USD).

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.

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