In response to a recent anti-conversion law passed in India, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization, said this week, “Opposition to authentic conversion constitutes an undue interference in the affairs of God.”
According to the FIDES news agency, Cardinal Dias made his comments in the wake of criticism by several government officials, the media and some intellectuals in India, of Pope Benedict XVI’s discourse to the new Indian ambassador to the Holy See. In his remarks the Holy Father denounced the “disturbing signs of religious intolerance in some regions” of the country. He particularly noted the efforts in some Indian states to pass laws that would prohibit conversion from Hinduism to any other religion, but not conversions from other religions to Hinduism.
Cardinal Dias emphasized the need to respect the freedom of religion of every person and said that any law that opposes authentic conversion constitutes “an undue interference in the affairs of God.”
The government of New Delhi summoned the Apostolic Nuncio in India, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, and rejected the criticism saying, “India is a secular and democratic country” in which the faithful of different religious enjoy equal rights and where the freedom to profess, practice and spread one’s religion exists.