Laws on Religious Conversions

Laws on Religious Conversions

Laws on Religious Conversions

#GS 02 Governance

For Prelims:

Right to Freedom of Religion:

Article 25:

  • Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

Article 26:

  • Freedom to manage religious affairs.

Article 27:

  • Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.

Article 28:

  • Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational

R. Bommai v. Union of India:

The 9-judge bench, in this case, ruled that Secularism is the basic feature of the Constitution of India.


  • Secularism in India means that India a secular country with no state religion.
  • In the Western model, secularism connotates complete separation of the State from the Church.
  • This originated from the French Revolution where the revolution sought to establish a ‘secular’ government, one which did not influence the church or the clergy.
  • However, in India, secularism means that there is equal respect for all religions and faiths.
  • Even though the State has to maintain equal distance from all religions, the influence of the government does extend to religious affairs, albeit in a limited fashion.

States laws on conversions:

  • The Central Government has not imposed any anti-conversion laws in India.
  • The states have phrased laws against forceful religious conversion or anti-conversion laws.
These states, in order of enactment, are,
  • Odisha in 1967
  • Madhya Pradesh in 1968
  • Arunachal Pradesh in 1978
  • Chhattisgarh in 2000 and 2006
  • Gujarat in 2003
  • Himachal Pradesh in 2006 and 2019
  • Jharkhand in 2017
  • Uttarakhand in 2018
  • Uttar Pradesh (2021)
  • Haryana (2022)

Source “What are the existing laws on religious conversions?