Richard Pimentel writes at Philosophy News:
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“Should a civilised, tolerant society get into so personal a matter as the religious conviction of its citizens? After all, what is so perverse about conversion? If you exercise your fundamental right to preach and propagate your religion and someone, convinced by your arguments, comes over to your side how can anyone object? We are told that such changes cause unrest in society. But in public life we do not allow the unrest argument to prevent individuals from changing their loyalties or ideologies.”
These questions were posed by Michael Pinto, vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, in an editorial that he wrote in the Times of India back in October. The purpose of his article was to address the persecution of Christians in the states of Orissa and Karnataka in India, but especially the most recent episodes of violence in Orissa which has been going on since August 2008.