Legal Process To Change Religion In India | Religion Conversion

Published on 31 Mar 2020 by Shivi

In India, freedom of religion is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. India is a secular country where changing religion is legal and anyone can practice and propagate their religion without any restrictions. When it comes to the process to change religion in India, the legal or religious formalities differ for different religions followed by people. This guide lays down the legal process to change religion in India.

Laws Relating to Freedom of India

Part III of the Indian Constitution guarantees various fundamental rights, and one of them is the right to freedom of religion under Article 25, 26, 27 and 28.

Article 25 lays down the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion and states that

  1. Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.

  2. Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law-

    1. regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;

    2. providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.

Article 26 provides the freedom to manage religious affairs.-

Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right:

  1. to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes;

  2. to manage its own affairs in matters of religion;

  3. to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and

  4. to administer such property in accordance with the law.

Article 27 provides the freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion:

No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

Article 28 lays down the freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions:

  1. No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.

  2. Nothing in clause (1) shall apply to an educational institution which is administered by the State but has been established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institution.

  3. No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.

ALSO READ: How To Change Your Name Legally In India?

Religion Change Legal Procedure in India

The process to change religion in India is simple, however, it is advised to consult the best family lawyer in India to get all the formalities done in a quick and efficient manner. The steps involved in religion change in India

Religion Change Affidavit

When an individual decides to change their religion in India, the process has to be done legally so that the new religion gets reflected in all the accepted government IDs across the country. In order to have that, a Religion Change affidavit has to be prepared mandatorily. The affidavit is a legal document that contains details like name, the new religion, old religion, and address. It must be made on stamp paper and notarized by a notary public.

Advertisement In Newspaper

The next step is to place an advertisement in a widely circulated national or regional newspaper. This ensures that there is no public objection to your change of religion and it is not being done for any fraudulent or illegal reasons. The newspaper advertisement must specify the details like name, age, and address. The ad should clearly state that you are changing your religion. It is also required to save a copy of the ad for any future reference.

Publishing in Gazette 

The final step is notification in the National Gazette, which is an online record published by the Central Government of India. After the Gazette application is filed, the department will inspect the application closely and once they are convinced that everything is in order, the religion change declaration will be published in the e-Gazette. After successful submission, it takes up to 60 business days for the publication to appear in the e-gazette. 

Documents Required For Gazette notification:

  1. Copy of Affidavit and Newspaper

  2. Self-attested passport size photographs

  3. Self-attested identity proof copies

  4. CD containing all the information about the application

  5. Government fee for religion change

Documents Required For Religion Change Application

  1. Affidavit on a stamp paper of minimum value INR 10.

  2. Original newspaper copy in which the advertisement was published.

  3. Original conversion certificate from the respective religious institution.

  4. The prescribed application (proforma) in printed format duly signed by the application and two witnesses and declaration.

  5. Two passport size photographs.

  6. Photocopies of valid ID proof ( PAN card/ Aadhar card/ Voter ID/ Passport)

  7. A request letter along with the registration fee to the authority.

Religious Process For Name Change in India

Religion Conversion To Islam

For conversion to Islam, the person is required to visit a mosque in the locality and take Shahada in the presence of a Maulvi and two major witnesses. Once the Shahada is performed, the Maulvi will issue an Islam conversion certificate on the letterhead of the mosque, which is called a Shahada certificate. This document includes the date and the details of the witnesses present. Once the person receives the conversion certificate they can start practising Islam. The same has to be notified to the Gazette of India by filing an application through the process mentioned above.

Religion Conversion To Christianity

The person is required to go to the Church to convert to the religion, a Baptism will be issued where the person gets a new Christian name and a certificate by the Church.

Religion Conversion To Hinduism

In order to practice and convert to Hinduism, there is no official conversion process or religious ceremony. One needs only to have the will and the commitment to study the scriptures and abide the proper practices as provided in the Religion. In India, you can visit a nearby Arya Samaj temple and show your willingness towards conversion to Hinduism post which they will issue you a certificate of conversion.

Legistify can help you with the religion change process in India. Consult top Lawyers in India through Legistify by giving us a call at 8468833013 or an email at [email protected]

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