Religion Change in India - An Overview

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.

Vakilsearch offers the best religion change service at all the three stages which include creating the affidavit, publishing the advertisement and gazette procedure.

The entire process can be done online at the comfort of your house.

Religion change legal procedure in India

Creating the religion change affidavit

When an individual decides for changing 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.

We will prepare the religion change affidavit and send it to you for your signature.

Placing advertisement

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.

Gazette procedure

The final step is notification in the National Gazette, which is an online record published by the Central Government of India. This is required in order to have the religion changed in all the government IDs as well.

For filing Gazette application, the following things have to be submitted:

  • The affidavit and the newspaper copy with the religion change advertisement and
  • Self-attested passport size photographs
  • Self-attested identity proof copies
  • A CD containing all the information about the application
  • The government fee for religion change (Vakilsearch will make this payment on your behalf)

Gazette publication

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. It is important to note that the e-gazette is only published on Saturdays.

At Vakilserarch, we will be preparing the entire application for you and track the application as well.

Once the publication comes out, we will be sending you a copy of the Gazette via email. You have to print one copy for your records - no further certification is necessary.

Documents required for religion change application

  • An affidavit on a stamp paper of minimum value Rs.10.
  • The original newspaper copy in which the advertisement was published
  • Original conversion certificate from the respective religious institution.
  • The prescribed application (proforma) in printed format duly signed by the application and two witnesses and declaration.
  • Two passport size photographs.
  • Photocopies of valid ID proof ( PAN card/ Aadhar card/ Voter ID/ Passport)
  • A request letter along with the registration fee to the authority.

Conversion to Islam

For conversion to Islam, one needs 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 a conversion certificate on the letterhead of the mosque, which is called as Shahada certificate. This document includes the date and the details of the witnesses present. Once the individual receives the conversion certificate they can start practicing Islam. The same has to be notified to the Gazette of India by filing an application. It is to be noted that there requires no separate name change process when a person changes religion. One Gazette notification applies both to religion and name change processes.

Conversion to Christianity

When one goes to the Church for changing the religion, a Baptism will be issued where the person gets a new Christian name and a certificate by the church.

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.

Duration of the process

It would take approximately 15- 20 days to prepare the application oneself. Once the application is submitted, it takes anywhere between 45-60 business days for the publication to be issued. Moreover, the applicant has to frequently drop in to the office of the Gazette to check the status.

If the application is rejected or the papers are not in order, tracking of the application would become very difficult.

Why choose Vakilsearch for Religion Change in India?

At Vakilsearch, we will collect and verify your documents, prepare, submit and track the application on your behalf. We will ensure the religion change gets officially notified in the National Gazette. You will also receive regular updates about the status of your application, without leaving the comfort of your home.

FAQs on Religion Change in India

Yes, it is mandatory to submit a copy of the conversion certificate while applying for religion change in India.
Yes, the Indian law confers upon the citizen the right to practice and profess any religion. Hence, a citizen can change his religion whenever he wishes to.
Here at Vakilsearch, we take about 6-8 weeks to get your religion change notification published in the Gazette of India.
Yes, while making an application for religion change there need to be a witness to sign the application form. The witnesses cannot be your blood relatives.
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