Three evangelical Christians have been arrested in India and accused of “forced conversions” and blaspheming against Hinduism.
According to ChristianToday.com, the three Christians arrested, Rev. V. A. Anthony of Brethren Assembly Church in Satna, his wife Prabha, as well as another woman, were arrested after leading prayers in the town of Aber, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, says that the three are innocent of the charges and were “detained based on false allegations of forced conversions.”
Three men filed a complaint against Anthony and the two women, stating that they had been pressured into converting to Christianity in order to obtain good jobs. Additionally, they accused Anthony and the two women of destroying an image of Hindu deities.
One of the men who accompanied authorities when they came to arrest the three Christians was Hindu nationalist Laxmi Yadav.
Yadav had filed a complaint earlier against another Christian, Rev. Sam Samuel. Yadav, along with members of a Hindu nationalist organization, had stopped a Christian wedding, claiming that the couple to be married had converted without notifying authorities.
George laments the fearful state in which Christians live in the state of Madhya Pradesh: "Pentecostal and Evangelical Christians live in an atmosphere of fear in Madhya Pradesh. Here, the anti-conversion law is used to harass and intimate. Ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the state is seriously jeopardising freedom of religion."
Publication date: May 25, 2016