Three Christian men in India have been arrested and held on charges of converting the local people to Christianity in the village of Motawa in northern India.
The Indian Express reports that the three men, Stephen Rajkumar, Anil Kumar, and Harilal, are volunteers for Gospel Echoing Missionary Society (GEMS).
Right wing activists accused the men of going against anti-conversion laws and attempting to convert the local people to Christianity, as well as showing a Gospel film.
Others accused the men of baptizing villagers and encouraging them to read the Bible. There were also reports of women who were healed of various ailments after attending medical camps organized by GEMS.
GEMS spokesman, Mariyosh, denies the accusation, stating that “The action was premeditated. No one was being converted to Christianity.” Mariyosh added that GEMS has been active in northern India since 1972 providing humanitarian aid.
Mariyosh also claims that the three men were not showing a Gospel film, but a film with a social message about peace.
Christian Today reports that the battle for religious freedom in India is particularly intense as Hindus lobby to make Hinduism the country’s national religion.