12 Christians victims of anti-conversion law in India

Within 4 days, 12 Christians were charged with attempted fraudulent conversion under the anti-conversion law of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Sunday July 18, 9 Christians Arrested For Violating Uttar Pradesh Anti-Conversion Law, three days later, three more Christians were arrested in Padrauna for the same reason, reports International Christian Concern.

In India, in the Gangapur district, 25 Hindu nationalists broke into a prayer meeting on Sunday, July 18, and accused Christians of illegally attracting Hindus to convert to Christianity.

Sadhu Srinivas Gautham, one of the Christians involved, claims that they "lashed out" against him before the police arrived:

“It was as if they wanted to kill me on the spot. However, the police arrived and escorted us to the police station. "

Sadhu Srinivas Gautham and six other Christians were taken to the police station and charged with raping Uttar Pradesh anti-conversion law prohibiting religious conversion by "fraudulent means or linked to any other undue means including marriage". “They told us that we should deny our Christian faith and go back to Hinduism,” Gautham adds.

“The police officer and district administration officials demonized us by saying that we deserted the traditional religion of Hinduism in India and accepted a foreign religion. "

After being sentenced to three days in prison, the 7 Christians were released on bail, accused of having violated at least six articles of the Indian Code.

In another similar case, Pastor Dinesh Kumar and another Christian Ghanshyam were arrested the same day during a prayer meeting at a private home in the Bahrain district. Assaulted by a group of Hindu nationalists, they were also accused of breaking Uttar Pradesh's anti-conversion law.

Three days later, Wednesday July 21, three other Christians were arrested in Padrauna on the same charges. Pastor Jeyawant, his wife and brother who run an orphanage, have been reported by state government officials. The police arrested the three Christians and "took into custody the 24 orphans they were caring for".

International Christian Concern, an organization fighting for the rights and freedom of Christians and religious minorities around the world has identified more than 30 cases of arrests of Christians accused of forced conversions this month. According to the NGO, Indian politicians are using these arrests “as an opportunity for political ends”.

“Using the arrests as an opportunity for political gain, politicians welcomed the arrests and warned those involved in the fraudulent conversion of Hindus to non-Hindu religions. "

India is ranked 10th in theGlobal Index of the Persecution of Christians 2021, from the NGO Open Doors. the organization reports that "the radical Hindus in power aim to make [the Christians] disappear at the end of the year", to do so "they do not hesitate to resort to extreme violence".

Sarah bordin

Image Credit: BILLY GRAHAM RAM / Shutterstock.com

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