Police harassment of Christians reported in North India

 

Police harassment of Christians reported in North India

Author: 

George Conger

Two priest of the Church of North India have been arrested by police in the northern Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, charged with proselytizing Hindus. The Rev. Sunny Oommen and the Rev. John Alexander were arrested last week and held by police for over five hours after Hindu extremists accused the two of offering 10,000 rupees ($150) to a Hindu to convert to Christianity. Mr. Oommen told UCA News: "The police case is based on a fake complaint. We went to Jairam's house on his invitation to pray." The clergymen said they were conducting a pastoral visit at the home of a parishioner, Kapoor Chand Jairam, who 15 years ago converted from Hinduism to Christianity. As they were praying with Mr. Jairam approximately 150 members of the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), surrounded the house. When the men came outside they were accused of holding an illegal conversion ceremony and taken away by police. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Jabalpur, the Most Rev. Gerald Almedia told UCA the “situation in the state is extremely worrying for Christians.” He said the “law and order situation in the state has almost collapsed as government officials act [in a] biased manner against Christians."

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