10 Christians jailed for taking children to summer camp

May 25, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india, Persecution

New Delhi, May 25, 2017: In two separate incidents, two groups of Christians were sent to judicial custody on alleged conversion charges in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

On May 24, a special Railway Court remanded eight Christians to judicial custody until June 6. The Government Railway Police personnel had produced a pastor and seven others before Judge Amit Bhuria who refused to grant them bail.

They were detained two days earlier along with 60 minor children from Ratlam railway station. Rightwing Hindu groups alerted the police suspecting that the children were taken for conversion to Christianity. The group was going to Nagpur to attend a summer camp.

On the same day, police booked two other Christians in Indore, the state’s commercial capital and 140 km southeast of Ratlam. They were accompanying 11 children to the same summer camp. A trial court in Indore remanded them also to judicial custody.

Church officials clarified the children are Christians.

The children were later handed over to the child welfare committee that allowed them to go with their parents after legal formalities. The parents too asserted they are followers of Christ.

The children and their companions are members of Shahlom, a neo-Christian group.

A senior GRP official, who did not want to be identified, said he found no material evidence to conversion charges.

Church leaders in the state condemned the arrests and subsequent developments.

Father Rockey Shah, public relations officer of Jhabua diocese, termed as “unfortunate and disturbing” that Christians are targeted on false allegation of conversion.

He alleged that Hindu rightwing groups use the police to implement their agenda of tarnishing Christian image in the country. He wants the government to direct its police to ignore Hindu vigilantes’ conversion complaints.

– matters india

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