Christians accused of “Forced Conversions” in India remain behind bars

May 27, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

JailedMadhya Pradesh, May 24, 2016: A clergyman in India, along with two female associates, were arrested over the weekend for allegedly forcing three people to convert to Christianity while offering them jobs and money.

“We have arrested them under section 295 A of IPC and (sections) 3 and4 of Religious Conversion Act,” said Mahendra Jagat of the Kotar police station, as quoted by Outlook India. Section 295 A refers to “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.”

According to the report, complainant Prashant Gupta, along with his associates Rambhan Adivasi and Hemraj Verma, were invited by the defendants — a pastor with last name Anthony, P Anthony, and Prabha Anthony — to the Aber Church, located in the Satna district.

“I was in touch with the priest A B Anthony for quite some time and he had offered me and my two friends job at the church and money,” Gupta said. “Later, he forced me to embrace Christianity.”

He allegedly got angry at the pastor for “abusing” the country. The Indian Express said attempts were made to destroy images of Hindu gods at the hall during Sunday prayers. The defendants reportedly told the complainants to convert first, after which they insulted Hinduism and their gods.

The written complaint was filed, and Laxmi Yadav, a member of the Madhya Pradesh State Backward Classes Commission, was present at the police station when the First Information Report was registered.

“I will ensure that the sedition charge is invoked against Pastor Anthony because it’s clear from the complaint that he spoke against the nation,” Yadav told The Indian Express. He also told Outlook India, “Such incidents are on the rise in the region and police should take tough stand in such issues.”

Anthony is said to have been arrested previously for forced conversion, and authorities are checking previous police records. The three Anthonys reportedly applied for bail but this was rejected by the local court, and they were sent to judicial custody.

– christian times

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