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Pastor Detained By Police in Madhya Pradesh

Evangelical Fellowship of India (09/13/06) – Venkatesh Kumar Sadhu, an Assemblies of God (AG) pastor was detained by the police for questioning in Ghama Thana, Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh yesterday.

The pastor, upon request, had gone to a non-Christian home to pray for a sick family member when the Bajrang Dal activists arrived and broke the pastor’s scooter and physically mishandled him.

The pastor was taken to the police station for questioning around 9:00 pm. After phone calls made by the Legal Department of EFI, the police assured of their full cooperation and the pastor was released after midnight. When the police were later questioned regarding the charges made against Pastor Sadhu, they expressed that though complaints had been filed against Sadhu, the complaints were not substantial. The police further admitted that they were being pressurised by Hindu fundamentalists to implicate Christians in this manner.

According to the Indian Constitution, it is against the fundamental right of a person to be detained in this manner as we are guaranteed freedom to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.

Madhya Pradesh (MP) has seen numerous atrocities against Christians this year. The state government recently passed an amendment to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1968, making the anti-conversion law even more stringent. There have been 28 cases filed against evangelists/pastors in MP this year alone.

The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) is a national alliance of evangelical Christians and is a central network of evangelicals in India . It exists to empower and mobilize the local churches, church related institutions and individual Christians for effective witness for Christ.