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GFA Missionaries Arrested in Orissa

Gospel for Asia

5/3/07 India (ANS) – Police arrested two Gospel for Asia missionaries while they participated in outreach on April 17 in Orissa , India . A religious extremist group filed a complaint with the police, falsely claiming the men were involved in “forced conversions.”

As GFA missionaries, Jayasen Padra and Rason Lima, distributed Gospel tracts and Bibles on their bicycles, an extremist group approached them and told them to stop. The group also threatened serious repercussions if they ever returned to the area to witness again.

Although Jayasen and Rason ceased the distribution, the extremist group went to the police and insisted the men be arrested. Anti-Christian extremists dominate the area where the missionaries were distributing the tracts, so they easily influenced the police’s decision to arrest the men.

Jayasen and Rason, along with two pastors from other Christian organizations, spent the night in prison and were charged with forcibly converting people to Christianity. Police released the men the following day after they posted bond. Jayasen and Rason are back at home, but waiting for further information from the government.

Orissa is one of the most unreached states in India . Since Gospel for Asia began serving there in 1993, many have come to know the Lord and several churches have been planted. GFA also reached out with disaster relief, rebuilding more than 200 homes, when parts of Orissa were destroyed by a cyclone.

The two missionaries are firmly committed to sharing the love of Christ in Orissa. GFA leadership in Orissa requests prayer that the missionaries would stay encouraged during this difficult time. They also ask prayer for favor with the police and state government.