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GFA Missionary Arrested in India

Gospel for Asia
01/07/09 MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA (ANS) — Gospel for Asia missionary Yashpal Bhuta Masih was arrested Monday, January 5, in Madhya Pradesh, India. The police charged him with attempting to force three people to convert to Chrisianity.

The police claim that three people from the village where Yashpal serves accused him of offering them education, money and jobs in exchange for converting to Christianity. Several Indian states, including Madhya Pradesh, have “freedom of religion” laws, which were enacted to stop religious conversions that were carried out by force, fraud or allurement. However, the laws have mostly been used as grounds to harass Christians, especially pastors and missionaries, for sharing their faith.

Gospel for Asia missionaries do not use such tactics to share the Gospel. In many cases, those who do choose to follow Christ know that their life will become more difficult-not better-as they face persecution for their new faith.

Yashpal, who is married and has three children, remains locked up. GFA leaders in Madhya Pradesh are working diligently to have Yashpal released from jail, which will require them to post bail.

They are asking Christians to pray for justice to be done in this case, that the Lord will grant Yashpal the strength to endure this trial and for comfort for his wife and children while he is being held.