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ICC Note:

Christian persecution across India has been escalating ever since the Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Modi took power several months ago. In the latest incident of anti-Christian violence, ten Christian pastors in Uttar Pradesh have been falsely accused of forced conversions and arrested by local authorities. Despite the accusations against them being false, local radical elements have spread rumors throughout the community against these pastors and a mob of Hindus have gathered outside the police station where the pastors are held. Several Christians have already been beat by the mob and the mob is demanding the pastors not be released. 

9/3/2014 India (Asia News) – Accusations of forced conversions against the Christian minority with the sole purpose of creating communal distrust and suspicion. This is the strategy adopted in many parts of India by Hindu ultra-nationalist groups. The latest case occurred in Uttar Pradesh on August 31. The victims are 10 Protestant pastors, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reports to Asia News.

On August 31, police in Surajpur (District Gautam Buddh Nagar) detained and interrogated 10 Christian religious leaders from the village of Kulesra. Police confirm the pastors were taking part in a fasting ritual, which did not involve any religious conversion. However, having received many complaints from the local population, officers were forced to bring them in for questioning.

Once brought into the police station, a mob surrounded the building, preventing the police from releasing the 10 following their interrogation.

One of the pastors, Rev. Joseph Wilson, is head of Calvary Ashram Seva Sangh and has been in Uttar Pradesh since 1992 “In the many years – tells Asia News – I have never seen this kind of communal tension. We are not even being able to get close to Surajpur police station. Some members of our church, who went there, were beaten up”. According to the pastor, activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, a Hindu nationalist paramilitary group) incited the people of Kulesra, spreading false news of forced conversions.

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