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ICC Note:

Three Christians leading a medical camp in a village in India’s Madhya Pradesh state were arrested after false accusations of forced conversions were made against them. Often, Christians in India are falsely accused forcefully converting Hindus to Christianity. Hindu radicals use this vague accusation to stop Christians from conducting any aid work or even sharing their faith with Hindus, something that is not illegal under India’s constitution. As attacks on Christians in India continue to increase, it is likely more false accusations of forced conversions will be leveled at Christians merely seeking to share their faith with others. 

04/11/2017 India (Hindustan Times) – Three Christians were arrested from a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district on charges of converting people on Sunday, officials said on Tuesday, in what is being perceived as an attack on minorities in the state.

Piplod police station in charge sub-inspector Shivram Patidar said they arrested Amarsingh, 35, of Khaknar Burhanpur, Kishor Barela, 30, Kalukhedi, and Prabhakar Barela, 39, of Jalgaon in Maharashtra from Sitabedi village, and booked them under the state’s anti-conversion law – the Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swatantrya Adhiniyam.

“They were produced before a local court and sent to jail,” Patidar said.

Police said the accused had organized a medical camp but told the villagers that they would be cured of their ailments if they embraced the cross and started believing in Jesus Christ.

Patidar said the men belong to Delhi-based Indian Evangelical Team.

He said a man called Raju Barela submitted a written complaint following which the arrests were made around 3pm on Sunday. Patidar said a cross and religious literature were seized from the camp that was being attended by about 40 to 50 villagers.

Raju said he attended the camp because he had a stomachache and a headache. He added that when the organizers started talking about Jesus Christ, he left the camp and approached the police.

Indian Evangelical team administrator Jais Varghese denied that any conversion was going on in the camp.

“These are false accusations. From what I could gather from my sources, it was a planned prayer meeting on Palm Sunday going on in the village when some people came with the police and made these charges and arrested the three persons,” Varghese told Hindustan Times over the phone from Delhi.

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