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ICC Note: 

Christian leaders in India’s Madhya Pradesh state have rallied in Bhopal against what they call state-sponsored harassment of Christians. Over the past month, multiple Christians have been falsely accused of crimes by Hindu extremists only to be arrested and harassed by local police acting on behalf of the extremists. In the most recent incident, a nun was arrested for kidnapping as she was traveling along with 4 other Christian women in Madhya Pradesh. Initially arrested under a charge of attempted forced conversion, the accusation against the nun changed when the conversion charge was proven false. Will India’s government take action to end this trend of state-sponsored harassment in Madhya Pradesh? 

06/23/2017 India (Eurasia News) – Some 300 Christian leaders and pastors gathered in Bhopal, central India, on June 20 to protest against what they called state-sponsored harassment of Christians at the behest of extremist Hindu organizations.

In the last month police in Madhya Pradesh state have registered at least three false cases against Christians, accusing them of trying to convert Hindus, the gathering was told.

Priests, nuns, pastors and lay leaders at the protest reiterated their commitment to evangelization despite challenges, and expressed anger over the government’s “apathy” toward Hindu hardliners and not ensuring religious freedom for all.

In the most recent case, Sister Beena Joseph, a member of the Carmelite Sisters of St Teresa congregation, along with four tribal women were arrested on a train to Bhopal. She was released after being interrogated on June 15, only to be slapped with abduction charges the next day, the gathering was told.

Police said they were responding to complaints from Hindu groups, who critics say are attempting to build a Hindu-only India.

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