Two pastors from Kernal, India will face false charges of forced conversions and blasphemy in court this November after being accused of these “crimes” back in 2014. According to the charges, the two pastors attempted to forcefully convert Hindus to Christianity using threats and promises of money and also burned or destroyed icons of Hindu gods. Both pastors deny these charges and claim Hindu radicals are behind these false accusations. False accusations of forced conversions and blasphemy against Christian leaders in India are not uncommon. Hindu radicals often use these vague laws to harass and suppress the spread of Christianity.
09/16/2017 India (Christian Post) – Two pastors from Kernal, India, will face blasphemy charges in court this November and could be sentenced to prison after they were accused nearly three years ago of destroying sacred Hindu objects, charges that the men have vehemently denied.
The British Asian Christian Association, a London-based charity that provides support to persecuted Christians throughout Asia, is raising awareness for the cases of Pastor Sanjay and Pastor Bajinder, who were named in a police report filed in the town of Gurgaon in the state of Haryana on Nov. 13, 2014.
The men are accused of trying to convert Hindus to Christianity and of destroying Hindu idols and burning pictures of Hindu gods.
According to BACA, an affidavit filed against the men states they were involved in an event held on Nov. 9, 2014, in which they were accused of converting Hindus to Christians and insulting Hinduism while praising Christianity. It also states that the pastors of told the Hindu people to bring their deity statues and Hindu posters, which were burned and smashed.
“We could not bear to watch and tried to stop them and were successful,” the affidavit states. “But the two accused men started to use vulgar words against us. They got into a car and tried to run us over forcing us to run away. They told us that Hindus are ready to sell themselves to us and we are ready to buy …”
However, both men have denied such accusations and Pastor Sanjay denies even being at the prayer event.
Pastor Bajinder told BACA that on Nov. 9, 2014, he and his church members were attacked during a small service attended by about 30 people by a mob of Hindus who were offended by the preaching.
Bajinder was arrested that day and jailed for five days before he was let out on bail. BACA’s India officer, Pastor Naresh Paul, told The Christian Post on Thursday that on the day that authorities arrested Bajinder, Sanjay was not arrested because he was not at the event and the authorities could not find him.
However, Sanjay was finally arrested on July 19, 2017.
“They arrested Bajinder but could not find Sanjay because he was not present in the event and I think Sanjay was not their target but somehow they mentioned his name in the case. Even he was not aware about the [prayer service],” Paul told CP. “Maybe someone dislikes Sanjay, that’s why he was given his name in the police report. When this case went to the court then, court asked who is another person whose name is mentioned in the file. … But they did not investigate if Sanjay was involved in the [service] or not. They arrested Sanjay only because of his name.”
According to BACA, both men have said that they would not destroy Hindu items because they “are not suicidal.”