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ICC Note:

Seven Christians in India’s Uttar Pradesh state have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody after being accused of carrying out a “forcible conversion campaign” in a village. The accusation was leveled after the Christians spent time in the village distributing Bibles to anyone willing to accept them. Accusations of forced conversion are common in India where Hindu radicals use vague laws to harass Christian leaders. Often, these accusations of forced conversion are disproved, but the damage to the Christian’s reputation and livelihood have already been done through the public and expense legal procedure they are forced to endure. 

12/07/2017 India (Times of India) – Mathura police arrested seven Christian preachers on Monday night for allegedly carrying out a “forcible conversion campaign” in a village in the district. The arrested preachers were produced in court on Tuesday and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

According to some villagers, the missionaries have been active in the area, Irauli Gurjar, for the past one month and have been distributing Bible to residents. One of them alleged that since no one was paying heed to their pleas, on Monday night they turned aggressive and tried to “forcibly convert” some schedule caste families. Around 700 people from SC groups reside in the village.

“Police received a complaint from a villager after which seven people were arrested. They have been booked under IPC Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings),” said SP (rursal) Aditya Shukla

According to officials, a woman named Mamta, who recently moved to the village after getting married to a local resident named Pradeep Singh, called the missionaries to her house for prayers on Monday. Mamta’s sister, Anita, who lives in Hathras, had recently converted to Christianity.

“Mamta’s family members alleged that while propagating their faith, the preachers began insulting other deities. Objecting to their comments, the family members approached local residents, who in turn informed police about the incident. Later, Pradeep’s uncle Lal Singh filed a formal complaint against seven people after which the arrests were made,” said an official.

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