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ICC Note: Two Christians were taken into custody in India after local villagers falsely accused them of forced conversions in Uttar Pradesh. In states where forced conversions are criminalized, Hindu radicals use false accusations of forced conversion to harass Christian leaders. Will these two Christians be released after these charges have been proven false?

05/06/2018 India (Asia News) – The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) “condemns the arrest and imprisonment of two Pentecostal Christians on the basis of allegations made of forced conversions in a village in Uttar Pradesh,” Sajan K George told Asia News.

Last night, police in Dubolia, jailed Rev Gyan Singh and fellow Pentecostal Rambhajan after “some villagers were instigated to falsely accuse them of forced conversions.”

The GCIC leader noted that the incident occurred whilst the two Christians were visiting a village in Bugauliya Block, Basti district.

The accusers acted “on the basis of mere suspicion and got together to cause great confusion. At that point, the police took the innocent Christians to the station, where they accused them of disturbing the peace.”

Law enforcement officials told the GCIC that the two Pentecostals were going to be released this afternoon without any formal charges against them.

Sajan K George insisted that the two “Pentecostal Christians were not disturbing the peace. Villagers falsely accused them and caused a ruckus. This is why those innocent and vulnerable Christians were taken into custody.”

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For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org