Indian Pastor Arrested on Alleged False Charges

ICC Note: A pastor was arrested in Madhya Pradesh, after what he said was “fabricated, false charges!” The pastor claims that a mob came in during a church meeting and disrupted the meeting trying to get pay people to convert, angry over the work the church has been doing.  In the last few years, the Pentecostal church has continually been falsely accused and denied their rights.

09/14/2018 India (AsiaNews) – A Pentecostal pastor from Madhya Pradesh was arrested and interrogated by police on charges of converting a young Hindu with a promise of money. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews: “It’s all false. Far-right radicals have fabricated the conversion charge”.

The incident occurred on Sunday, September 9 in the city of Mangawan, Rewa district. Rev. Indrapal Bharati has led worship and organized “Christian missionary meetings” for years in this locality. During the Sunday prayer gathering, a hundred members of a far-right extremist group broke in causing commotion.

The mob accused the Christian of having tried to have tried to convert Mohan Kumar, a young local, with the offer of 5 thousand rupees [59 euro, ed]. Later the police arrived at the place and took away the pastor, his wife Mamta Bharti and assistant Sharmila.

Sajan K George reports that the radicals continued to shout slander against the Reverend even when he was in the police station, blaming him for having corrupted and driven many Dalits and the poor into converting. “These accusations are groundless – he claims – the conversions extracted with the promise of money are illicit and illegal. In Madhya Pradesh, right-wing fundamentalist groups keep Pentecostal churches and their activities under strict surveillance.

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