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02/08/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – On January 28, Pastor Dharmendra Singh, from Nepalganj, Nepal, was arrested by police in Rupaidiha village, located in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, on charges of forced conversion. Police also booked Pastor Singh on charges of outraging religious feelings and promoting enmity.

Pastor Singh has denied the charges against him claiming they are false. The individual accusing the pastor, Ramesh Gautam, has even testified in court that the charges are false.

According to Pastor Singh, Gautam was pressured by Hindu extremist connected to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal groups into reporting the false accusation. Morning Star News reported that, on January 30, Gautam testified to the court that he had converted to Christianity by his own choice and that no one had forced him.

On January 31, Pastor Sindh was released on bail.

False accusations of forced conversions and other criminal charges are commonly leveled against Christian pastors in India. Hindu extremists often use false criminal accusations to harass pastors and hinder their ability preach Christianity to non-Christians.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].