02/25/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – Archana Jaiswal, a Christian woman from Himachal Pradesh, India, was given transfer orders that moved her job post more than 100 miles away from her home after she was falsely accused of attempting to convert a Hindu to Christianity. The orders to transfer Jaiswal’s post came days after a protest led by Hindu radicals against Jaiswal and other local Christians.
According to Morning Star News, the incident started on February 13. Member of a Hindu-awakening movement in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, staged a protest against conversions to Christianity, Jaiswal, and other local Christians. On February 19, Jaiswal received her official transfer order to move her job post to Dharamshala, about 130 miles away.
Jaiswal, a state education board employee, converted to Christianity about two years ago. Since making that personal decision, Jaiswal has come under constant harassment.
In November 2018, Jaiswal, a local Christian pastor, Pastor Rajinder Singh, and the pastor’s wife, were accused of “outraging religious feelings” (Section 295-A) and “promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion” (Section 153-A), both non-bailable offenses. According to Jaiswal, these false accusations were leveled against her and Pastor Singh because she allowed Pastor Singh to reside and lead worship in a house she owned in Baddi.
Recently, Jaiswal was accused of attempting to forcefully convert a local Hindu woman to Christianity. As reported by Morning Star News, Sonu Devi, a local boutique owner, claims Jaiswal offered her 300,000 rupees to convert to Christianity and divorce her husband. Jaiswal claims this is just another false accusation against her.
Speaking to Morning Star News, Jaiswal said, “I never converted anyone. Who am I to tell anyone to convert? I am an ordinary person, I don’t preach or teach any religious teaching. It has been only about two years since I came to Christ. I found peace and I will follow Christi; it is my personal decision.”
False criminal accusations against Christians and Christian leaders are commonly used by Hindu radicals in India as a tool of harassment. Accusations of forced conversions and blasphemy against Hinduism are often used because of the vague nature of the crimes and the seriousness of the punishment.
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