Priest Falsely Accused of Forced Conversions Mistreated by Prison Guards in India
09/21/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – On September 6, Father Binoy John and two other Catholic Christians were arrested by police on false forced conversion charges and charges of illegally seizing land. While in prison, Fr. John claims that the prison guards mistreated him by denying him access to vital medication.
“They wanted me to die in prison,” Fr. John told Asia News. “They tried to kill me little by little.”
According to the 42-year-old priest, the prison guards denied him access to medication he needed for a heart condition. Instead, they only offered him medication that would help with a fever. Fr. John had a pacemaker implanted in his chest to deal with his heart condition.
“I implored them to tears,” Fr. John explained to Asia News. “[I asked them] to take me to the hospital, which was just two minutes away, but they refused me.”
On September 6, Fr. John and two other Catholic leaders were falsely accused of seizing land. However, when the Christians showed police their documents regarding the land, police returned and arrested them on charges of forced religious conversions.
On September 18, a count in Jharkhand released Fr. John on bail for medical reasons. Since his release, Fr. John has been receiving treatment at St. Luke Health Center in Lalmatia.
Radical Hindu nationalists often use false accusations of forced conversion to harass and intimidate Christian leaders. In 2017, Jharkhand, the state where Fr. John was arrested, enacted a law that criminalizes forced conversions. Since then, Christians in Jharkhand have reported a significant rise in false forced conversion accusations.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org