11/11/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – A Christian pastor from India’s Tamil Nadu state has been arrested on charges of insulting Hindu religious sentiments. According to Asia News, the pastor was reported to police after a neighbor claimed to have found burnt images of Hindu gods by a fence that surrounds the pastor’s church near Coimbatore.
Pastor John Britto, age 53, was arrested on November 2 after he was accused of burning images of Hindu gods. The complaint was filed with police by an activist from the Hindu Munnani, a local Hindu nationalist group responsible for many attacks on Christians in Tamil Nadu.
“Some members of the Hindu extremist group Munnani are venting violence against shepherds in the southern state of Tamil Nadu,” Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of India Churches, told Asia News. “We cannot have independent confirmations whether it was really the pastor who burned the images or whether they were placed there by people with ulterior motives.”
“If this were the case,” George continued, “it would be unacceptable and wrong.”
Radical Hindu nationalists often use false criminal accusations to harass or justify assaults on Christian pastors. False accusations of fraudulent conversions to Christianity have been used most commonly, but false accusations of blasphemy have also been used in the past.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.