12/31/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – On December 26, three Christians from India’s Madhya Pradesh state were arrested and jailed on false forced conversion charges. The families of these three Christians are now working to get bail for their relatives who are being punished for merely celebrating Christmas.
According to local sources, four radical Hindu nationalists interrupted a Christmas gathering in Bisoli village, located in the Jhabua District. The radicals accused the Christians of engaging in illegal conversion activities, violating Madhya Pradesh’s anti-conversion law.
The radicals went on to threaten the Christians, claiming they would be killed if they continued to practice Christianity. The radicals also claimed they would “grab” the Christians’ lands as India is a land for Hindus only.
When the police arrived, they took three Christians into custody, including Jamsingh, Mangu, and Pastor Ansingh. These three Christians were taken to the police station and were interrogated by police regarding the radicals’ accusations of forced conversions.
Outside the police station, a mob of more than 150 people gathered, demanding a case be filed against the three Christians. When the families of the arrested Christians went to the police station to inquire after their relatives, the police threatened they would also be arrested if they questioned their actions.
To date, no action has been taken against the four radicals who interrupted the Christmas gathering. However, efforts are being made to secure the release of the three Christians on bail.
Across India, attacks on Christians and their places of worship are steadily increasing in both number and severity. In states where anti-conversion laws have been enacted, including Madhya Pradesh, radical Hindu nationalists use the laws as legal cover to persecute and harass Christian communities.
Prior to the Christmas holiday, several pastors in the Jhabua District reported a government circular was given to them asking them to shut down their activities. Speaking with International Christian Concern, these pastors said they were unable to celebrate Christmas this year due to the demands of the local government and the threats from radical Hindu nationalists.
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