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05/06/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Thirteen Christians in India’s Uttar Pradesh state are in jail on false charges of forcible conversion activities. Ten men and three women are anxiously waiting to be released while their family members are shattered by the hostile environment created by the radical Hindu nationalists.

In one incident, a priest was arrested on a false sexual assault complaint against an 11-year-old girl. The medical examination showed no evidence of this, so the family changed the accusation to verbal abuse. According to local Christians, the motivation for the arrest of the Priest was that the upper-caste community hates Christians, so they fabricated a story to slander the Priest.

An anonymous Christian leader in the area explained that “The complaint was given to malign priest character, in the process, the girl family wanted to get money. The harassment was meted out to Christians by hook or crock. It is increasingly becoming difficult for Priests and Pastors to conduct any kind of gatherings; it is a sad day.

One of the men who were in jail for over three months recently shared his experience with ICC, “it was very frustrating as my wife and I were both in the jail at the same time, and they’re was much delay in getting the bail, but I saw God was working even that situation,” He stated that he was, “ able to take the scriptures into the jail for the three months [he] was there. [He] took Bibles to study and conducted worship for people who are in jail.”

According to UCF, Uttar Pradesh has had nearly 130 reported incidents of persecution in the first quarter of 2022. Though already staggering, that number is likely to rise if this trend persists. We pray for our suffering brothers and sisters.