On January 27, three Christian pastors were arrested and jailed on forced conversion charges in the Balaghat District of Madhya Pradesh. According to local sources, six Christians, including the three pastors, were attacked and taken to local police by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists.
On January 27, six Christians, including Pastor Mahendra, Pastor Chatter Singh, and Pastor Nathan, gathered in a Christian home for a prayer meeting in Bagoli village. Soon after the meeting started, the gathering was attacked by a mob of approximately 30 radical Hindu nationalists. The nationalists assaulted the six Christians and took them to the local police station.
At the police station, Pastor Mahendra, Pastor Chatter Singh, and Pastor Nathan were charged and arrested for violating Madhya Pradesh’s new anti-conversion law. The three other Christians were released after intervention by local Christians.
A new wave of anti-Christian incidents is sweeping across Madhya Pradesh after the state government enacted what many consider to be India’s most stringent anti-conversion law.
“The situation is like a cyclone hitting the state,” Pastor Lanjwar, a local Christian leader, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Most of the house churches in the rural areas are shut down due to fear of arrest or violent attack.”
Bail petitions for the three pastors were rejected by the lower courts and the issue is now being appealed to the High Court.
“There is no relation between what happened in the village and the charges filed by police against the pastors,” a local source who requested to remain anonymous told ICC. “Yet the pastors were denied bail which proves everyone involved in the case is complicit in sending the three pastors to jail.”
Read more at International Christian Concern