Nine Christians in India’s Madhya Pradesh state were recently arrested and falsely charged with forced conversion. The arrested took place in two separate incidents where police misused the state’s anti-conversion law.
According to local sources, a police van arrived at the house church where Pastor Ramesh Vasuniya was leading Sunday worship last weekend in Padalya village, located in the Jhabua District. The police went straight into the hall where the worship was being held and dragged Pastor Vasuniya out to the police van. The police also arrested five other Christians who attended the worship service before they left the scene.
Similarly, three Christians were arrested on false forced conversion charges as they participated in a worship service in Bisoli village. In Bisoli, police arrested Pastor Jansingh, Ansingh, and Mangu.
When Pastor Jansinghs wife asked why her husband was under arrest, the police reportedly told her that it was because her husband continued to lead Christian worship services in Bisoli after being repeatedly warned not to. The three Christians from Bisoli were taken to the police station where they were beaten by police officers and badly injured.
The next day, police searched Pastor Jansingh’s home for evidence to support the false charges of forced conversion. Police confiscated Bibles, a certificate for a Bible course, and other documents as evidence. Additionally, the police demanded Pastor Jansingh’s wife pay 300,000 Rupees, otherwise, they told her she would never see her husband again.
Christian leaders in the Jhabua District report the bail applications for all nine Christians have been rejected by the lower courts. The families will now have to appeal these decisions to the High Court as they struggle to meet their basic needs.
This story first appeared at Persecution.org