2 Indian Pastors Could Be Jailed on False Conversion Accusations

Published 19 September 2017  |  
Pastor Sanjay (L) and British Asian Christian Association officer Naresh Paul (R)

Two Indian pastors who were accused nearly three years ago of allegedly destroying Hindu sacred objects are said to be slapped with blasphemy charges in Haryana court this November and could be sentenced to prison.

According to the British Asian Christian Association (BACA), a charity that provides aid to persecuted Christians across Asia, said Pr Sanjay and Pr Bajinder were accused of trying to convert Hindus to Christianity and of desecrating Hindu idols and images of Hindu deities.

On Nov. 13, 2014, FIR was filed against them in Karnal, Haryana.

"We could not bear to watch and tried to stop them and were successful," read an affidavit filed against the two.

"But the two accused men started to use vulgar words against us. They got into a car and tried to run us over forcing us to run away. They told us that Hindus are ready to sell themselves to us and we are ready to buy ..."

However, both the pastors denied such allegations.

Bajinder told that on Nov. 9, 2014, the day they were supposedly converting Hindus to Christianity, he and about 30 of his church members were attacked during service by a mob of Hindus.

BACA's India officer, Pr Naresh Paul noted that Bajinder was arrested the same day before he was out on bail; however, Sanjay was not arrested as he was not at the event. He was arrested nearly nine months later after the authorities finally found him on July 19, 2017.

Also, BACA noted that the pastors would not desecrate Hindu scared objects because the men are not suicidal.

"Both pastors say that they have become targets for the [Bharatiya Janata Party] because of their ministries and that these fabricated allegations are designed to intimidate them," BACA reported.

"These allegations are false. I was never present at the location on that date and have proof of this," said Sanjay.

"I have been accused because local Hindus fear Christians, they believe we are demons. However it is not the Christians that are carrying out any atrocity. We only share the love of God with others. Please pray for the acquittal of Pastor Bajinder and I," he added.


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