8 Arrested at Christian Prayer Meet in Uttar Pradesh

Published 17 November 2017  |  
AP
India is ranked 17th on Open Door USA's World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution.

Yet another incident in which a Christian gathering was disrupted and several attendants were arrested following a false accusation on religious conversions charges.

Eight people were arrested in Kaushambi district in Uttar Pradesh on Nov. 13 while attending a Christian prayer meeting, following complaints of religious conversion.

"We took the action after receiving complaints from a group of people that religious conversion was under way," Kaushambi superintendent of police Pradeep Gupta.

The eight were reportedly booked under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), under which joining or continuing in assembly of five or more people, "that may cause disturbance of public peace," despite orders to disperse, is punishable with a maximum jail term of six months, or fine, or both.

After several Hindus attended the Sunday prayer meeting following their witness to miracles in the lives of their friends and acquaintances, a mob of nine activists of a right-wing organization attacked the meeting at Ahladpur village under Sarai Akil police station and threatened the gathering. They later returned with a police force.

Sone Lal, a farmer, who was leading the prayer meeting, was among those booked.

"Around 300 people assembled as usual on Sunday morning. Suddenly eight to nine people barged in and demanded that the prayer meeting be stopped. They also threatened us," he said, according to Hindustan Times.

Similar disruptions at other prayer meetings were reported in nearby Birner village on Oct. 29 and Nov. 5.

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