Four Christians arrested for reading Bible and posing for photography close to a temple in Andhra Pradesh

Published 06 January 2020  |  

Four Christians were arrested for reading the Bible and posing for photography near Mallikarjuna Temple, a popular tourist destination in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh on December 28.

A security guard spotted four Christians reading the Bible and took them to the local police station where they were charged for violating a 2007 law.

According to the law, promoting other religions in places of worship or prayer is strictly prohibited.

After appearing in court, the four Christians were released on bail.

According to Father Anthony Raj Thaumma, Executive Secretary of the Federation of Telugu Churches, "[This law] should only apply to the temple premises and not to nearby areas and public parks."

In the past, the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches had made representations to the government regarding this matter, fearing the law would be misused against non-Hindus.

The 2007 law, also known as the "Temple Town" law is often misused by radical Hindu nationalists to stop non-Hindu religious activities in places where famous Hindu temples are located, making the practice of Christianity illegal.

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