A pastor was jailed on a baseless claim that he violated India’s anti-conversion laws, even after the magistrate reprimanded police for the arrest.
Bajarang Rawat, a pastor who converted to Christianity from Hindu, is accused of converting people by means of “allurement,” reported Morning Star News, quoting the pastor.
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Hindu extremists accused Rawat of brainwashing people and alluring them to Christianity and to Rawat’s “foreign God.” However, neither police, media nor opposition could find witnesses who stated such, Rawat said.
Rawat was arrested July 16 in Loni Katra in India’s Uttar Pradesh state and charged under the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021. His Bible and songbooks were taken from him.
He was released hours later but rearrested that evening. He was released on bail Aug. 7.
During the time in between, his wife and two children had neither home nor adequate sustenance nor source of income because Hindu extremists forced the family to leave their house and destroyed the stall Rawat used for his business, Morning Star reported.
India is No. 11 on Open Door’s 2023 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.