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India: Christian pastor, his wife, arrested for allegedly converting Hindus

Christianity has been in India since apostolic times, brought there by St. Thomas the Apostle in A.D. 52, as attested by St. Ephraim, St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian, among others. St. Thomas was martyred in India in A.D. 72. Today the Malankara Orthodox Church of the East still survives there, an apostolic Church that broke with Holy Orthodoxy over the Council of Chalcedon in 451. There also remains a small number of Orthodox Christians under the jurisdiction of the the Holy Metropolis of Singapore.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Christian pastor, his wife, arrested for allegedly converting Ghaziabad residents,” by Zafar Aafaq, Scroll, February 27, 2023:

A pastor and his wife were arrested in Ghaziabad on Sunday for allegedly converting residents to Christianity through persuasion and allurement.

Pastor Santosh John and his wife Jiji were arrested based on complaints filed allegedly by members of the Hindutva group Bajrang Dal.

A first information report, seen by Scroll, was filed against the couple on the complaint of Praveen Naagar, a Ghaziabad resident. They have been booked under provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020.

In his complaint, Naagar alleged that John and his wife were “doing religious conversion work in an organised way by luring some poor and helpless people of the colony and trying to persuade them to change their religion.” He also claimed that the accused pastor offered him and one other person money.

However, Minakshi Singh, a Christian activist assisting John and his wife, denied the allegations.

Singh claimed that the pastor and his wife were holding a service on Sunday when a “mob of goons created a scene and raised allegations of conversion”. She said that the mob called the police who took the pastor and his wife to a police station but they were released after questioning.

However, after an hour, the police again detained John and Jiji from their home, Singh said, adding that around 40-50 men had assembled at the police station demanding their arrest.

“The police came under the pressure of goons that is why they picked them again,” the activist said. “Their phones and laptop were also seized.”…

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