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India deports 3 Swedes for preaching Christianity

Many Hindus believe that conversion to Christianity is an attack on their culture and way of life, and an imminent threat to both, despite the fact that Christianity has been a presence in India since the days of St. Thomas the Apostle.

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

“India deports 3 Swedes for preaching Christianity,” UCA News, October 28, 2022:

Indian authorities arrested and deported three Swedish nationals for participating in Christian religious activities while visiting the northeastern state of Assam on a tourist visa.

Hannah Mikaela Bloom, Marcus Arne Henrik Bloom and Susanna Elisabeth Hakannson were sent back to Sweden on Oct 28 after being arrested by police in Dibrugarh city on suspicion of being involved in religious conversions, according to police officials.

The trio was attending an Oct 25-27 faith healing and prayer program in Naharkatia in Dibrugarh district organized by the United Churches Fellowship and the Bless Assam Mission Network.

“The allegation of religious conversions is baseless. There is no truth in it as the organizers had obtained prior permission from the district administration and local police officials and the program was attended by only Christians, so where is the question of converting anyone,” Allen Brooks, the spokesman of the Assam Christian Forum, told UCA News.

“We had no hidden program”
However, the Swedish nationals were fined US$500 (41,500 Indian rupees) each by authorities in Assam state for violating visa regulations before their departure to New Delhi on Oct 27, an organizer of the program told media people.

“So far as allegation of religious conversions is concerned, let the government investigate it. We had no hidden program,” he said on condition of anonymity.

“The three Swedish nationals were invited because they’re good public speakers and preachers.”

Swetank Mishra, the district superintendent of police in Dibrugarh, told reporters that the allegation was true and backed by evidence in the form of photos and video footage of the event.

He said the foreigners had violated the amended Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946, for acting in contravention of the conditions of the valid visa issued to them….

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