Date: December 14, 2018
India (International Christian Concern) – Last Saturday, December 9, Pastor Sojan was arrested and detained by police in Bakhtiyarpur village, located in the Patna district of India’s Bihar state. According to reports, the pastor was arrested on charges of attempted forced conversions because he attempted to show a film called Yeshu Masih (Jesus Christ), a film about the life of Jesus.
Reacting to the arrest, Sajan George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told Asia News, “Rev. Sojan was just showing a movie. Minorities are even more vulnerable and intimidated by the majority and its false accusations.”
According to local reports, villagers in Bakhtiyarpur tried to stop Pastor Sojan from showing the film and wanted him removed from the village. To accomplish this, the villagers accused the pastor of attempted force conversions and had police arrest the pastor. Police then took Pastor Sojan back to his home village of Barh and told him not to return to Bakhtiyarpur.
False accusations of forced conversion against Christian pastors and evangelists are common in India. Often, these false accusations are used to justify physical assaults or stop Christians from reaching certain communities with the Gospel message.
Earlier this week, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a report detailing how anti-conversion laws in countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka are abused to curtail religious freedom for minorities. In a press release about the report, Nadine Maenza, a USCIRF Commissioner, said, “Anti-conversion laws are frequently abused by extremists who seek to prevent anyone from leaving the majority religion.”
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for the authorities to show greater respect for religious minorities in India. Pray for strength for Pastor Sojan to continue sharing the Gospel. Pray for the love of Christ to transform the nation of India.