by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A Christian evangelist in India, who felt called to minister to sick people in hospitals, was arrested for “forced conversions” after a local religious leader tipped the police to the fact he was passing out pamphlets.
Boban Koshy, a member of the Faith Family Church, felt called to give healing words to sick people under the rubric of Matthew 25:36, “I was sick, and you visited me,” and was on his way to Kottayam Medical College during the six hours of the day he tends to devote to visiting hospitals when he was accosted on the road by an unwelcome fellow traveler.
The man, part of one of the organizations for Hindu zealotry sprawling across India in the wake of Narendra Modi’s reelection in May, said that Boban was forcing conversions to Christianity. Police arrived shortly after to bring the evangelist in for questioning before releasing him, though not without continuing to monitor him, Boban said.
Persecution Relief recorded 477 incidents of hate crimes against Christians in India in 2018, and 180 in the first 5 months of 2019 alone, 21 of which, from both years, occurred in Kerala State, where Boban was arrested.
India’s 1949 constitution nominally guarantees the freedom of religion, though many Indian states have supplemental “anti-conversion” laws that forbid manipulated conversions, allowing judges the interpretive license to attribute bad faith to evangelists any time a person converts from Hinduism to Christianity.
Boban is doing okay after his incident and resting in quiet confidence in the Lord, according to Persecution Relief, but asks for prayer for his son and daughter, who he says need jobs.