by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – At least six Christians have recently been detained by police in India’s Karnataka state after Hindu nationalists leveled false accusations against them, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Rights groups report that Hindu extremists have increasingly abused anti-conversion and blasphemy laws to harass and persecute Christians in India; Hindu nationalists have been emboldened in these endeavors since their Bharatiya Janata party came to power in 2014.
The arrests were all carried out in the last 10 days of September, as Karnataka’s Hindu nationalist-led government announced its intention to enact an anti-conversion law forbidding Christians from leading Hindus to Christ.
Four Christians were arrested in the Yadagiri District on September 26 Sanjay, a local pastor, told ICC. The believers were first assaulted by a group of youths as they walked home and then, when police arrived, they were arrested instead of their assailants. The Christians were taken to the Central Jail in Gulbraga. According to Pastor Sanjay, the believers were arrested on trumped-up charges brought by Hindu nationalists.
On September 20, a Christian couple were arrested and charged under India’s blasphemy law for giving a New Testament to a woman who worked at a lost and found office in Jogfalls, where they had gone to retrieve a bag. Pastor Kumar and his wife had engaged in conversation with the lady and then, at her request, gave her a Bible. Upon doing so, the couple found themselves surrounded by a group of Hindu nationalists who accused them of forcibly converting the woman to Christianity, and who called the police to arrest them. The couple have been released on bail pending court proceedings.
India used to rank 31 on the annual US Open Doors Watch List of top countries where Christians are persecuted, but in 2021 it ranked 10.
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