02/28/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Morning Star News, three Christians from northern India have been released from prison after more than two months of imprisonment on false charges. According to the freed Christians, their time in jail was a “nightmare”, but they were still able to share the Gospel with other prisoners.
On November 26, 2019, Pastor Ajay Kumar, Pastor Om Parkash, and Kapil Dev Ram, were arrested by police in the Mau district of Uttar Pradesh. According to Morning Star News, they were falsely accused of participating in forced religious conversions. Officially, these charges were brought by Parkash Paasi, the chief of Daraura village. However, according to an interview Morning Star News, Paasi claims he was tricked by radical Hindu nationalists into accusing the Christians of severe crimes.
While in prison, the three Christians suffered immensely. “Every night was a traumatic night for us,” Pastor Kumar told Morning Star News. “We did not know when a mob would wake us in the middle of the night and torment us.”
“Prisoners inside the jail showed their religious bias,” Pastor Kumar continued. “We did not lie when our co-prisoners asked us the reason for us being in jail, and when we told them that it’s a case of forcible conversion, they despised us and spread the word around.”
“They used vulgar language and asked us how much foreign money we have earned by carrying out conversions,” Pastor Kumar explained to Morning Star News. “They demanded money from us, asking us to share the supposed loot with them. When we explained that there was no money involved, they beat me with fists and legs. The spared Kapil from the beatings as he is a senior citizen and said that I have to take his share of beating as well.”
Despite these challenges and attacks, the three Christians shared the Gospel with their fellow prisoners. According to Pastor Kumar, a sick prisoner gave his life to Christ the day he was released from prison.
After more than two months in prison on trumped up charges, Pastor Kumar and Pastor Parkash were released on bail on January 27, 2020. Two days later, Ram was also released from prison on bail.
Radical Hindu nationalists often use false criminal allegations to harass Christians. Radicals often use false charges of forced religious conversions, blasphemy, and other religious crimes to falsely imprison Christians and/or justify assaults on Christian communities.
Photo: František Bašo