Seven Christians jailed on false forced conversion charges in Northern India
Last month, a Christian community in the Mau District of Uttar Pradesh was attacked and terrorized by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists. As a result of the attack, several Christians were injured and seven were sent to jail on false forced conversion charges.
The attack took place on the 10th of October as Christians gathered for Sunday worship. At approximately 11 a.m., two unknown people entered the worship hall and began to record the service on their mobile phones.
Suddenly, a mob of 100 radical Hindu nationalists belonging to the Hindu Yuva Vahini group stormed into the hall and began beating Pastor Abraham and other Christians gathered. The radicals reportedly confiscated Bibles and Christian song books as they assaulted the Christians.
“The police arrived as if they knew this was going to happen,” Geetha, a member of the Christian community, told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Surprisingly, instead of controlling the situation and protecting the Christians, they began to hit the innocent Christians who were attending the worship service. The police chased the congregants and took seven Christians to the police station.”
Seven Christians, including Pastor Abraham, were taken to the local police station where they were interrogated by police. Following the interrogation, all seven Christians were sent to jail after being charged under Uttar Pradesh’s controversial anti-conversion law.
Since the anti-conversion law was enacted in Uttar Pradesh, Christians and Muslims have endured an unprecedented wave of persecution. Since late-June, ICC has documented at least 56 incidents of religiously motivated violence taking place in Uttar Pradesh justified by the enactment of the anti-conversion law. In many cases, Christian victims are arrested on false forced conversion charges after being attacked by radical Hindu nationalists and taken to prison.