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Believers arrested under forced conversion charges

By November 7, 2008

India (MNN) — Four Christian relief workers were beaten, threatened and then arrested in Orissa on Tuesday, November 4. The World Evangelical Alliance says the four were arrested under "forced conversion" charges.

The workers were on their way to the Discipleship Centre (which focuses on holistic care, education, health care and similar disaster relief projects) when an unknown motorist collided with one of their motorbikes, causing minor injuries to the worker.

A crowd gathered around the scene, quickly turning into a group of 400. The mob beat the DC staff members, threatening to set fire to them at a local cremation centre. Included in the mob were two Hindu groups that had already been protesting against what they perceived to be forced conversions from local Christians.

When police arrived, the workers were arrested for supposedly forcing Christian conversions and causing the motorbike accident. The four are currently in the custody of Orissa police.

The outlandish charges against the four seem to be characteristic of much of the persecution in India. Pray that these Christians would be released soon and would stand firm in their faith regardless of false accusations.

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