Church pastor released from jail

By July 9, 2007

India
(MNN) — Gospel for Asia leaders in Hyderabad,
India, report a
GFA missionary was released from jail under some unique circumstances.

The missionary, who serves as pastor of a GFA-affiliated
church, was arrested following a full day of evangelistic work with the women's
mobile team. When the village headman
heard of the arrest, he appealed to police to release the pastor, and they did,
although they required him to pay a fine of 1,000
rupees (US $24.81).   

According to GFA, the pastor was accompanying a GFA women's mobile team while they worked in a village in
central Andhra Pradesh. The women shared
Gospel literature and visited homes and invited people to an evening showing of a
film about Jesus. That evening, the
missionaries were pleasantly surprised when about 1,000 people came to the film
showing, more than five times their usual response.

The women's team noted a
patrol in the crowd, but that wouldn't be unusual as there had been some
disturbances in the area recently. However, things came to a head when plainclothesmen accused the pastor
and mobile team members of trying to forcibly convert the people. 

Anti-conversion laws are either on the books, pending, or in
debate in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Orissa and Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal
Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan and
Uttarakhand states.

While there is no law against Christian activity in Andhra
Pradesh state, which is where the team was working, a strong Hindu nationalist presence
can be felt through opposition to activities thought to be evangelistic in
nature.

Please continue to pray for the women's mobile team and the
church in this area, that they won't be intimidated into silence.

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