India releases jailed ministry leader.

By May 2, 2006

India (MNN)–The president of one of India’s largest evangelical mission organizations is to be released from Kota Central jail on bail today.

After 47 days’ imprisonment on anti-Hindu charges, Hopegivers’ Dr. Samuel Thomas’ release is good news, so says staffer Bill Bray.

“The case has not been dismissed,” he notes, “but by giving him bail, it’s a very good sign. It means that Dr. Sam will immediately be able to come out and comfort the staff and the children.”

Thomas’ release comes on the heels of several other victories regarding other staff members and the founder of the ministry, M.A. Thomas.

While his release is good news, Bray says it’s not over yet. There is still the matter of replacing staff and running the multi-armed ministries.

Further, Bray says, some of their personnel disappeared and will have to be replaced. That means Thomas will come back to heavy administrative duties…to be cared for without the benefit of funds.

“The bank accounts have not been unfrozen yet. Our vehicles are still impounded,” explains Bray. “We still don’t have licenses to operate any of our schools, or the orphanages. They’re all operating illegally.”

Hopegivers asserts that their troubles are the result of anti-Christian group attempts to shut down their work. That attempt may be backfiring. Bray says, “People are delivering food from all over India and bringing cash to the orphanages–other Christians, other Christian organizations, even Hindu organizations.”

Little has been said about future court dates, or about the ministries’ future plans. Bray urges believers to continue to pray.

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