Nepal releases a Christian couple.

By May 18, 2005

Nepal (MNN)–A Nepalese Christian couple have been released from jail in Birganj city.

The couple, Babu and Sabitri Varghese, who run a boarding school and an orphanage, were accused of forcible conversion of those under their care, according to Voice of the Martyrs-Canada.

Published media accounts say the incident began when a former employee of the school stole a picture of an adult baptism, apparently with extortion in mind. The picture was then sent to a local newspaper which published it in conjunction with an article accusing the orphanage of converting the children.

The newspaper then told the couple to pay up 100,000 rupees to prevent them from publishing the picture. When they refused, a further article was published a few days later, calling Babu a “contractor for Christianity” and demanding six years in prison for the Vargheses.

New reports show the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. However, militant Hindus in the area are outspoken about the release, threatening action. Pray for the testimony of the ministry staff, that they would not be intimidated into silence.

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