Two Hopegivers leaders make bail in India

By April 24, 2006

India (MNN) — The founder of Hopegivers International MA Thomas has won a small victory in India’s Supreme Court.

Two months ago, radical Hindus in the state of Rajasthan arrested Hopegivers’ National staff. They were angry about a comparative religions book that was critical of two Hindu deities. These radicals falsely accused Hopegivers of publishing the book.

Bounties were placed on the heads of both Thomas and his son Samuel, the President of Hopegivers. The junior Thomas was arrested a month ago and has been jailed ever since, while MA has been in hiding.

However, Hopegivers has been fighting the warrant against MA through the court system, says the agency’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Glenn. “We did get his case up to the Supreme Court level and that’s been one of our problems — getting things bogged down in a lower area where people in Rajasthan had more tighter control. We do rejoice we have been granted relief from his outstanding arrest warrant.”

Samuel Thomas’ case has been stalled in the lower courts. Despite this, though, Thomas has been a beacon. “They’re like reading a New Testament verse — they’re using their metal utensils for eating — using them like drums and singing songs and rejoicing to the Lord, so I know that God is using that in a mighty way within the prison system.”

14 more cases will be going through the court system. The Supreme Court has asked the lower courts to bundle all the cases together, but they�re under no obligation to do so.

V.S. Thomas, the orphanage director, was also granted relief by the courts.

Two months ago Rajasthan suspended the licenses of Hopegivers’ hospital, orphanage, schools and other ministries. Power has been restored to the hospital and the orphanages are still operating, but their bank accounts were seized, so cash flow is a major issue.

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