Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Ordeal Christian Leaders Face in India – June 12th

Morning Star News, June 7, 2024 (excerpts)

Pastor Josemon Pathrose spent nearly all of February in jail and finally got his confiscated vehicle back after four months. The harassment and criminal charges he’s endured at the hands of Hindu extremists are not uncommon in India.

Pastor Pathrose and another Christian were driving back to their base in Madhya Pradesh state from Uttar Pradesh state on Feb. 3 when they stopped in Jalaun District, to visit a family who had attended his online meeting.

As they were having tea, members of two Hindu extremist groups barged in, alleging the 55-year-old pastor was visiting to fraudulently convert people. Police soon arrived and arrested Pastor Pathrose and his companion.  They seized his vehicle, Bibles and literature and took them and three other Christians to the police station, he said.

“They slapped us as they questioned us,” Pastor Pathrose told Morning Star News. “They called me the leader of the ‘conversion racket’ and beat me more than my friend.”

Officers asked them how much money they offered for each conversion to Christianity, how many people had they converted, where they got foreign funds for conversions, how many places had they evangelized, and “Who else is in your gang,” among other questions, the pastor said.

Also arrested was the adult son of the host family and his friend, the pastor said.