by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - As India’s Uttar Pradesh state crackdowns on Christians through harsh anti-conversion laws, on October 3 a local pastor and his wife were arrested and imprisoned on false charges of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Pastor Nandha Nathaniel and his wife were conducting a service at the New Life house church in the Azamgarh District, when around 100 Hindu nationalists stormed into the home and accused them of carrying out illegal conversions, ICC reports.
According to ICC, a stranger had previously attended the service and had videoed it. Five minutes later, the mob of Hindus invaded the home, ICC said.
The Nathaniels have led the church for many years, and their son told ICC this was the first time they were targeted by Hindus. “This is the first time we have been attacked in the last 18 years. The accusations against my father are totally false.”
ICC reports that Christians in Uttar Pradesh are currently facing a particularly intense time of persecution. “Using the state’s new anti-conversion law, radical Hindu nationalists have been attacking Christians and their places of worship with near impunity. ICC has documented at least 49 incidents of persecution since the beginning of this wave of persecution, affecting more than 130 individuals,” ICC said.
With the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in power, India now ranks 10 on the US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries which persecute Christians.