By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - An American pastor has arrived home after more than seven months of detention in India on controversial charges of tax evasion.
Pastor Bryan Nerren from Tennessee said that India had dropped all charges against him. ”All those prayers that you have been praying. And all those letters that you have been written to the [U.S.] President and the [U.S.] State Department and anywhere else have paid off, ” he told his supporters in a video message.
In a message shared on her Facebook website, Rhonda Nerren said she was overjoyed by her husband's return home. ”This is the day that I have waited for, for 7 1/2 months! I am just so thankful for God's goodness!"
The end of the ordeal was also welcomed by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). The group, which defended Nerren in the case, said the troubles for the ”loving husband, father and grandfather” began last year.
”He heads up the non-profit ministry Asian Children’s Education Fellowship, which has been training Sunday School teachers in India and Nepal for 17 years. In a recent trip to attend conferences in India and Nepal on October 5, 2019, Pastor Nerren was targeted and arrested as he stepped off the plane in Bagdogra, India, ” the AClJ recalled in a statement.
He was reportedly accused of evading duty on funds he was carrying for the conference and trip. ”However, he was not even carrying the minimum amount of money that would have made it a crime even if he were trying to evade the duty. The reality is Pastor Nerren was never informed of the duty, although he openly declared the funds to customs in New Delhi.”
Indian authorities, however, specifically asked if he was a Christian, and if the funds would be used to support Christian causes, the AClJ stressed. ”And although New Delhi customs returned the funds to Pastor Nerren and told him that he was cleared and free to go, that was definitely not the case. The truth was that he was to be falsely arrested and endure a more than a seven-month nightmare while being trapped in India.”
It comes amid broader concerns about reported attacks against devoted Christians, including pastors and missionaries in India, a mainly Hindu nation.