A number of pastors in Uttar Pradesh state have been arrested and detained without bail, under the state’s anti-conversion law during the past few months.
Police arrested and jailed Pastor Nandu Nathaniel and his wife Savita Singh early last month.
Pastor Nandu has been a pastor in an independent church for 12 years. On 3 October, he was leading the Sunday church service when a police team stopped the worship and took him and his wife to the Kotwali police station. There they were arrested on conversion charges and sent to Azamgarh district jail. Bail has twice been denied.
Source: Release International
Nandu’s arrest follows that of another pastor in Uttar Pradesh called Ramchand who was detained in August on conversion charges.
Pastor Ramchand was leading a prayer meeting when a group of local fanatics along with a team of plainclothes police officers turned up and told him that they wanted to know more about Jesus Christ. They left but then shortly afterwards another team of officers arrived and accused the pastor of conversion activities. Ramchand was arrested. Two attempts to secure bail have been unsuccessful although his lawyer is now applying for bail in Allahabad High Court.
Also in jail is Pastor Shayam Sundhar who was detained under the anti-conversion law in September. He has been threatened many times by local fanatics. Similarly, his bail applications have also been denied.
Four other pastors are also in prison in Uttar Pradesh: Shakeel Abraham, Vijender Rajbar, Rajesh Rajbar and Abhisaik Rajbar.
Let us pray.
- Pray these detained pastors would experience the Lord’s comforting and strengthening presence. Pray also for their protection.
- Pray that the charges against the pastors would be dropped. Ask for favour and wisdom on behalf of their legal representatives.
- Ask God to strengthen the church in India which is facing considerable opposition.