India: Two evangelists arrested in Kolhapur, Maharashtra

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Evangelical Fellowship of India

News Flash

Two Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB) evangelists were arrested by the police on May 7, 2007 at Kolhapur, Maharashtra .

The evangelists identified as Ajit and Ramesh were visiting Shapur village where they conducted a baptism ceremony for seven people in a local river.

The Superintendent of Police told the Christian Legal Association (CLA) that those being baptised were not told that this was going to be a conversion ceremony and felt tricked by the evangelists.

On their return to the village, those baptised informed the other villagers and members of the Bajrang Dal and VHP. Consequently, the evangelists were badly beaten by the mob that gathered and then taken to the police station where they were arrested for allegedly forcing people to convert to Christianity.

The evangelists were arrested under sections 295A and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. CLA, however, believes that the opposition may have planted the "seekers" in order to frame the missionaries.

Please pray that the evangelists would be granted bail and that they would recover from their injuries soon.

Richard Howell,
General Secretary