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4 Nepalese Christians Arrested Under Anti-Conversion Law for Simply ‘Preaching Jesus’

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Four devout Christians have been arrested in Nepal. Their crime? Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The 4 believers; ul Bahadur Pariyar, Rupa Sonam, Chandrakali Rawat, and Bhim Kumari, were arrested in the Salyan District on charges of “preaching Christianity.” According to International Christian Concern (ICC), authorities confiscated a bag of faith-based literature at the time of the arrest — the men are currently being detained under the country’s draconian anti-conversion law.

In comments made to Faithwire, ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark, noted the detainees are “unable to afford lawyers to represent them” at this time, and remain behind bars until a trial can be arranged.

What does the anti-conversion law actually say?
The clause specific clause in question is contained within Article 26 (3) of the constitution, and reads as follows

The anti-religion guidelines were only bolstered in 2018 when a new penal code came into law — Section 158 of the law warns that “no person shall convert anyone from one religion to another or make attempt to or abet such conversion.” Violating the penal code can land you with a fine of up to 50,000 rupees, and even five years behind bars.

“Since the law has been added, biased police officers have been able to arrest Christians and simply charge them with attempted conversions to justify the arrests,” Stark explained to Faithwire. “Seventeen Christians have been accused and arrested under the anti-conversion law in 2019 alone. Those arrested include both Nepalese Christians and foreigners, including two Americans. Forced deportations have been the results of foreign Christians being accused and arrested.”

The knock-on effect from these legal changes has been “significant level of fear among Nepal’s Christian community,” Stark added, noting that the “ambiguity” of the law is extremely unnerving.

“As the law states, any behavior or act that causes someone to convert is punishable by law,” he said. “It’s hard to understand what type of behavior is criminalized.”

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Crime

Mob of Radicals Nearly Kill Pastor and Family in Northeast India

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According to Morning Star News, a small mob of radical Hindu nationalists broke into the home of a Christian pastor in India’s Bihar state in an attempt to kill the pastor and his family. Fortunately, the mob was driven away by local villagers before they could physically harm the pastor and his family.

The attack took place at 1 a.m. on Monday, October 28. According to Morning Star News, a mob of 10 to 15 radicals brandishing swords, bricks, and metal rods surrounded the home of Pastor Palathingal Joseph Johnson in the Rajasan area of Bihar’s Vaishali District.

Soon we heard the noise of glass breaking,” Pastor Johnson told Morning Star News. “One team climbed the roof of our house, but they could not break open the roof to enter the house. So, they twisted the aluminum corrugated sheet and entered.

Pastor Johnson and his family, including his wife and four children, hid themselves in one of the home’s two rooms. However, the door to that room did not have a lock, so Pastor Johnson and his wife had to use their bodies to block the radicals from entering and attacking.

Pastor Johnson calls to local police went unanswered, so he called a local Christian for help. Soon, 50 local villagers arrived on the scene and drove away the radicals.

If the attackers had managed to come into the room where the family was hiding, we would be looking at a much worse situation,” Pastor Gautam Kumar, a local activist and pastor, told Morning Star News. “I do not doubt that they would have killed the family.

The incident has been reported to local police and a First Information Report (FIR # 427/19) has been filed. However, no arrests have been made in regards to the incident.

Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India continue to rise in both number and severity. Since the current, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in May 2014, the number of documented incidents of Christian persecution has more than doubled.

Sources: Persecution

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പ്രകോപനത്തിന് പ്രതികാരം: ആണ്‍സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ മുഖത്ത് 19-കാരി ആസിഡ് ഒഴിച്ചു

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ആഗ്ര: രഹസ്യ ചിത്രങ്ങള്‍ പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുമെന്ന് ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയ ആണ്‍സുഹൃത്തിന്റെ മുഖത്ത് 19-കാരി ആസിഡ് ഒഴിച്ചു. അലിഗഡിലെ ജീവന്‍ഗഡ് പ്രദേശത്താണ് സംഭവം. യുവാവിന്റെ ബന്ധുക്കളുടെ പരാതിയില്‍ പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയെ പോലീസ് അറസ്റ്റ് ചെയ്തു.
വിവാഹത്തിന് തയാറായില്ലെങ്കില്‍ രഹസ്യചിത്രങ്ങള്‍ സമൂഹമാധ്യമങ്ങളില്‍ പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുമെന്നു പറഞ്ഞ് യുവാവ് ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയിരുന്നു. ‘ഇതിന് പിന്നാലെയാണ് ഇങ്ങനെ ചെയ്യേണ്ടി വന്നതെന്നും പെണ്‍കുട്ടി പോലീസിന് മൊഴി നല്‍കി. അതേസമയം, മകനുമായി പെണ്‍കുട്ടി അടുപ്പത്തിലായിരുന്നെന്നും എന്നാല്‍ കുറച്ചു നാളുകള്‍ക്ക് മുന്പ് ഇരുവരും തമ്മില്‍ പിണങ്ങിയതായും യുവാവിന്റെ അമ്മ പറഞ്ഞു. മകനെ പെണ്‍കുട്ടി നിരന്തരം ഫോണില്‍ വിളിച്ച് ശല്യം ചെയ്തിരുന്നതായും അമ്മ വിശദമാക്കി.

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