INDIA: Pastor and His Family Detained on False Accusations

20 June 2023

Source: Morning Star News, Church in Chains, Matters India

On 24 April, Pastor Kirubendran and his family were detained for allegedly conducting “forcible conversion” activities and “insulting religion”. The pastor’s wife, Manju, was released on bail in early May, along with their 18-month-old daughter. While the toddler had not been charged, she was detained along with her mother. Despite repeated attempts to post bail, Pastor Kirubendran was not released from custody until 24 May.

The imprisoned pastor is puzzled over the charges, as he had been serving in the town of Kasimabad, Uttar Pradesh, for six years without any previous incident. In addition to leading a church, Pastor Kirubendran and Manju also provided free education to 60 impoverished children, using a government-approved curriculum. Therefore, it was a shock when a crowd of opposing community members gathered outside the couple’s home on 23 April, hurling accusations against them.

According to a lawyer who is following the case, militant groups had compiled a list of churches in the district with the intention of filing allegations and forcibly shutting down the places of worship.

The complainant, Bupendra Singh, claimed that money was offered to any villager who converted to Christianity. The Christians were also accused of promising employment and miraculous healing, along with making objectionable comments against Hindus.

Though now released on bail, Pastor Kirubendran has been unable to resume services for the 90 people who regularly attend his church. The owner of the building that was being rented by church members for the services has refused to allow the Christians entrance.

According to Pastor Kirubendran, he and his family continue to remain under threat: “Those who have complained against us…are high-caste people. They are rich and affluent. My life can [be] in danger; I must stay safe and keep a low profile. We will have to prove that we are not guilty, but innocent.”

The state of Uttar Pradesh heads the list for violent attacks against Christians in India, with a total of 149 reported incidents of persecution against followers of Jesus in 2022. So far, in 2023, there have already been 115 recorded anti-Christian incidents.

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    Pray for them

    Pray that the Lord's ministry will be experienced in their lives, keeping them safe from harm and providing for all their spiritual and practical needs.

    Pray that justice would prevail in the courts and that all charges against them will be dropped.

    Pray too that the Lord will make a way so that this couple can continue serving the people of Kasimabad without fear of further threat or harassment.

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    One response to “INDIA: Pastor and His Family Detained on False Accusations”

    1. K and F says:

      Lord we being before you Pastor Kirubendran and his family . You know what they are going through and why. You know their every need and can fulfill them through divine intervention and your church. So Lord we ask you today to meet every need of this pastor and also every christian in India who faces persecution from those who oppose you. May those who oppose you have a Saul experience, so they can be saved too, and become a Paul for your kingdom. In your mighty name we pray

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