Pastors in India, Accused of Converting Hindus and Smashing Idols, Go to Trial in November

Pastor Sanjay (L) and British Asian Christian Association officer Naresh Paul (R) (PHOTO: BRITISH ASIAN CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION)
Pastor Sanjay (L) and British Asian Christian Association officer Naresh Paul (R) (PHOTO: BRITISH ASIAN CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION)

Two pastors from Kernal, India, will face blasphemy charges in court this November and could be sentenced to prison after they were accused nearly three years ago of destroying sacred Hindu objects, charges that the men have vehemently denied.

The British Asian Christian Association, a London-based charity that provides support to persecuted Christians throughout Asia, is raising awareness for the cases of Pastor Sanjay and Pastor Bajinder, who were named in a police report filed in the town of Gurgaon in the state of Haryana on Nov. 13, 2014.

The men are accused of trying to convert Hindus to Christianity and of destroying Hindu idols and burning pictures of Hindu gods.

According to BACA, an affidavit filed against the men states they were involved in an event held on Nov. 9, 2014, in which they were accused of converting Hindus to Christians and insulting Hinduism while praising Christianity. It also states that the pastors of told the Hindu people to bring their deity statues and Hindu posters, which were burned and smashed.

“We could not bear to watch and tried to stop them and were successful,” the affidavit states. “But the two accused men started to use vulgar words against us. They got into a car and tried to run us over forcing us to run away. The told us that Hindus are ready to sell themselves to us and we are ready to buy …”

However, both men have denied such accusations and Pastor Sanjay denies even being at the prayer event.

Pastor Bajinder told BACA that on Nov. 9, 2014, he and his church members were attacked during a small service attended by about 30 people by a mob of Hindus who were offended by the preaching.

Bajinder was arrested that day and jailed for five days before he was let out on bail. BACA’s India officer, Pastor Naresh Paul, told The Christian Post on Thursday that on the day that authorities arrested Bajinder, Sanjay was not arrested because he was not at the event and the authorities could not find him.

However, Sanjay was finally arrested on July 19, 2017.

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SOURCE: Samuel Smith 
Christian Post