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Indian Pastor Arrested in Chattisgarh

November 14, 2005

Urgent Prayer Request

EFINEWS

805/92, Deepali Building, Nehru Place, New Delhi - 110 019.

Phone: +91 011 26431133; 26423726




Pastor Masih Das Rai was arrested in Palari, Chattisgarh under the Freedom of Religion Act for allegedly forcibly converting Hindus.

The arrest took place after charges were levied against him by the Dharam Raksha Sena (DRS). The DRS, a wing of the RSS, arrived at the spot where Pastor Masih was conducting a baptism ceremony on 10th November 2005 and brutally attacked those present. The new converts were then coerced into stating that they were forcibly being converted to Christianity.

It is believed that the DRS received the information about the baptism ceremony from one of the persons who consented to the baptism ceremony. A young man had earlier befriended Rai on the pretext of following Christ. He also wanted to be baptized along with the other 8 persons. However, he said that he would not accompany them to the place of baptism but follow them after some time.

While Rai was conducting worship after the baptism, this young man, a decoy, reached this spot along with other Hindu extremists and started beating Rai and the new believers and handed them over to the local police. The police interrogated Rai and the new believers.

The police arrested Rai and he was produced in the court on 11th November but could not be tried due to paucity of time. He was again produced on the 12th November for bail. However, the bail application was rejected and the case remanded to sessions court.

Rai is presently in Baloadabazar Jail, Chattisgarh. Efforts are in progress to file a bail application in the sessions court. Please pray for his early release.

Rev. Richard Howell,

General Secretary, EFI