India’s most populous state tops in persecuting Christians (UCA News)

Police in Uttar Pradesh have arrested close to 400 Christians since enforcing an anti-conversion law three years ago

Nearly 400 Christians have been arrested in a northern Indian state in the past three years since the imposition of a stringent law prohibiting religious conversions, say local Christian leaders.

Police in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of the country, have registered 181 cases against Christians under the sweeping provisions of the law that prohibits change of religion “through force, allurement, fraud, or marriage.”

Among the 398 people arrested so far, a majority are Protestant pastors and followers of neo-Christian groups. Those jailed include 318 males and 80 females, besides a Catholic priest.

“This data is from Nov. 27, 2020, to Nov. 27, 2023,” a Church leader who did not want to be identified told UCA News.

Most of them are currently out on bail and only about 50 including Father Babu Francis, director of social work at the Allahabad diocese remain in jail.

The priest was arrested along with three other Catholics on Oct. 3 after a local leader of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused them of attempting to convert villagers in Allahabad district.

Uttar Pradesh is ruled by BJP, the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The state government has been headed by a Hindu monk-turned-politician Yogi Adityanath since 2017.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here .

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