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Pastors Arrested in Karnataka State

Two pastors were arrested by the Karnataka state police for conducting worship service at their residential premises on Sunday, March 6, 2011.

Pastor Mathew (30), the minister-in-charge of this house church and Pastor Jose (34), a guest speaker, were the ones arrested.

According to the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), Pastor Mathew had invited Pastor Jose to speak in his church on Sunday.

As the service progressed, a police officer walked into the church, and asked the pastors to stop the meeting, then ransacked the house church and took away Bibles and other Christian literature.

It was also learned through GCIC that they pair were then arrested and forcefully taken to the local police station.

According to a police source, they were acting on a complaint lodged by a leader of the Hindu radical group called Bajrang Dal who alleged that they were engaging in “forceful conversion activity.”

The police detained both the pastors until 9.pm of that night and a complaint was registered against them.

The pastors were then produced before the magistrate on that same night and the magistrate then allowed the pastors to go home on a temporary bail.

James Varghese is a reporter for Masihat newspaper in India, and is also a freelance journalist working for ANS.

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