Several Christians have been arrested under a new law discouraging people from converting to Christianity in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
According to Morning Star News, three Indians and one South Korean missionary were arrested in late December. The four had been giving out aid packages to help residents get through the coronavirus lockdowns.
The arrests came after a local resident accused the group of offering her money to convert to Christianity — an act which is illegal under a law in the state which prevents coerced conversion.
“We have proofs of our distribution and names and phone numbers of our beneficiaries, who can testify that we have not asked any of them to change their faith or religion,” said Raj Kumar Masih, the group’s organizer.
“All beneficiaries were distributed ration kits, but none were promised any kind of money.”
Multiple states in India have laws that limit how one can change their religion. According to International Christian Concern, many Christians have been falsely accused of pressuring people to convert.
Masih says that the accusation against the volunteers is false, adding that two of the volunteers that were arrested are not Christians.
“Nobody even bothered to ask the arrested their side of the story,” Masih said.
“What is shocking is that the driver Umesh Kumar and Sandhya are not even Christians. The local media have falsely reported them all to be Christians.”
Open Doors USA ranks India as the tenth most dangerous country for Christians. There have been multiple instances of Christians and churches being attacked in the past year.
Over the past couple months multiple preachers have been attacked for converting Hindus.