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Indian pastors freed after accusations of bribes for conversions

According to the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), who supported the men, a local Hindhu leader contacted the authorities after noticing a larger than normal attendance at the local church.

Police took action using the country's strict anti-conversion laws, arresting the Pastor Santok from the church in Haryana and Pastor Kalyan who was a visiting speaker.

After vehemently denying the accusations, along with support from the BPCA, the men were let go after the local Hindhu was assured no bribe was given.

Speaking following the ordeal, Pastor Santok, said: "We were simply sharing the gospel and had the doors open at our church for anyone who wanted to come in.

"We were not asking people to change their religion that is their choice. We did not give any gifts or any money that is a total lie."

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: "These two pastors had a very fortunate escape, in almost all similar cases the Christians faced with an anti-conversion allegation end up in costly court cases resulting in sentences and fines.

"However in reality the intolerance we see in India should not exist, the country purports to be democratic in its constitution and has ratified the UN Convention for human rights.

The BPCA is broadening its work in Pakistan to include India having seen a rise in persecution of believers there.

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