Maya* and four others were arrested on April 27 in a small village in the district of Jaunpur. They were detained for allegedly violating a law in India which prohibits people from converting to a different faith.
The Christians met together to pray over a land dispute one believer was facing. As they were praying, there was a sudden knock on the door. Before they could even answer it, the police barged in while a crowd of over a hundred stood outside.
The police questioned the Christians as to why they were meeting. As Maya and the others explained themselves, the mob outside demanded the police search the house.
The police ransacked the house and confiscated the group’s Bibles as proof of their conversion to Christianity. They arrested the believers and took them to the local police station—though they still didn’t even understand why they were being arrested.
“We only met to pray for each other and to encourage one another in our struggles. It was not even a regular prayer fellowship,” Maya explains to Global Christian Relief.
Anti-conversion laws in India prohibit conversion by misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat or force, undue influence, coercion or marriage. Being found guilty of breaking one of these laws comes with it one to five years in prison, as well as fines up to 15,000 rupees (approximately 180 US dollars).
The five persecuted Christians provided bail and have since been released from jail.