Three Pastors Arrested On Conversion Charges In Orissa
SAMBALPUR, Orissa (SAR NEWS) — Police arrested three Christian pastors on conversion charges at Amapalli Deogarh in Sambalpur district of Orissa, June 9, while they were administering baptism to some people.
According to All India Christian Council, New Delhi, some villagers of Amapalli requested pastors Lamuel Patnaik, Philemon Naag and Sudhir Nag for baptism. While they were giving baptism to those who had already embraced Christianity, a group of villagers descended on the scene around 12 noon and raised objections. The matter was reported to the police who rushed to the spot and stopped the ceremony.
All the three pastors were into police custody for further interrogation.
General secretary of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, Arun Panalal, condemned the arrest of the pastors saying “the fundamental rights of the villagers to practise the religion of their choice have been stifled.”
He said the Christian Forum has demanded protection to the pastors, besides ensuring successful completion of the baptism ceremony under tight police security.
Orissa has the Freedom of Religion Act, 1967. Under this law, the Christian minority community has been attacked by religious fanatics. It does not allow any civilian to practise or change to the religion of his/her choice without informing the district magistrate.