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Hands clasped in prayer, resting on an open Bible
God's Word will not return void.

Karnataka became the latest Indian state to officially pass anti-conversion legislation after the state's governor signed the law into effect on May 17th. On that same day, members of the Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal filed a complaint against Pastor V. Kuriyachan and his wife Selenamma, alleging that they have illegally converted more than 1,000 Hindus from the Yerava tribal community by visiting the area's coffee plantations.

The accused Christians were allegedly caught trying to get Paniyaravara Mutha and his family, recipients of their gifted Bibles, to pray with them. In a written complaint submitted to the authorities, Paniyaravara alleges that the pastor and his wife were trying to convert them, as they had apparently done to his nephew earlier.

In a video showing a group of Hindu activists entering a home to confront the Christian couple, one person can be heard demanding: "Tell us, how many people have you converted? How much money have you collected, and where are your bank accounts?" When police arrived on the scene, they arrested the two Christians and sentenced them to judicial custody for 14 days. The complainants have demanded that they be tried under the new anti-conversion legislation.

Such opposition against Christian activities in Karnataka is not new. One pastor, recounting the attacks he and his church encountered before the legislation was implemented, stated: "Now that it is passed, this law gives [Hindu nationalists] a reason to beat us and attack us. The Christians in our state are scared. We see the trend and the worst is yet to come." For more information on the persecution of Christians in India, go to our country report.

Prayerfully ask God to grant peace, wisdom and guidance to Pastor Kuriyachan and Selenamma who now must deal with these allegations. As the charges against them are brought before governing human authorities, may the truth of God's Word and His ultimate authority over all prevail. May the Lord also encourage, lead and strengthen other believers throughout India as they seek to share their faith in the midst of an antagonistic society.