Seven Indian Christians were granted bail on Dec. 19, after being arrested for allegedly hurting the religious feelings of Hindus 15 days earlier. The group, which included two pastors, was praying at a house in Mathura district of northern Uttar Pradesh State when about 25 Hindus burst in on them. The attackers reportedly accused those present of using words that were offensive to Hindu gods. Michael Williams, president of United Christian Forum (UCF), who was present in the court, told that police protection had been requested for those granted bail.
A.C. Michael, a Catholic leader and former member of the Delhi Minorities Commission, said that on Dec. 4 there had been threats to burn down the house where the prayer meeting was being held.
Michael said the angry mob had expressed a willingness to set the building alight with the Christians still inside.
He told that the two pastors visited the area for the first time on the request of a local woman to pray for her sick husband. “They are accused of using certain words, which were never used,” he added.
Lawyer Pramod Singh, who appeared for the accused in the court, later referred to “frivolous and false accusations” made by political ideologues seeking to restrict freedom of religious belief.