Saturday, December 19, 2009

Indian Believer jailed for 'crime' of praying for a friend in hospital

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA reports

Friday, December 18, 2009

Indian believer jailed for ‘crime’ of praying for a friend in hospital and getting beaten up

By James Varghese
Special Correspondent in India for ASSIST News Service
KARNATAKA, INDIA (ANS) -- In another bizarre police interpretation of Indian law, a Christian believer who went to pray for his sick friend at a local hospital, and was then beaten up by a Hindu radical, has been charged for this terrible “crime”.
You would imagine that the man who did the beating would have been the one who was arrested, but that logic often doesn’t work in India.
So for this “crime” of praying and then getting beaten up, the Christian man was arrested and jailed by Karnataka state police after a complaint was registered against him on Tuesday, December 15.
According to the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), Bhaskar was visiting his friend at the hospital and prayed for him. However, he was not aware of a Hindu radical who was present at the hospital and was observing his activities. The Hindu radical then caught hold of Bhaskar and beat him up.
A GCIC source also said that the attacker then informed the local leader of the Hindu radical group, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS), and others, about Bhaskar’s visit to the hospital and the prayer he had made for his friend.
It is understood that Bhaskar was then taken to the nearest police station by the RSS leaders and one of them filed a false complaint of “forced conversion” against him.
The source said, “After an inquiry, Bhaskar was charged under different sections of the law and he is being kept in Mandya Central Jail.”
As soon as GCIC was informed about what had happened, they immediately began the process of seeking bail for the believer.
In a latest update from GCIC, ANS has learned that Bhaskar, who is married with three children, was released from jail on December 17 at 3.00 pm after their intervention.
Dan Wooding, founder of ANS and a regular visitor to India, said, “If you are planning to pray for a sick person at an Indian hospital, be warned that you may get beaten up and then get charged with a ‘crime’. In most countries, it usually works the other way around.”

In the UK you can merely lose your job if you share your faith with patient or client.

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