The trial of ten Indian Christians charged with kidnapping, cruelty and forceful conversion has begun in India.

The group made up of pastors and volunteers were arrested on their way to a Christian Summer camp with 60 children.

Campaigners claim they’ve been unfairly targeted.

Andreas Thonhauser from religious freedom charity ADF International told Premier it’s others who should be facing charges.

He said: “Pastors have become victims of violence, then were being dragged to the police stations and accused of missionary work where they were forcing people to covert and the police did not start investigating the violence against the pastors but the indictments the pastors were carrying out illegal missionary work.”

According to ADF International, on 23rd May, at Ratlam train station, Madhya Pradesh, the local police detained a group of pastors and fellow Christians, including two women and two minors, who were accompanying the group of kids  to the camp in the neighbouring state of Maharashtra.

All parents immediately confirmed in front of the local Court that they had willingly sent their children to the camp. While the children were allowed to return to their homes after three days, the pastors and most of the co-workers are still being held in jail.

Thonhauser said he’s hopeful there will be justice.

He told Premier: “The Supreme Court of India has very often ruled in the favour of religious freedom and the constitution is protecting it.

“So we’re hopeful to be able to free those pastors but at the same time it’s something we simply cannot accept that people are awaiting in jail for a trial for something that they should be free to do.”

Please pray for these Christian brethren who have been wrongly accused.

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