Police detain Evangelist on false conversion charges
Police in the Indian state of Kerala, detained a Christian Evangelist, accusing him of insulting religious sentiment and confiscating his motor-bike.
Evg. Raju S Padmanabhan of the Indian Pentecostal Church (IPC), from Kolenchery town in Kochi District in Kerala state of India, was detained by Police.
A street evangelist for the past 15 years, Evg. Raju is popular and well recognized face in the area. A familiar sight, he takes his motor bike, seven days a week, every morning, fitted with Amplifier, Microphone, Speakers etc. and rides to different parts of Kerala, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
In spite of the embarrassment, shame and ridicule he encounters most times, Evg. has been working faithfully and independently fulfilling his ministry & calling, with no Church support, for the past 15 years.
On Wednesday, 06th February, around mid-day, Evg. Raju was sharing the gospel in Mahe, in Puducherry bordering Kerala. This is a tax-free haven, where alcohol is easily available at a fraction of the cost in the state. God had put a burden on his heart to minister in that area, so that he could share the gospel, for their lives to be transformed.
While standing beside his parked vehicle & sharing the gospel, a policeman approached him.
“Do you have the permission to preach”.
Evg. Raju was surprised at the question as he had been speaking in several places and no body had objected to it in the past.
When he told the Policeman that he was not aware that he need to secure permission, the Policeman asked him to stop preaching.
Disappointed that he was asked not to preach, he decided to leave but after distributing the tracts that he had carried with him.
As he started distributing the tracts, the same policeman came back and confiscated the tracts from his Motor bike. He was abused and asked to report at the Mahe Police Station later in the evening.
Evg. Raju arrived at the Police station around 6 pm and was asked to leave his bike – fitted with all equipment’s like Amplifier, Battery, Mic, Speaker’s etc. in the parking area outside the Police Station.
He was detained for 3 ½ hours, until 9.30 pm, after which he was asked to leave. However, they refused to allow him to collect his motorbike.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Evg. Raju was disappointed that a week since the incident, his built-in bike is yet to be released.
Evg. Raju recalled that he had a great reception at a different location on the same morning, where people were touched by the message and gladly received the tracts. However, at this location, he was certain that an anti-Christian would have called the Police and informed about his preaching.
Church pray for Evg. Raju, that he may continue to remain strong and steadfast in his faith, and continue with his street preaching.
Persecution Relief has recorded 477 cases in 2018 and its increasing day by day across India
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