Three Swedish Christian preachers held in Assam on charges of religious conversion
The three Swedish nationals reportedly came to India on a tourist visa but indulged in religious preaching and lured several people to convert to Christianity in the garden areas of Assam.
Assam Police have arrested three Swedish nationals in Naharkatia for allegedly flouting visa norms.
The three reportedly came to India on a tourist visa but indulged in religious preaching and lured several people to convert to Christianity in the garden areas of Assam.
The incident took place at Achabam Ghinai 1 No. playground in Nakarkatia.
Notably, the said nationals in the pretext of the “Peace and Healing Prayer Festival” scheduled between October 25 and October 27 lured people to the area to seek blessings and get healed which was organised by United Churches Fellowship and Bless Assam Mission Network. According to police sources, the intent of these preachers was to convert local people into Christianity.
The arrested Swedish nationals were identified as Hannah Mikaela Bloom, Marcus Arne Henrik Bloom, and Susanna Elisabeth Hakanason.
They were being produced in a local court at the time of the questioning. This was for the first time in Assam that Christian preachers have been arrested for indulging in religious conversion though state government sources say that they were arrested for misusing the visa conditions as they had been issued only tourist visas.
Speaking to the media, DSP Namrup, Naba Kumar Borah said, “Three Swedish nationals came for a meeting in Naharkatia and as per their tourist visa they are not supposed to deliver any lectures.”
“As there was a violation as per the section 14 Foreigners Act, a case has been registered and later arrested,” the DSP added.
Meanwhile, a large crowd, mostly from tea garden areas gathered outside the police station protesting the arrest of the preachers. Many began praying just outside the police station and raised slogans against the administration.
In the 2021 Assembly election, the BJP’s Taranga Gogoi won from the Naharkatia constituency which has a significant Christian population, primarily from the tea garden areas.
source : https://www.indiatodayne.in/assam/story/three-swedish-christian-preachers-held-assam-charges-religious-conversion-463181-2022-10-26?utm_source=itneweb_story_share
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