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India Fines American Christian Tourists

by | Mon, Feb 26 2024

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Authorities in India have fined two American Christian tourists on false charges of illegally preaching and converting people. The men aged 64 and 73 had stayed at a Baptist Mission Hospital and strongly denied the accusations.

They were from a US church that founded the hospital 70-years ago in a remote town in the northeastern state of Assam. They attended the inauguration of a new building at the hospital.

Police in the strongly Hindu state which sees few foreign tourists, claimed they had been engaging in conversions. Their hosts from the local Baptist association said that was impossible because only Christians attended.

The Americans were each fined A$750 for breaching their tourist visas. Christian Today reports they were allowed to continue their travels.

In October 2022, the Assam government had instructed all the districts in that state to monitor foreigners who arrive and keep a close check on them if they indulge in “conversion activities,” which is in violation of visa norms. They were also instructed to monitor religious gatherings and check the travel documents of the foreigners who are found attending any religious gatherings.

In this case, local police determined that the building inauguration was a religious gathering. The Baptist leader who hosted the Americans said the police were interpreting the law according to their understanding.”

Photo: Emmanuel Hospital Association