At least six Christian women have been reported jailed in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on charges of forced conversion, said a report from a Christian rights group.
The International Christian Concern reported that the six women were attending a birthday celebration at a the home of a local Christian family when nabbed on July 30.
The report said a mob of about 15 radical Hindu nationalists barged into the event and accused the Christians of “coercive conversion” activities.
The intruders reportedly harassed the Christian group, recorded videos of the premises, and stole Bibles and song books.
The videos and stolen literature were then submitted to the police as evidence against the Christians.
A local pastor, who requested to remain anonymous, told ICC that the six women “are very poor economically.” One is reportedly physically challenged, another is a widow with three small children, and another is a single unmarried girl.
“The situation with these families is very pathetic,” said the pastor, adding that family members of those arrested have accused the local pastor of being responsible for the incident.
The ICC report said the Christian community in Uttar Pradesh has been facing the brunt of the growing anti-Christian hatred in India.
A report earlier released by the United Christian Forum, an organization that runs a helpline for Christian victims of persecution, noted that there have been over 80 significant incidents of anti-Christian persecution in Uttar Pradesh in the first five months of 2022.