By Alex Williams
A decision by the most senior court in India to grant a Christian campaigner bail has been hailed as a source of “some solace” for believers in the country as Easter celebrations draw near.
The Supreme Court of India decided this week against detaining Amit Kumar Soren in custody while he awaits trial to answer claims he has incited hatred against the country’s Hindu majority.
Professor Soren, a professor at the Christian-run St Columba College in the eastern state of Jharkhand, was charged in 2016 over allegations disputed by fellow religious freedoms campaigners.
Alliance Defending Freedoms (ADF), a Christian organisation which supports believers under pressure for their faith, said: “The Supreme Court’s recent action provides some solace in the run-up to Easter, the most important time of the year for India’s ill-treated Christian minority.”
Tehmina Arora, the director of ADF India, added: “Professor Soren’s case just shows how absurd the allegations against Christians have become.
“He was falsely accused of inciting hate.
“The only thing he did was to organise a public gathering and stand up for religious freedom in India.
“He now faces up to three years in prison.”
ADF described Christians living in India as an ‘ill-treated minority’, adding there are reports of religious minorities in some parts of the country suffering violence on a “daily” basis.
The Christian organisation has also criticised a proposed law – the Religious Freedom Bill – in Jharkhand which it alleges is affectively a “far-reaching anti-conversion law”, requiring people who abandon Hinduism to declare their conversion – or face up to four years in prison or a pay 100X,000 Rupee fine.