02/14/2014, 00.00
INDIA

US Christian missionary arrested in India

Nirmala Carvalho
Rev David Grant, a pastor with the Evangelical Assemblies of God World Missions, is accused of breaking visa rules. For the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), his arrest underscores the unequal treatment reserved for Christian clergymen, who are often subjected to "threats, abuse and arrests."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - An American Christian missionary, David Grant, was arrested in India on alleged visa "violations".

"This underscores the different treatment reserved to Christian missionaries in our country," Sajan George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) told AsiaNews.

Police detained the religious leader and his wife Beth on their arrival at the airport in New Delhi, on Monday. This afternoon, he is set to appear before a court in Kozhikode (Kerala) to face the charges levelled against him.

Rev David Grant, a pastor with the Evangelical Assemblies of God World Missions, has been in India for 35 years. The complaint against him dates back to September 2013 after a visit he made in Kerala.

"In the West, it is common to see Hindu sadhus (holy men) freely proselytising," said Sajan George told AsiaNews.

"Moreover," he noted, "hundreds of foreign tourists visit our country and take part in religious services or hear public speeches by Hindu clerics without problems."

"Unfortunately, when Christian missionaries come to India, they are not accorded the same reciprocity and often end up facing threats, abuse and arrests."

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