By BosNewsLife Asia Service

Roshan Kuma and his brother-in-law, M.T. Joshri, are shown with their families shortly after being released from prison. Via Gospel for Asia
Roshan Kuma (left) and his brother-in-law, M.T. Joshri, are shown with their families shortly after being released from prison. Via Gospel for Asia

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)– India has released a Christian missionary after he served 17 months in prison on “false” charges of supporting anti-government Maoist rebels, his mission group announced Monday, August 29.

Gospel for Asia (GFA) said its worker Roshan Kuma was released from prison August 10 along with his brother-in-law, M.T. Joshri. Both men were detained in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand in March, 2010.

It was not immediately clear whether M.T. Joshri had been jailed because of his ties to the missionary. Indian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

However GFA, one of Asia’s largest mission groups, cited Christian villagers as saying that Roshan was targeted by authorities only because “anti-Christian extremists” were “unhappy” about the growth of his church.


Roshan was pastor of a 100-strong evangelical church, which even grew to about 125 people “attending worship each week” after his imprisonment, GFA claimed.

India’s government has come under pressure to crackdown on pro-government militias detaining and sometimes killing innocent civilians for their alleged involvement with Maoist rebels.

The rebels, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting India’s government in several states for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for the poor.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the rebels the biggest “internal threat to India’s security.”


Despite his imprisonment, Roshan “refused to give up his calling to share the Gospel” with fellow inmates “about the love of Jesus and many chose to follow Christ,” added GFA in a statement.

Roshan also started a prayer meeting in the jail, said K.P. Yohannan, the GFA founder and president.

“In spite of spending more than a year of suffering in prison, Pastor Roshan’s vision for serving Jesus never dimmed. He still has an unquenchable thirst and passion for the ministry,” he added.

And, “He continues to serve in the same area where there’s a lot of Maoist activity, which causes many people to live in fear. Yet he has a successful and a wonderful ministry in this small village,” Yohannan explained.


Yohannan said GFA has urged supporters to pray for Roshan’s congregation, which is building a new churchscheduled to open this fall.

“Please pray for Pastor Roshan, that God would continue to use him mightily for the Kingdom,” Yohannan told his supporters. “Praise the Lord for using Pastor Roshan in prison, and for the inmates who chose to follow Jesus. Pray that they will stand firm in their faith–even while they are in prison.

Local Christians and advocacy groups have reported growing opposition towards the spread of Christianity from especially Hindu nationalist groups who allegedly work with local authorities in this mainly Hindu nation of over one billion people.


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